The Japanese Government and World Vision Ghana, a Christian Non Governmental Organisation, on Tuesday signed a $120,826 grant to provide decent academic facilities for the Saaman community in the Fanteakwa District in the Eastern Region.
The project components include the completion of a six-unit classroom block, construction of a six-seater KVIP, construction of urinal block and provision of furniture for estimated 200 beneficiary pupils.
Mr Naoto Nikai, the Japanese Ambasador who signed for the Japanese Government, said the project which was the 122nd under the educational sector, formed part of the Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGHSP) scheme which was established in 1989.
The GGHSP scheme is small scale assistance from the people of Japan to community folks in Ghana which aims at directly assisting grassroots level development projects.
The scheme mainly targets projects that would be highly beneficial at the grass-root level and those that required timely support on humanitarian grounds.
Eligible recipients include NGOs and local public authorities and individuals.
Projects which qualify to be funded under the scheme include construction of school blocks, health centres, dormitories and improvement of fundamentally needed equipments.
Mr Nikai said so far, the Japanese Government had funded 245 of such projects.
He observed that the provision of better educational infrastructure would increase enrolment of pupils and improve standards for both students and teachers.
Mr Hubert Charles, National Director of World Vision Ghana, who signed for the Organisation, expressed gratitude to the Japanese Government and pledged he would provide “good stewardship” for the funds.
He said that education was a priority for the Organisation, adding that it had an annual budget of $6 million set aside to improve the sector in Ghana.
Mr Charles said the Organisation was established in 1953 and is operating in more than 100 countries including Ghana.
Mr Kofi Okyere-Agyekum, Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa South, expressed gratitude to the Japanese Government and said he was worried that illegal mining activities had polluted the surface water and land resources in the Saaman community and its environs.
He said since the illegal activity had robbed the people of their livelihood, the only option left for the citizenry was to pursue education.
Mr Okyere-Agyekum appealed to the management of the World Vision Ghana to assist the community which he described as “endangered.”
Saaman is a rural community with 3,521 population and its people are farmers and petty traders.
The community was said to have only one Junior High School facility which was ripped off by storm in March 2011.
Consequently more than 45 per cent of the pupils are said to have left the school and now commute to neighbouring Osino to pursue their education at a distance of 1.5 kilometres.
The limited school facilities at Osino had become over crowded due to the excess pupils from Saaman.