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21.01.2005 Regional News

RCD says poverty reduction programme should reflect in living standard

By GNA

Ho, Jan. 21, GNA- The Volta Regional Coordinating Director (RCD) last Monday said evidence of implementation of Community Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) should be the general reduction in poverty and not physical structures it would leave behind.

The project should galvanise and harness the energies and resources of the local rural communities on a sustainable basis for local development through employment creation and income generation.

Mr Steve Selormey said this in a speech read for him at an orientation workshop for the Regional Planning Coordinating Units (RPCUs) in Ho. The 72-million dollar CBRDP project, which would be for a period of four years, is the successor project to the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP).

It represents a major intervention by the government to alleviate rural poverty and improve upon income levels of the productive poor. Mr. Selormey said the project should go beyond rehabilitating infrastructures such as feeder roads, clinics, health posts and classroom blocks since the District Assemblies had enough capacity and experience in that sector.

He called on managers of the project to exploit the experiences of the VIP phase and other related rural development projects to advantage. The CBRDP is an instrument for attaining the goals of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).

Mr Selormey regretted the high level of poverty in the region, especially in coastal savannah and northern savannah belts.

He said efforts to integrate the CBRDP into the existing institutional structures must be manifested in the practical implementation or suffer the fate "of all projects that set their own procedures and conditions". "In all such cases project termination also saw project demise,' Mr. Selormey stated.

The orientation meeting was also used to inaugurate the re-constituted Volta RPCU whose "main mandate was the monitoring and co-ordination of District Assemblies".

Topics treated during the workshop included overview of the CBRDP-Goals and Objectives, Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building, Infrastructure for Agricultural Development and Community Based Natural Resource Management.

Others include Rural Enterprise Development and Learning Centres, Procurement and Contract Management and CBRDP Micro Scheme for Rural Enterprises.

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