Accra, Oct 15, GNA – The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Sammuel Ofosu Ampofo on Monday handed over 110 motorbikes and desktop computers to beneficiary districts assemblies under the Ghana Social Opportunities Project to enhance monitoring and supervision of projects.
He said the national social protection strategy represented, government of Ghana’s vision of creating an all-inclusive society through the provision of sustainable mechanisms for the protection of persons living in situation of extreme poverty, vulnerability and exclusion.
Mr Ampofo said one of such sustainable mechanisms for protection against extreme poverty was the Labour-Intensive Public Works Programme that has been piloted under the Ghana Social Opportunities Project to offer extreme poor households better access to employment and income to facilitate opportunities in the poor communities within the 40 poorest districts in the country.
He said although the actual implementation of the labour-intensive public works programme began barely six month ago, it had generated over 25,600 temporary jobs for the extreme poor in over 180 poor communities within the 40 beneficiary districts.
Over this same period, about GHc1.96 million had been transferred into the pockets of the poor in eight beneficiary districts.
He said between now and the start of the 2013 major rainy season, the GSOP would implement additional 152 Labour-Intensive Protection Works subprojects in 228 new communities to generate over 49,800 jobs for the poor and transfer to their pockets over GHc11.94 million during the agricultural off-season, the period of low employment, especially in the northern regions of the country.
Mr Robert Austin, the National Coordinator of the Ghana Social Opportunities Protection, said the project was specifically designed as an exceptional social protection mechanism for protecting the extreme poor and marginalized in the society.
He said to improve access to employment and income earning opportunities, GSOP was piloting the Labour-intensive Public Works programme through the existing decentralized local government structures and all activities of implementation from identification, design, contracting and construction of the subprojects were carried out by the beneficiary district assemblies and communities.
He said the GSOP under component ‘one’ was undertaking study of all existing social protection interventions to help government to redirect its social protection expenditures to the most effective areas and reduce those in less effective areas.
Mr Austin said the labour-intensive Public Works was to assist district assemblies to identify suitable subprojects such as feeder roads, small dams and dugouts and watershed management and other climate change activities within very poor communities as captured in the district assemblies own medium term development plans.