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General News of Monday, 6 August 2007

Source: Kofi Ayim, Effiduase

No Middlemen In Affordable Housing -Minister

There will be no room for middlemen in the Affordable Housing project in Ghana. This observation was made by Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, the outgoing Minister of Water Resources, Works, and Housing at a sod cutting ceremony for a 2,530 one- to two-bedroom apartment complex at Effiduase in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The first phase of 200 units is scheduled for completion in about eight months.

The complex would sit on 106 acres of land.

Construction for the nationwide project currently underway in Borteyman, Accra; Kpome, Tema; and in Kumasi is earmarked for low-to-middle income workers in Ghana. The Minister said the gated community would have amongst others, a central sewage system, schools, places of worship and elaborate security system. "No trailer shops would be allowed" said the Minister. He said the aggressive housing project is a fulfillment of a promise made by the Kufour administration to tackle the acute housing problem in Ghana.

The Minister added that the country needs about half a million housing units. He therefore invited private investors to join in on the challenge.

In a welcome address, the Eastern Regional Minister, Yaw Barimah reiterated that Housing has been one of the top priorities of the current Government.

The Chairman for the occasion, Professor Emeritus Daasebre Oti Boateng I, who is also the Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area and a one-time Government Chief Statistician, called on the Ministry to embark on Water Management. He said water harvesting is a cost- efficient way of water management because of the availability of seasonal rain water. The Chief praised the outgoing Minister for excellent work done, remarking that Water and Shelter (Housing) are two basic yet cardinal needs of humans. The Minister, who is also the MP for New Juaben North coincidentally, performed his last public appearance as a Cabinet Minister in his hometown of Effiduase. He is contesting the NPP primaries in December.

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