Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gov't's Affordable Houses Nearly Ready

By Edmund Mingle
Saturday, 01 March 2008

THE first phase of the government’s Affordable Housing Project at Borteiman and Kpone near Tema, is nearing completion as the buildings have begun to take shape.
Although the project is four months behind schedule due to non-payment of contractors and inadequate materials, construction work is in progress and some of the flats are at the roofing stage.
There are about 200 contractors engaged on the projects.
Reporters who visited the sites in the company of the Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, on Thursday, found that more than 400 flats are under construction.
Most of the flats at Borteiman have been roofed.
Also under construction are access roads, community centres, police stations, clinics, markets and schools.
It is estimated that the projects would be fully completed by the end of the year for use by public sector workers.
The visit was to enable the Minister to assess the progress of work following reports that some of the contractors had abandoned work due to lack of funds.
The projects form part of the government’s plans to deliver 100,000 housing units within five years for public sector workers in all the regional capitals and some district capitals.
The project, which began in 2006 at the estimated cost of GH¢450 million each, are expected to be in two phases, with the construction of 500 units of single bedroom units and 1,400 two-bedroom types in the first phase.
The second phase will comprise the development of 178 clusters of one and three bungalow house types with two bedroom semi-detached flats.
Alhaji Boniface described the level of progress as impressive and commended the contractors for their support for the project.
He expressed regret for the delay in payment which he attributed to difficulties in accessing funds, but assured the contractors that efforts were being made to effect payment.
He said the Finance Ministry had released some funds but said about GH¢25 million was required to settle the rest.
Joseph Allotey Kofi, Kpone site project manager, told reporters that inadequate supply of construction materials was a major cause of the delay in the project, and urged the government to make resources available on time.
He said the site has been demarcated into four zones with designs of all facilities needed for a modern community.
Alhaji Boniface also visited the Kpong Water Treatment Plant to assess the water production levels and initiatives to improve water supply.
The plant is currently producing about 44 million gallons daily, a drop from the original production level of 60 million gallons a day. It serves Kpong, Tema and eastern parts of Accra.
Solomon Agyeman Manu, the plant manager, said about GH¢200 million was required for major expansion works to produce an additional 40 million gallons a day to serve the rapidly growing demand.

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