STX Housing Deal On Course - Duffuor
The government will enhance access to housing by commencing the construction of 200,000 affordable housing units in selected cities and towns across the country for which government has entered into a loan agreement with STX Company. In addition, arrangements with private sector to raise funds to complete the affordable housing schemes which were started by the previous government would unfold during the year, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, announced on Thursday. He said housing was recognized as one of the important infrastructural developments necessary for the economic growth of the nation. Dr Duffuor noted that Ghana faced an acute housing deficit of one million units especially in the urban centres and the cost of housing and other infrastructural development was excessively high as most of the materials used were imported. However, he said, there existed abundant raw materials which could be used in the construction industry to reduce import content in the construction industry. Dr Duffuor said government was seeking to ensure that by the year 2015 at least 60 per cent of materials used in the building and construction industry would be indigenous raw materials. He said a housing policy programme on the utilization of local building materials such as clay brick and tiles, pozzolana cement and bamboo in the construction industry had already been prepared on the initiative of government. The Minister said it was anticipated that the increased use of these durable local materials would considerably reduce the import bill on building materials in addition to conserving capital; providing employment for the youth especially within the localities; providing affordable housing; improving engineering qualities; generating revenues to the state; and improving infrastructural development especially in districts where indigenous building material plants will be located. On the water sector, Dr Duffuor said the implementation of the following water projects will commence in fiscal year 2011: urban water project, rural water and sanitation project; Kpone water project; Kumawu, Konongo and Kwahu water supply and expansion projects; and Wa water supply and rehabilitation project. "It is hoped that the implementation of these projects will increase access to potable water, reduce the incidence of water borne diseases, and improve sanitation in the beneficiary communities." On the performance of the Water Resource, Works and Housing sector during the fiscal year 2010, Dr Duffuor said 64 new boreholes, 58 small town pipesystems and two small community pipe systems were constructed under the Programme for Providing Safe and Potable Water to Communities. He said the construction works on a 500 cubic-metre reservoir to provide potable water for residents in Kasoa, Gomoa Nyanyano and Senya Breku were substantially completed, while the expansion programme to meet water demands in Accra, Koforidua, Cape Coast, Kumasi and Sunyani were at various stages of completion. He said 160 two-bedroom houses and 49 septic tanks were constructed at Kedzi, Vodza and Adzido to enhance life and protect properties of families residing along the sea in Keta.
Source: Ghana News Agency