28.03.2005 Regional News

Government releases 270 million cedis for deliveries in Kwaebibirem

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Akwatia (E/R), Mar. 28, GNA - The government has released 270 million cedis to the Kwaebibirem District as the first tranche of funds meant to pay the cost of deliveries by pregnant women in public health institutions in the area this year.

This is in keeping with government's policy to bear the full cost of deliveries throughout the country.

This was announced by the District Chief Executive, Mr Yaw Yiadom-Boakye at the celebration of the "Denkyembuo" festival of the chiefs and people of Akwatia on Sunday.

He said the District Assembly recently distributed 40,000 exercise books to some needy pupils with each of them receiving four pieces, saying the programme would be extended to cover all needy and deprived schools throughout the district.

Mr Yiadom-Boakye said under a new rural development programme dubbed: "community-based rural development programme", a lot of loans/credits would be given to all rural communities to embark on rural enterprises.

He assured the people of Akwatia that the first phase of the on-going construction of the Akwatia - Boadua road would be completed soon and that the remaining part of the road and other projects within the Akwatia township would be tackled immediately the second phase of the Urban Five project took off.

He reminded the people of Akwatia in particular and Kwaebibirem in general of the threat posed by increasing rate of environmental degradation through incessant and reckless felling of trees, bad farming methods and illegal mining.

Mr Yiadom-Boakye said unless the district's natural resources were exploited in a more humane and sustainable manner, it would not be too long when several of the farmlands and diamond lands, especially in the Akwatia area, would be turned into waste lands.

"There is, therefore, the need for us to take precautionary measures to ensure that we do not destroy the environment to the detriment of posterity," Mr Yiadom-Boakye added.

Osabarima Kofi Boateng, III, Akwatiahene who described 2005 as a year of action, said those who refused to participate in communal labour to improve environmental sanitation in the town would not be spared. Steps were also being taken to end indiscipline in the town and also ensure that school-going children were in school and not engaged in legal diamond mining.

Osabarima Boateng called for payment of royalties from diamond mining to Akwatia stool, noting that not a pesewa had been received since he became Akwatiahene 10 years ago.

Nana Akwatiahene said since diamond mining began at Akwatia in 1924, the people had made a lot of sacrifices, forgoing virgin lands that could have earned them worth while livelihood in agriculture, but they have gained very little in form of development projects,

The chairman for the function, Mr Kofi Ankoma, called on the people of Akwatia to help themselves by embarking on projects that would improve their lot.

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