THE Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has begun preparatory work for the take-off of the 40-million Euro Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project (GUMPP).
The four-year project, to begin this year, is to be implemented in three metropolises, namely, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale and the Ho municipalities.
Eligible projects under the GUMMP will focus on the improvement, either directly or indirectly, of environmental conditions in the beneficiary urban centres.
The government is sourcing funds from the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) to support the formulation and implementation of the project.
The funds will be given to the beneficiary assemblies as grants to undertake the projects.
As part of preparations for the take-off of the project, the ministry has organised a workshop for chief executives, co-ordinating directors and other senior officers of the beneficiary assemblies in Kumasi to prepare them to handle the challenges that will go with the implementation of the project.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic after the opening ceremony, the GUMPP focal person at the ministry, Mr Sylvanus Adzornu, said over the years the government had been criticised for doing little about the challenges facing urban communities
“This project is, therefore, one of the measures taken by the government, through the ministry, to correct some of the wrongs of the past,” he said.
He said the beneficiary communities were selected based on a certain criteria, including their financial health and management structure.
He stated that one aspect of urban development that the project would address was slum development.
“We cannot allow slums to develop in our urban centres and this project will find a way to tackle this issue,” he said.
Mr Adzornu stated that based on the success of the pilot scheme, the project would be extended to other areas.
Mr Eric Oduro Osae, the Head of Finance and Accounts of the Institute of Local Government Studies, said the international consultant, UNG International, was committed to seeing the successful implementation of the project.
He said local consultants had also been recruited to access the readiness of the beneficiary communities for the take-off of the project.
He indicated that since ownership of the selected projects lay in the selected assemblies, priority investment projects were being developed under the responsibility of the respective assemblies.