THE United Nations (UN) Millennium Villages Project (MVP) at Bonsaaso in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region has been extended to 2015, and scaled up to cover more communities in the district.
The objective of the extension is to help the people free themselves from the extreme poverty they find themselves in.
The MVP, an integrated poverty reduction initiative with the aim of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is expected to end in 2011.
However, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, co-founder of the UN Millennium Project and Director of the Earth Institute, has stated that the extension was premised on the successes so far achieved.
Prof. Sachs was in the Bonsaaso project area last Sunday with former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, and other officials from the world body to get first-hand information about the project.
He said it was the responsibility of the donor agencies to react positively to the demands of the communities under the project.
The Bonsaaso project covers a cluster of 30 rural communities with an estimated population of 30,000.
It is one of the 79 MVPs located in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the other countries are Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
Prof. Sachs said at a meeting with staff of the project that attaining the MDGs was very dear to the of the UN, that was why the MVP was receiving all the necessary support to succeed.
He expressed satisfaction with the local initiatives adopted in achieving the project’s objectives and urged the local communities to continue to play their roles in the project.
He challenged the district assembly to pay special attention to the project since it provided avenue to complement their efforts at improving the living standards of the people.
Prof. Sachs commended the management and the entire team of the Bonsaaso project for executing their work extremely well.
He said it was always important to rely on a good team to execute projects and, therefore, urged the Ghana government to create teams that were problem-solvers, while tackling its development agenda.
Briefing the UN team, the cluster manager/team leader of the Bonsaaso MVP, Mr Samuel Afram, enumerated the successes achieved so far and said the people and the various authorities had been supportive.
The success story was manifested in areas including education, health, environment and agriculture.
Mr Afram said community empowerment was the bedrock of the project “and after four years, we’ve seen enhanced development”.
Other Ghanaian officials who accompanied the UN team included the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong and the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr Kusi Appiah.