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06.07.2004 Regional News

Government goes to the aid of three communities

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Accra, July 6, GNA - The Government on Tuesday directed three communities within the Upper West Region, who were unable to raise counterpart funding for their community water projects to apply to the HIPC Fund at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MFEP) for assistance.

The Busa, Funsi and Charia communities were reported in the Ghanaian Times of Tuesday to be at the verge of losing a 3.7 billion cedis Town Pipe Water facility being provided under the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) Phase II programme due to their inability to raise 207 million cedis, representing five per cent counterpart funding of the total cost of the project.

A statement signed by Ms Cecilia Akwetey, Head of Public Relations of the Ministry, stated that the Government had taken this initiative as part of its commitment to improve water and sanitation in the country so as to reduce water borne diseases.

It said the assistance also fell in-line with the aims of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) to make available good drinking water.

The statement asked other communities with similar problems to apply for assistance from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund, but stated that help would only be given to applicants on justification for their inability to pay for their share of the project cost.

The statement commended the Ghanaian Times for bringing the plight of the people in the Upper West Region to government's attention.

It explained that the policy of counterpart funding was to make communities part owners of such projects to make them committed to its maintenance and efficient use adding, "where this is not feasible government would explore other ways of assisting such communities".

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