17.10.2004 Business & Finance

Afram Plains to see major investments - Aliu

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Mame Krobo (E/R) Oct. 17, GNA - The Government is contracting a 60 million-dollar credit facility from the African Development Bank to complement a six million dollar-grant from the European Union to improve road infrastructure and agricultural activities in the Afram Plains District.

Addressing a durbar held in his honour at Mame Krobo in the district, Vice President Mahama said 310 kilometres of roads would be rehabilitated and constructed in about 60 communities with the EU facility. The project is scheduled to start by the end of the year. Studies, he said, were being carried out in the district to determine the appropriate levels of allocation of the ADB funds to support the activities of farmers in livestock, poultry and fishery and to improve the standard of living in their communities.

Vice President Mahama, however, expressed concern that the census of animals being undertaken in line with the ADB facility was being misinterpreted and propagated by some malicious persons as a move by the Government to sell the property of the farmers and cheat them of their proceeds.

He, therefore, asked the people to treat the lies with contempt and prepare themselves to be able to fully utilise the funds to increase their productivity and their income levels.

The Kufuor Administration, he said, was sensitive and people-centred and was concerned about the poor state of development and high level of deprivation in the Afram Plains District, which is virtually the food basket of the nation.

"How can anybody turn so much goodwill into such a wicked lie?" he wondered. "We would not relent in our efforts to give you the best for your welfare because you don't deserve what you have now."

"It is unfair that an area, which contributes so much to national food security would lack basic amenities to make life bearable for you."

About 20 trucks of food stuffs, mainly yams, fish and livestock, reportedly to leave the district daily to other parts of the country even though more than half of the 534 communities are inaccessible by vehicles other than tractors. Consequently, post harvest losses are very high.

Vice President Mahama pledged the Government's commitment to continuously invest in roads, agriculture education, health, water and sanitation and other fields to make life much better for the people. He commissioned four school blocks, two for Donkorkrom and the others for Asikasu and Odomase and assured the people that basic school education would be free in the district, while pupils would receive free uniforms.

Work is also progressing on the rehabilitation and tarring of the Mpraeso-Kwahu-Tafo-Adawso road, expected to be completed by the end of next year, he noted.

Vice President Mahama urged contractors working in the district and those to be shortly engaged to endeavour to meet their scheduled dates of completion and report any difficulties to the relevant authorities as the government wanted to fulfill its promises in line with the aspirations of the people.

He asked district assemblies to monitor the performance of the contractors and report on their progress to the appropriate supervisory authorities.

The Vice President assured the people of Mame Krobo that more school blocks would be built to give their children quality education and better opportunities for progress.

Their electrification project would also be completed soon with the supply of poles to replace the 200 bad ones supplied before 2001. Nana Danso Ababio, Pitikuhene, called for more school blocks to ensure that all children of school going age gained admission to school. Vice President Mahama, who was at the Afram Plains as part of a working visit to the Eastern Region, addressed similar durbars at Donkorkrom and Tease.

Mr Fred Asante, Eastern Region's representative on the Council of State, Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah and his Deputy, Mr Gustav Narh Dormetey, Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Dr Charles Brempong-Yeboah and other public officials, accompanied him.

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