Five-year SOCO plan: 270 Projects to be executed in first-year in Upper East
A total of 270 physical projects and other life-transforming training activities will be executed in the first-year implementation of the Gulf of Guinea Social Cohesion (SOCO) project in the Upper East Region.
The Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, who said made this known, indicated that the projects would be in critical areas such as education, health, construction and repair of boreholes, construction of dams, reshaping of roads among others.
He noted that the specific projects were arrived at the community level based upon the needs of the local people, saying “the projects to be executed were carefully selected after the completion of needs assessment of the beneficiary communities in all the 15 Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the region”.
He was speaking at a brief ceremony to hand over vehicles and other logistics as part of the implementation of the SOCO Project last Tuesday.
The presentation was done on behalf of the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Daniel K. Botwe.
Four of the vehicles were assigned to the SOCO zonal office, while the remaining would be in the custody of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) for the purpose of monitoring and supervising implementation of the project.
Additionally, 47 laptops and 132 computer tablets were presented to the 15 MDAs for data gathering and management by staff of the assemblies and the community facilitators of the project.
Contractors going to site
He noted that everything was on course and that the contract award letters were ready which had paved the way for the project contractors to move to the various sites to commence actual construction of the projects.
He said, “it was not that nothing was being done and that the required funds were in the various accounts of the beneficiary assemblies to fast-track the execution of the respective projects”, stressing “this means that the contractors will speed up the work for people to see the projects springing up within the next four months”.
He assured the people in the beneficiary communities that plans were far advanced to execute the priority projects they settled upon to bring relief to them and improve their living standards as well.
He noted that aside the execution of the physical projects, there were soft components which would ensure the provision of hands on skills to many individuals to set up small businesses to contribute to the growth of the local economy.
“Obviously, this is a life-changing project and I think the government must be commended for coming up with the project to make positive impact in the lives of the residents in the beneficiary areas” he noted.
On job creation, he expressed excitement that the implementation of the project would create several jobs for many unemployed youth including local artisans to earn some income to better their lives.
The SOCO Zonal Coordinator for the Upper East and North-East regions, Samuel Larbi Agyarko, who received the vehicles and other items, expressed gratitude to the MLGDRD and assured the ministry that the vehicles and other items would be properly maintained to serve the intended purposes.
He said, “proper maintenance will be paramount to us so that the vehicles and other logistics will stand the test of time for the successful implementation of the project.
The five-year Gulf of Guinea Northern Region Social Cohesion (SOCO) is being implemented in six regions, namely Upper East, Upper West, Oti, Northern, North-East and Savanna.
The SOCO project is a $150 million World Bank-funded project which is expected to deliver about 1,406 socio-economic community-level climate-resilient infrastructure through a community-driven approach.