Koforidua, March 09, GNA - The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) has presented eight pick-ups and eight motor-bikes estimated at about 1.6 billion cedis to 14 districts in the Eastern Region to boost their capacity in the management of the district-based water and sanitation programme.
The presentation under the second phase of the five-year programme, the pick-ups were for New Juaben Municipality, Yilo, Afram Plains, Kwaebibrem, Kwahu South, East Akim, Akuapem North and Akuapem South districts.
The beneficiary districts for the motor-bikes were Atiwa and Kwahu West districts which had two each, while West Akim, Birim North, Birim South and Suhum/Kraboa/Coaltar had one each.
Mr Yaw Barimah, Eastern Regional Minister receiving the vehicles, said provision of safe and reliable water as well as improved sanitation facilities was a major component in poverty reduction strategies and Government was pursuing them as pre-condition for good health and economic progress.
He commended DANIDA and other development partners for their immense contribution to the development agenda of Government that was poverty reduction in rural communities.
Mr Barimah said the intervention by DANIDA would facilitate realisation of the development agenda of Government and asked the District Chief Executives (DCEs) to ensure the vehicles were used for the intended purposes and properly maintained on regular basis. The Danish Ambassador in Ghana, Mr Flemming Bjork Pedersen, said in conformity with the agreed programme regarding Danish support to the programme, DANIDA was focusing on building human resource capacity at the district level.
He said DANIDA would in addition; provide the assemblies with the needed logistical support in terms of vehicles, motorcycle and computers to facilitate their work.
Mr Pedersen said the second phase of the five-year programme was being implemented in 50 districts in the Eastern, Volta, Greater Accra and Central regions to improve quality of life through the supply of clean water and sanitation facilities.
Mr Pederson said with the presentation, DANIDA support to the region was about 3.2 billion cedis made up of eight pickups and 61 motorcycles including 53 motorcycles presented to Environmental Health Assistants in all the 17 districts.
He emphasized that the presentation was made to coincide with the commemoration of the International Women's Day to signify the Danish government's determination to relieve women in the country of their hardships in accessing potable water that would save their children from water-borne diseases.
Mr Pederson said to ensure efficient utilization of the funds provided, Value for Money Audits would be undertaken at random in the beneficiary districts, adding: " previous audits made did not indicate misuse of funds."
Mr Philip N.J. Amanor, Eastern Regional Director of CWSA, appealed to the DCEs to show more commitment towards the programme to promote sustainability of the facilities and services. He gave the assurance that the remaining six districts would receive their vehicles soon.