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Politics of Saturday, 9 December 2006

Source: GNA

Western Regional MPs hold forum

Busua (W/R), Dec. 9,- GNA-The Western Region would have a one-year development plan aimed at accelerating the development of the region by December 2007.

Mr. Anthony E. Amoah, Western Regional Minister announced this at the opening of a two-day forum for all Members of Parliament and Minister of States in the region at Busua on Saturday. He said this could be successfully achieved if all MPs worked together irrespective of their political affiliations.

Mr. Amoah said that a total of 127,404 people in seven districts in the region would benefit from potable water under a joint European Union (EU) and World Bank sponsored community water programme, while schools, household and clinics would also benefit from latrines. He however expressed regret that though several road networks have been tarred, most roads in the northern parts of the region are still in deplorable state.

Mr. Amoah said a total of 358.5 kilometres of road are being rehabilitated at a contract sum of 92.7 billion cedis, while four bridges over rivers Ehuya, Mansi, Subri, Sui and Punikrom-Kheteboi are under construction at a total cost of 17.888.44 billion cedis. He said the region could be opened for accelerated development if a clear strategy was adopted by all the MPs in the interest of the region.

Mr. Amoah told the MPs that construction had started on 10 units of the Cocoa Farmers Housing Scheme in the Enchi, Afranse and Wassa Akpropong communities.

Mr. Christopher Addai, Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing said the decision to sell low cost houses is expected to begin in 2007 but the various district assemblies would be given the first option.

He said land had also been acquired near Takoradi for the construction of affordable housing units, while mortgage institutions are being encouraged to assist Ghanaians to buy them.

Mr. Addae hinted that the Shama, Dixcove and Axim sea defence walls would be tackled soon. Mr. Joe Baidoo-Ansah, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations said the ministry had proposed that internally generated funds should be used to develop tourist facilities throughout the country. He said foreign investors are not responding and there was the need to focus on Ghanaians.

Mr. Baidoo-Ansah said the promotion of boat rides, establishment of a railway museum, hiking, sport fishing and the establishment of an information centre about the region at the Elubo border, would be the new focus of the tourism industry. He said these could be successfully achieved if the various district assemblies, utility providers and all stakeholders improved the access roads and others attractions to attract more people. 09 Dec. 06