Mr David Sambo, Team Leader of the MVP, who stated this at a project implementation review meeting with communities in the MVP cluster, explained that the decision by his outfit was to instill the spirit of self-initiative in communities and ensure judicious use of resources.
The Millennium Villages aim to promote an integrated approach to rural development, by improving access to clean water, sanitation and other essential infrastructure such as education, food production and basic health care by focusing on environmental sustainability.
Millennium Villages claims to ensure that communities living in extreme poverty have a real, sustainable opportunity to lift themselves out of the poverty trap
The MVP Project started in 2012 in the Mamprugu Moaduri and West Mamprusi Districts in the Northern Region and the Builsa South District in the Upper East Region.
He told the beneficiary communities and the District Assemblies that the project was expected to end in December 2016, hence the urgent need for them to put in place effective mechanism to sustain the project after it expires.
He stressed that donor funding was dwindling and so communities had to prepare to contribute towards their own development instead of depending solely on government and development partners.
“Communities that draw up plans and are prepared to contribute and initiate development projects will be supported by the SADA-MVP project. The idea of supporting self-Initiative communities is to lay a solid foundation for competition for development among you and for sustainability”, Mr Sumbo reiterated.
He recounted the significant impact the project had made in the improvement of the livelihoods of the people, particularly health, education and agriculture and urged the District Assemblies in the project area to mainstream rehabilitation and maintenance cost into their budgets to cater for the projects.
He noted that the project through its several stakeholder engagement meetings had built the capacity of the Assemblies and communities enough to be able to manage and sustain the project after 2016. The Stakeholders who attended the meeting included traditional leaders, Assembly members, Unit Committee members and Women leaders commended the project and affirmed that it had brought transformational changes in their livelihoods.
They, however, pledged that they would no longer wait for government and development partners, but would initiate their own development projects whilst waiting for any support.
The MVP is the result of collaboration between the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, Millennium Promise Incorporated, the Earth Institute at the Columbia University and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, working closely with communities, governments, companies, multilateral organizations, and non-governmental organizations around the world.
It is aimed at implementing the Millennium Development Goals and supporting economic development at the local level.
Mr Edwin Batiir, the Community Mobilization and Institutions Co-coordinator of SADA-MVP, explained that the essence of the review was to take stock of the project’s implementation, achievements, and challenges in 2015 and to chart a way forward for the sustainability of the project.
The Millennium Villages Project is a project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the United Nations Development Programme, and Millennium Promise.