Accra, April 28, GNA - The Canadian Government on Wednesday gave Ghana a grant of 2.7 million Canadian dollars to undertake a Hydro-Geological Assessment Project in the Northern Region.
Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minster of Finance and Economic Planning and Mr Donald J. Bobiash, Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to that effect at a ceremony in Accra. The grant brings to 264 million Canadian dollars the support the Canadian government has given to the government of Ghana over the past year.
The support has been in the area of Multi Donor Budget Support; Food and Agriculture Budget Support; District Wide Assessment Project, Ghana Environmental Capacity and Community-driven Initiative on Food among other projects.
Under the MOU, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) would provide critical information on ground water management and development in the North.
Mr Baah-Wiredu noted that over the last 18 years Canadian assistance to Ghana had been in the form of grants.
"Ghana is one of 14 poor countries with capacity to use aid effectively in Africa and it has been selected and targeted to receive a substantial portion of the total Canadian bilateral assistance." He said as part of the Canadian Government's plans to help in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, it had changed the type of aid it offered Ghana from project specific funding to programme type funding.
"This type of funding will grant the government autonomy over the design and the development of programmes to address priority needs of the people thereby ensuring country ownership and harmonisation with country development strategies" he said.
Mr Bobiash said the project would focus on the three Northern regions to improve the knowledge base and the understanding of its hydrogeology.
He noted that a survey would be conducted and data collected for the first integrated database on the hydro-geological conditions and would be used for integrated water resource planning in the area. "It will have a significant impact on the environmental, social and economic sustainability of Northern development." Mr Bobiash expressed optimism that the project would help provide clean water to the inhabitants, who were mostly exposed to guinea worm, diarrhoea and other water-related diseases. 28 April 05