Bawumia launches $150 million SOCO project
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched a $150 million project aimed at preventing the spread of violence from the Sahel region to the northern part of the country.
Additionally, the intervention which is under the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project is expected to improve socio-economic growth and build climate change resilience.
In all, 48 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in six regions ; Upper West, Savannah; Northern, Oti, Upper East and North East will benefit from 582 sub-projects earmarked for this year.
They include the provision of water, construction of school buildings, health facilities, markets, earth dams which has currently created jobs for 434 Community Facilitators and other Specialists.
The SOCO project is a multi-country intervention being implemented in Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast and Togo as a proactive approach to prevent conflict overspill from the Sahel region and address other threats.
Funded by the World Bank, it aims to reduce vulnerability to climate change, strengthen local institutions, improve economic opportunities, build public trust, and strengthen regional dialogue across the Gulf of Guinea countries.
At a ceremony in Yendi in the Northern Region on Wednesday, Dr Bawumia broke grounds for work to start on 15 physical projects in the Municipality to pave way for the construction of all the 582 projects
He reiterated the government’s commitment to safeguarding an improved welfare of all persons in the country and especially people living within communities that were vulnerable to threats to their socioeconomic growth
“The SOCO project is a timely investment from the Government of Ghana (GoG), 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” he said.
Dr Bawumia said the project would also improve access to basic social and economic services, promote local economic development, gender equality, and improve environmental management when the projects are executed efficiently and effectively.
He said funding for the project was available and had been disbursed for the execution of all the subprojects and therefore contractors would not be inhibited with resources for project execution.
He said Yendi Municipal Assembly had received its allocation to commence work and therefore cautioned all implementing agencies, both at the national and sub-national levels, against implementation delays.
The Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) Daniel Botwe said that the SOCO project had a community driven approach that safeguarded its sustainability and impact as well as provided a game changing avenue for communities to be resilient.
The Overlord of Dagbon traditional area, Ndan Ya Naa Abukari Mahama II commended government for providing proactive leadership and designing a life transforming project in the country’s development efforts.
Per the Summary of the 582 sub-project earmarked for 2023 , 127 of them would be constructed in 11 districts of the upper West ; 39 in four districts in Savannah ; 64 in eight districts in Northern ; 68 in four districts in Oti, 232 in 15 districts in Upper East and 52 in six districts in North East.
The 2023 allocation for the sub-projects which are under the Ministry of Local Government , Decentralisation and Rural Development is GH¢217,762,500 while that of 2024 for which sub-projects are yet to be selected is GH¢ 477,712,499.72.