Dr Bawumia being briefed on the artist’s impression of some the projects
Dr Bawumia being briefed on the artist’s impression of some the projects

Bawumia cuts sod for 582 projects - $150m investment across 48 districts, 6 regions

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has cut the sod for the commencement of infrastructural works on a $150 million investment project for 48 districts in six regions.

The project is made up of the provision of water, construction of school buildings, health facilities, markets, earth dams and other critical physical infrastructure.

It is under the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) initiative.

The projects are expected to be completed by 2025.

The project comes as a proactive response to the surging spillover of fragility, conflict and violence from the Sahel to the northern border regions.

Its objectives include improving regional collaboration and the socioeconomic and climate change resilience of border zone communities in the targeted northern regions of the Gulf of Guinea countries which are exposed to conflict and climate risks.

The countries are Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo.

The project interventions will contribute to the prevention of the spread of conflict from the Sahel region, reduce vulnerability to climate change, strengthen local institutions, improve economic opportunities, build public trust and strengthen regional dialogue across the Gulf of Guinea countries.

In a brief address at the ceremony held at Yendi yesterday, Dr Bawumia reiterated the government’s commitment to safeguarding an improved welfare of all persons in the country and more importantly people living within communities that were likely to be exposed to fragilities that threatened their sustainable socio-economic growth and development.

“The SOCO project is a timely investment from the government of Ghana and it is expected to deliver socio-economic community-level climate-resilient infrastructure, skills development and training of the youth and women, including the vulnerable,” the Vice-President stressed.

Dr Bawumia added that the project had currently created jobs for 434 community facilitators (CFs) and other specialists.

He said it would also improve access to basic social and economic services, promote local economic development, gender equality and improve environmental management when the projects were executed efficiently and effectively.

“I am extremely excited to be part of this historic and symbolic sod-cutting of 15 physical projects within the Yendi municipality to pave the way for the construction of all the 582 projects under the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) project to enhance the resilience of our cities, communities and the country at large for sustainable development,” the Vice-President stated.

Dr Bawumia emphasised that funding for the project was available and had been disbursed for the execution of all the sub-projects and, therefore, contractors would not be inhibited with resources to execute the project.

He said the Yendi Municipal Assembly, for instance, had received its allocation to commence work.

The Vice-President, therefore, cautioned all implementing agencies, both at the national and sub-national levels, that implementation delays would not be tolerated.

Community approach

The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Daniel Botwe, said that the SOCO project was a community-driven approach that safeguarded their sustainability, impacted and provided a game-changing avenue for communities to be resilient.

The Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II, thanked the government for the project and what it would deliver to the Yendi Municipality and the Northern Region at large.

He also commended the government for providing proactive leadership and designing a life-transforming project in the country’s development efforts.

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