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Monday, July 12, 2010

Continue Kufuor's Housing Projects • Mills Directs Ministry

Dr Mustapha Ahmed (middle), Deputy Minister of  Housing, addressing the media at the project site
Dr Mustapha Ahmed (middle), Deputy Minister of Housing, addressing the media at the project site
President John Evans Atta Mills has directed the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to re-start work on the affordable housing project initiated by the Kufuor administration.

This is to help boost current efforts being made by the government towards the provision of housing units for workers.
A Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, announced this during a meeting with contractors and consultants working on the Wamale Affordable Housing Project in Tamale during a visit to the site.

The visit was to enable the ministry to assess the current state of work and reassure the contractors of the government’s willingness to recommence work on the projects.

He addressed various concerns, one of which was the additional cost of construction which had not been factored into the initial contracts.

The contractors complained that in the course of construction, they had been faced with difficulties, such as dealing with clay, which necessitated the spending of more resources on the project.

Others raised concern over the non-payment of full funds for the construction of access roads to the site.

Dr Ahmed assured the workers of the government’s readiness to factor those concerns into the overall cost before recommencing work.

He, however, noted that the government was very concerned about ensuring that the housing units were, indeed, affordable, explaining that the objective of the project would be betrayed if the units were beyond the reach of workers.

“The government is, therefore, taking a serious look at the timeline for completion, terms of purchase and cost of construction so as not to defeat the goal of producing affordable houses,” Dr Ahmed explained.

Asked about financing for the project, he noted that the government was to re-estimate the current cost of the project and seek funding to complete it, since the previous government did not put in place any sustainable funding mechani

“We will strategise, continue the work and complete it in due time so that workers can benefit,” he promised.

He said when completed, the project, together with the STX Housing Project, would provide more than 35,000 housing units, which though, would still not be enough to bridge the country’s one million housing deficit.

The Wamale Project  project involves the construction of 10 separate four-storey blocks. Each block would contain eight single-bedroom flats and 12 two-bedroom flats for 50 families.

On progress of work, Mr Daniel Gyarteng, Deputy Chief Architect of Amalgamated Group, the  consultant for the Wamale project,said most of the blocks were between 10 and 30 per cent completed.

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