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25.08.2005 Regional News

Workshop on programme to reduce poverty held at Bolgatanga

GNA

Bolgatanga, Aug 25, GNA - The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has started a programme under its Community Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) to reduce poverty in rural areas.

The project would be undertaken through the District Assemblies, Area Councils and Rural Banks to disburse funds for community projects and loans to individuals and groups.

The loans would be disbursed through Rural Banks to groups or individuals at a subsidised rate of 30 per cent and 20 per cent respectively and expected to be re-paid at current interest rate. Mr. Kojo Yankah, National Coordinator of CBRDP announced this when he addressed the Chiefs and Elders of the Upper East Region at a workshop at Bolgatanga on Thursday.

The theme for the workshop: "Involving Traditional Leaders in Community Based Development Project," was aimed at sensitising the chiefs and elders on the project and their roles in the communities.

Mr. Yankah said beneficiary communities were expected to choose projects of their choice which they would be given 90 per cent support by the CBRDP while the District Assembly contributes 10 per cent, with the community providing labour.

He said even though living standards in the rural areas poor, they had the capacity to help themselves improve on the standards and urged the chiefs to convince their people to embrace the programme. The project is to reduce poverty among rural people, improve on their capacity building and local governance.

It would also develop infrastructure for agricultural development, help the youth to acquire employable skills, provide infrastructure for human development and encourage the management of natural resources. The chiefs expressed concern about the inability of the people to re-pay the loans at current bank rates, saying "that too much stress on their little finances would not help them."

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