Ghana’s Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Hon. Augustine Collins Ntim, is on a monitoring visit to some regions and selected beneficiary districts across the country which are enjoying varied projects under the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP).

Hon. Collins Ntim At The Cashew Nursery
Hon. Collins Ntim At The Cashew Nursery

The Deputy Minister who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Offinso-North in the Ashanti Region, was therefore in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region this Thursday afternoon to monitor the progress of such projects in some two communities of the district. Meanwhile, as many as 11 of the region’s 15 municipalities and districts, have been enrolled onto the project and were receiving projects specific to their peculiar needs. Some of the districts include the Bongo, Garu, Talensi, Builsa North and Binduri districts among others.

Hon. Ntim’s first stop during the Bongo District monitoring, was the Zamwengo dam site where he charged the contractor to speed up work as the timelines for completion for the project were drawing closer. He also directed the contractor to work at full capacity by engaging the mandatory 145 local people per day as contained in the project concept and also, equip them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) such as wellington boots and nose masks while on the job. He also asked him to take note to maintain safe distances among the workers during this era of the Corona Virus.

According to him, the implementation of the GPSNP was directly in tandem with government’s resolve to strengthen social protection systems in Ghana and at the same time, make direct payments to local households through their engagements in labour intensive works at the various project sites. He stressed that the concept of the GPSNP was also to ensure that, close to 80 percent of monies invested in the projects remained in the beneficiary communities.

Meanwhile, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Bongo, Mr. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga who led the Deputy Minister to the site, pledged that the Assembly will follow through to ensure that, the directives to the contractor on the PPEs and intake of the required numbers of local people were adhered to. He disclosed that the works on the dam were mainly rehabilitation meant to keep it in good shape for livestock use and other domestic purposes.

Hon. Ntim was then led to the last project site which is a cashew nursery base for a plantation project in the two communities of Ayelbia and Feo-Asabre. In a brief to the minister and his team, Bongo District Agric Director Mr. Edar Dra, disclosed that the target was to nurse a total of 100,000 seedlings for transplanting at the project communities and that, about 125 farmers were earmarked to take part in the cashew plantation. He said so far, the district had nursed some 27,000 seedlings.

In his remarks, Hon. Ntim pledged to ensure that the water point component of the project was provided in good time for its smooth implementation in the district. He emphasised that, the cashew plantation was necessary not only for its commercial potentials but also, for its impact on the climate change efforts of Ghana. He said government’s plan was to ensure that farming communities in the north of Ghana, also had a commercial and export crop like the cocoa in southern Ghana and that, cashew was that choice.

Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD-Bongo)