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28.06.2005 Regional News

Fifth EU Micro Projects in Volta ends

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Ho, June 28, GNA- A total of 377 development projects worth 26 billion cedis were undertaken between 2000 and June 2005, under the three phases of the fifth European Union (EU) Micro Projects Programme (MPP) in the Volta Region.

Mr Robert Boakye, the Volta Regional Coordinator of the MPP, in an interview with the GNA on Monday, said the projects spanned education, health, water and sanitation and the construction of culverts and markets. He said the projects were a testimony of bilateral cooperation between the government of Ghana and EU with funding from the European Development Fund (EDF).

Mr Boakye said under the project conditionality, 75 per cent of the total cost of the facilities was borne by the EU with the remaining 25 per cent shared between the District Assemblies and the beneficiary communities. He said 134 projects valued at 9.8 billion cedis between February 2004 and June 2005 had been completed and due for commissioning under the Third Phase of the Project aimed at bridging the poverty gap between the rural and urban people, curb rural-urban migration and improve the standards of living of the rural poor. Mr Boakye said the project had increased the planning, selection, implementation and management of projects capacity at the district level. He said communities were also taken through proper accounting and bookkeeping methods, stores management, decision-making and skill improvement.

Contrary to the success story, Mr Boakye said the project implementation in some cases were fraught with problems including delays in the release of funds at the EU and District Assembly levels, inadequate technical advice, persistent variation of prices and inflation. He said 25 million Euros had been secured for the new and sixth phase of the MPP, which would commence in July this year. Mr Boakye said the innovation of the new phase was the infusion of environmental management and income generating activities to conform to government policy on poverty reduction. He urged all the stakeholders to brace up for the smooth take off of the project.