Kwame Agyei (Ash), Some beneficiary districts of the ‘Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn)’ Project, are elated about the prospects of building climate-resilient communities in their respective areas. They have promised to work effectively with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), a key partner of the Project, to advance that noble cause given the devastating effects of climate change.
Authorities at the districts, including Adansi-South and Sekyere Afram Plains, are of the view that, “there can be no meaningful socio-economic growth if the District Assemblies do not mainstream climate change adaptation in their development plans.”
“We have no other choice than to be environmentally conscious in whatever we do now,” Mr. Francis Kwabena Ankomah, Adansi-South District Chief Executive (DCE), told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in an interview at Kofi Agyei near New Edubiase.
This was on the sidelines of a visit to the community by Officials of the UNCDF, and formed part of a tour of the Region by the team to track the holistic approach that GrEEn was promoting in the provision of climate-resilient infrastructures.
The Project is a four-year action from the European Union (EU), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organization, and the UNCDF.
It is designed to create greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women, and returning migrants by promoting and supporting sustainable, green businesses in two selected regions in Ghana – Ashanti and Western.
Under the Result One component of the Project, UNCDF is working with the 10 beneficiary Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the two Regions to support the growth of local economies, using the performance-based climate-resilient grant mechanism for green and climate-resilient infrastructure.
This encompasses the construction of clean water supply, integrated water management systems, climate-proof rural bridges, and culverts, among others.
The UNCDF, via these projects, is also creating short-term job opportunities for target groups through the ‘Cash-for-Work (CfW)’ schemes.
In the Ashanti Region, UNCDF has kicked off its ‘CfW’ scheme, and is expected to provide short-term employment to over 4,000 beneficiaries, targeting the youth, women and returning migrants.
It is targeting the two cited districts as well as the Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipality, Offinso District, Offinso North District, and Sekyere Kumawu District.
Mr. Ankomah advised those engaged in the construction of culverts at Kofi Agyei, located in the Adansi-South District, to work diligently and also learn on the job in their own interests.
“The District Assembly will need the services of these workers for future projects due to their hands-on experiences,” he told the GNA.
Mr. Fred Ghansah, the District Feeder Roads Engineer, said about 80 per cent of the ongoing works on the culverts was almost completed.
He described the project as timely since it would help address the perennial flooding at the community and its related negative consequences on the socio-economic lives of the people.
At Drobonso, the UNCDF visiting team, led by Ms. Angela Yayra Kwashie, Technical Specialist (Local Government Finance), interacted with authorities at the Sekyere Afram Plains District Assembly, and also inspected ongoing works on the laying of pavement bricks at the Drobonso Market.
According to the District Assembly, the climate-resilient facility when completed, would put the Market in good shape to prevent the disruption of trading activities, especially in times of heavy rains.
In an interview, some of the beneficiary women under the GrEEn Project lauded the UNCDF for implementing the ‘Cash-for-Work’ scheme, and narrated how they were determined to see their lives transformed positively as they participated in it.
Ms. Yayra Kwashie, National Project Coordinator, UNCDF in a briefing, said the UNCDF was working together with SOS Ghana to provide fundamental skills for the ‘Cash-for-Work’ beneficiaries.
This is to prepare and equip them to identify economic opportunities they can embark on based on their personal preferences and potential within the green economy in their respective districts.
The authorities were also supporting the beneficiaries to participate in skills development programmes to build their capacity to ultimately start a viable business with a green concept.
“Our focus is to ensure that the GrEEn Project improves the ability of women, youth, and returning migrants to take advantage of job and entrepreneurship opportunities in green and climate-resilient local economies,” Ms. Yayra Kwashie told the GNA.
In line with its terms of reference, the UNCDF is increasing access to and use of financial services to support the ‘Cash-for-Work’ beneficiaries and small-scale enterprises to meet the needs of the youth, women, and returning migrants while also benefiting their local communities.
“Today, it is an important day as UNCDF is showcasing the positive impact that the project is making in the local communities with the implementation of the ‘Cash-for-Work’ activity,” the Country Lead and Project Management Specialist for UNCDF, Enea Stocco, stated in a message to grace the event.
Source: Ghana News Agency