BOK Africa Concern, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), based at Berekum in the Bono Region, has built and inaugurated a gari processing factory for Dawiri, a farming community in the Jaman North District of Bono Region.
The project is meant to create employment opportunities for the youth, particularly returnees from abroad and the youth.
Jointly funded by the NGO and its collaborating partners – International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GGC) and Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the project aims at reducing the incidence of irregular migration and reintegrating migrants into local communities.
Some participants including chiefs, staff of the NGO, the media, opinion leaders and project managers attended the event in strict compliance with social distancing measures and hygiene protocols to prevent spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony on Tuesday, Mr Benson Obeng-Savio Boateng, the Executive Director of the NGO, said the Dawiri community was selected due to its record of high number of irregular migrants, huge socio-economic prospects as well as the tenacity to manage and sustain development projects.
He said the decision to settle on building a gari processing factory followed discussions between major stakeholders including the community leaders during a community entry to determine and assess the needs of the area.
The traditional authority of Dawiri provided 1.24 acres of land, some building materials (wood and gravels) and communal labour for the factory’s construction, Mr Boateng said.
He said the initiative was to complement government’s efforts in providing development for the citizenry and therefore stressed the need for the managers to employ efficient and best management practices for the viability and sustainability of the facility.
He said BOK would delegate its representative as a management committee member to monitor the factory’s progress for the next two years and expressed appreciation to the partners for supporting a cause to reintegrate returnees and retain potential migrants.
Mr Adane Ankomah, the District Chief Executive (DCE), said the establishment of the factory would benefit surrounding communities as well.
He said the Assembly was planning in collaboration with health authorities to upgrade the local Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compound to a health centre to render quality health care delivery services to residents in the community.
Nana Mariwah Ababio, the Odikro of Dawiri, expressed appreciation to the NGO and its partners and added that the presence of the factory would help reduce social vices among the youth because of the provision employment.
He appealed for the rehabilitation of roads linking Mayira to Dawiri and other surrounding communities which would be feeding the factory with cassava, the basic raw material needed for the gari processing.
The set-up of the factory comprise a processing structure (office/store, wet area, washing troughs), housing grating machine and four straining machines, mechanised borehole with water tower, a frying shed, a peeling shed, 12 pieces of sieves, four aluminium fryers, two weighing scales, a simple dual bathhouse and a corner mill.