US Embassy gives $55,000 to 7 communities

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…to undertake water projects

The United States Embassy in Ghana, last year, disbursed $55,000 to seven organisations and communities to undertake various community-based projects.  A senior official of the Embassy, Margaret Langer, who disclosed this, added that since 1990, the Embassy has granted over $1.7 million under the ‘Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Programme’ across the country.

Margaret Langer said this at Nweneso in the Asutifi North District of the Brong Ahafo Region, during the official inauguration of a borehole, which will serve several hundreds of people at communities such as Tawiah-krom, Forest-Ano, Trome and Nweneso.

The $6,500 water project, which was undertaken through the ‘Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Programme’, was facilitated by the Firm Foundation and Environment-Ghana, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) based at Kenyasi, with support from members of the beneficiary communities.

Madam Langer explained that the ‘Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Programme’ was inspired by a “philosophy of community-level assistance”, adding: “It’s a way for us to respond to requests for assistance for small community projects that promise to have [an] immediate impact.”

She further said various projects had been undertaken under the programme in Africa since 1990, once laid down criteria were met.

They include projects initiated by a community or NGO that would not require any additional support from the US government, after the initial funding.

The Member of Parliament for Asutifi North, Joseph Benghazi Dahah, on behalf of the people, thanked the US Embassy for the support, and advised the beneficiary communities to take good care of the facility, by maintaining it at all times.

He noted that the execution of such development projects was the core function of the District Assembly, and that it was welcome news that the Embassy had come to their aid.

The MP used the opportunity to appeal for further assistance from the Embassy and other development partners to construct a Junior High School for the area, since the only basic school ends at Class Six.

The Chairman of the Advisory Board of Firm Foundation and Environment-Ghana, Raphael Ahenu, said water played a critical role in the lives of everyone, and that there was the need to make every effort to increase access to safe water by all.

He said most countries in the developing world could not meet the Millennium Development Goal on access to water and improved sanitation facilities by the end of 2015.

He said instead of the targeted 54% coverage, most of these countries could only increase access by about 14% by the end of 2015, leaving millions of people without access to good drinking water and improved sanitation facilities.

A representative of the beneficiary communities, Thomas Osei Kwasi, said the project had come as “big relief to the people of the area, and so every effort would be made to maintain it at all times.”

“We have already set up a committee to over-see the daily use and maintenance of the facility, and so we are not leaving any stone unturned to make the best out of this facility,” he stressed.

Source: Michael Boateng || The Chronicle, Nwenso

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