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SOCO: Communities in Builsa South to get 22 boreholes, animal market, school blocks et al – DCE

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The Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, November 2022, launched the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) project to tackle conflict from the Sahel, reduce vulnerability to climate change, and strengthen local institutions, economic opportunities, and public trust. The rationale behind the project, according to the Vice President, is to deal with surging conflicts including terrorism in the sub-regions which affect lives and the Ghanaian economy.

“It focuses mostly on border communities in regions where the citizenry, especially women and the youth are exposed and are susceptible to the threat of terrorism from the Sahel region. The project focuses on dealing with issues relating to fragility, conflict, and violence”, he stated.

Dr. Bawumia said this when he launched the 5-year SOCO project in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region. The US$150 million credit facility project is from the World Bank International Development Association (IDA) and will be disbursed to 48 districts in Upper East, North East, Upper West, Northern, Savannah, and Oti regions.

The multi-country SOCO project will be implemented in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, and Benin.

The Vice President stated that the SOCO project will address issues such as conflict, food insecurities, and terrorism that are common to the four countries while leveraging on experience sharing on conflict prevention.

 Dr. Bawumia was worried that the living conditions of over 16 million residing in the northern parts of Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire have been threatened by the spread of conflicts from the Sahel regions. The impact of the external factors of conflict and climate change, he said, has compounded with the ravaging effects of Covid-19 which contributed negatively to poverty exclusion and weak governance.

The SOCO project has five core values which include; Investing in Community Resilience and Inclusion, Building Foundation and Capacity for Inclusive and Resilient Communities, Regional Coordination Platform and Dialogue, Project Management, and Contingent Emergency Response Component.

In the Builsa South District, SOCO would help in the sinking of boreholes, build school blocks and an animal market. The DCE for Builsa South, Daniel Kwame Gariba made these comments when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show. 

“We are doing 22 boreholes spread across the district. We are doing an animal market. When you come to Builsa South, we are into animal farming. There are a lot of commercial activities around animals and yet we do not have a well-structured animal market. We are doing a 2-acre fenced animal market. We will put up offices and other structures and shed for the patrons who will be bringing their animals. We would also construct trenches for animals to drink from. We believe that when this is done, we will also be able to use this to raise revenues,” he said. 

The market, according to the DCE, would also help reduce animal theft. He explained that once the facility is completed, the Assembly would make it compulsory for all commercial activities around animals to be conducted within the facility. 

Additionally, some culverts would be constructed with funds from SOCO. Women groups would also be given training and startup funds and materials. 

Mr. Gariba explained that once this is done, the livelihoods of the women and the families they are part of would be enhanced.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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