Mr Daniel Kwame Gariba, the Builsa South District Chief Executive (DCE) in the Upper East Region has handed over five construction sites to contractors under the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) project.
The SOCO project is a multi-country US$450 million credit facility from the World Bank implemented in Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire, Togo and Benin.
The Project was launched in Bolgatanga by the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in November 2020.
Out of the total amount, the Government of Ghana was received US$150 million for projects in 48 Districts and Municipalities in the Upper East, Savannah, North East, Upper West, Oti and Northern Regions.
The Builsa South District Assembly in the first year of the five-year project, is to construct a 1.8 metre culvert at Bachonsa Nyambisa, three classroom blocks each at Amaachaab and Gbedema, renovation of the Kanjarga market stores and fencing of animals’ market at Fumbisi.
The five projects are valued at GH₵4.8 million and expected to be completed within a six-month period.
Mr Gariba in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after handing over the sites, said “These are projects that emanated from the communities themselves.”
“We already have the money in the Assembly’s account, and when the Contractors raise certificates, we are ready to honour them to make sure they facilitate the work,” he said.
On the classroom blocks, the DCE said the structures would be constructed with head teacher’s offices, staff common rooms, lavatories, boreholes for water supply and the provision of furniture.
He said apart from the physical projects, the district would provide support for artisanal skills training animal rearing among others to help reduce the rate of unemployment among the youth.
Mr Gariba said the Project would also support inter-community cohesion, noting that “The essence of this project is to ensure that there is social cohesion among communities, especially among the youth.”
That, he said, would prevent them from being lured by insurgents across the border, owing to the lack of certain amenities and job opportunities in the district.
The DCE, who aspires to lead the New Patriotic Party in the area as its Parliamentary Candidate in the upcoming 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, said about 120 residents would be trained in various skills jobs in the first phase of the SOCO Project.
“In all, we will be training not less than 400 people within the district. It will fully be supported for them to learn the skills,” he said.
Alhaji Danladi Salifu, the Regional Zonal Engineer for the SOCO Project, said management of the Project would insist on quality work within the six-month period without any delays.
Mr Cletus Akana, the Project Manager of the Hydronomics Company Limited, after taking over site for the construction of the 1.8 metre culvert, assured of quality work, and said the project would be delivered on time.
Assembly Members in all five beneficiary communities expressed gratitude to the government for the projects in their respective communities and rallied their community members to monitor the projects to ensure quality work was done.