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Regional News of Monday, 18 February 2008

Source: GNA

Upper West assesses its performance in development

Wa, Feb. 18, GNA - Forty-five communities in the Upper West Region will be connected to the National Electricity grid by the end of the year as part of the government's plan to extend electricity to five communities in each district of the country this year.

This will improve electricity supply to the region to an appreciable level against the current nine per cent coverage, which was far below the national average of 27.5 per cent, Mr George Hikah Benson, the Upper West Regional Minister, said at Wa on Monday. He was opening the region's annual review workshop during which all the eight districts in the region were expected to determine through "self scrutiny", their achievements last year in order to plan and focus on what lies ahead of them this year.

Mr Benson said lack of electricity in some district capitals like Funsi in the Wa East and Wechiau in Wa West, apart from hindering the development of ICT and enjoyment of the President's Special Initiative on Distance Learning by pupils also served as a disincentive to workers posted to these districts.

Touching on agricultural production, he said prices of all the staple foodstuffs in the region had risen to over 100 per cent and in some cases to about 200 per cent since the harvesting season ended and attributed this development to low yields resulting from a combination of both the drought and floods that hit the region last year. He appealed to the government and donor agencies to come to the aid of the farmers as a serious food shortage was looming in the region. Mr Benson said the region, which was created from the then Upper Region in 1983, would be celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year.

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