THE United Nations Resident Co-ordinator to Ghana, Mrs Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, has commended the management of the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) at Bonsaaso in the Amansie West District for the able manner it has worked to put the project on a sound footing.
She said the project currently had about 85 per cent coverage in the areas of health, education, agriculture and sanitation, something she described as very encouraging.
Mrs Sandhu-Rojon made the commendation when she paid a day’s working visit to the area to inspect some of the projects.
The projects inspected included the Manso-Datano clinic, teachers’ quarters at Manso-Watere, oil-palm plantation project and water treatment plant.
The Millennium Villages Project is aimed at empowering Africa villages to free themselves from the shackles of poverty in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals within a period of five years.
The community would benefit from a number of development projects to uplift the standard of living of the people.
In Ghana, the United Nations Millennium Project selected Manso-Bonsasso in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region as the Millennium Village of Ghana.
Mrs Sandhu-Rojon stated that reducing extreme poverty from the project area demanded hard work from the implementing agencies and therefore, urged all players in the project to work extra hard.
Presenting the status of the project, the Cluster Manager of the Bonsaaso MVP, Mr Samuel Afram, said after cocoa, oil palm is the most important cash crop in the cluster with more than 1,200 hectares under cultivation.
He, however, noted with concern that market for the fruits was lacking due to the poor road network, which made the farms inaccessible.
Mr Afram said to address the problem, the MVP decided to intervene in two main segments of the value chain.
They included first, the collection, transportation and marketing of oil palm fresh fruits, and second, value addition through processing of the fruits.
Mr Afram stated that the purchase of fresh palm fruits from farmers to the Juaben Oil Mills for processing started in April, 2009 and to date, the farmers had earned about GH¢45,000 as income.
He also touched on health and said there had been a number of interventions to bring hope to the people.
Mr Afram said four new health centres had been completed, while two existing ones had been renovated.
The MVP initially started free medical services and later switched on to the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Mr Afram said aside those projects, two ambulances had been deployed in the cluster to facilitate emergency response.
“Besides, there is a programme to diagnose and manage HIV AIDS,” he stated.
Mr Afram gave the assurance that every effort was being made to strengthen the project.