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08.02.2006 General News

World Bank projects are of high quality - Team

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Accra, Feb. 8, GNA - World Bank Task Team says projects undertaken under Promoting Partnership with Traditional Authorities (PPTAP) and the Bank are of very high quality.

Briefing Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene on the number of school projects that had been undertaken and completed with the 4.5 million dollars grant that the World Bank gave for the projects in 2003, Mr Kofi Boateng Agyen, the Team Leader, said during their rounds to visit projects at various sites, they realised that the quality of work had improved considerably.

He said the Project was left with the completion of four schools and four boreholes in the Afram Plains, where the drillers could not hit water underground. So far 36 basic school buildings have been completed and handed over.

Mr Agyen told Otumfuo osei Tutu: "You have achieved whatever you promised the World Bank and what is now left is to document the whole programme; how it started and the way it has ended; thus providing examples for Traditional Leaders, who want to seek assistance from the Bank to undertake similar projects."

Mr Agyen said the Project was 85 per cent complete as at December 2005, and so far an amount of 4.3 million dollars had been disbursed. The remaining amount of 200,000 dollars had been earmarked for the rehabilitation of Manhyia Lands Secretariat, the supply of equipment to that office and the training of Manhyia Administrative Staff. He observed that there was the need to have an improved video recording system at the courts at Manhyia Palace, and that the facility had been considered under the Fund.

Mr Agyen informed Otumfuo Osei Tutu that the PPTAP and the Bank would organise a stakeholders' final meeting in May 2006 and extended an invitation to him to take part in the meeting. He appealed to the Asantehene to visit some of the schools in the remote areas before the meeting.

Ms Eunice Dapaah Awhoi, who represented the team on education projects, said she was much satisfied with the work of the contractors, adding that they had done quality jobs.

She said: "What fascinates me is the fact that the beneficiary communities took the projects as their own; checked the contractors at the sites so that when even a bag of cement was lost, a report was made to the appropriate authorities to retrieve it."

"It is this sense of ownership exhibited by the communities that led to a good job being done and other communities should copy this", she said.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said he approached the World Bank for the financial assistance to help to transform society, noting that the Pilot Project had achieved maximum success.

He called on the stakeholders to identify projects that would improve the living standards of the people to enable him to seek further assistance from the Bank.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said what was important now was to monitor the effects the Project would have on the schools in the rural areas.

"Get people to check enrolment in various schools whether they have increased - let us know the previous numbers on roll in each class - again find out whether hey have teachers to complement the enrolment. "Find out whether the results of the BECE (Basic Education Certificate Examination) have seen any improvements ever since."

The Asantehene explained that there was the need to establish monitoring units so that they could go to the schools to check these, adding that the Secretariat should also plan a maintenance system of the schools, bungalows and boreholes so that they would not be left to decay.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said there was the need to undertake a technical audit as part of the entire Pilot Project documentation. The Asantehene called on the Government to use the Poverty Alleviation Fund to create employment for the youth.

He suggested that the amount made available should be lodged at various banks to allow private companies to access it to expand their businesses to create jobs, instead of giving the money to traders, who refused to pay back the loans. 8 Feb. 06