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Veep cuts sod for UNOPS 100,000 Housing Project at Amasaman.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has cut the sod for work to commence on the construction of a landmark 6,500 homes at Amasaman, as part of the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) and Sustainable Housing Solutions (SHS)100,000 affordable housing scheme.

Dr. Bawumia, speaking at the ceremony, bemoaned the backlog in housing in Ghana, adding that one of the greatest ongoing needs across Africa was the unavailability of affordable housing for citizens.

He stated that it was as a result of this that the President Nana Akufo-Addo became so interested in the UNOPS project at the UN General Assembly last year.

Ghana, he said, is one of two countries in Africa that made it through the vetting process, expressing gratitude to UNOPS.

He pointed out several challenges in the housing sector in Ghana, which, he said, had led to disparity in house ownership. With the UNOPS programme coming onboard to augment the projects currently being taken by the government, 'we are miles away to addressing the housing gap.'

The government is partnering UNOPS and SHS to deliver a sustainable and affordable housing scheme that will enable working Ghanaians purchase decent homes, he stated, and added, 'so many benefits will come from this.'

Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Barbara Ayisi Aisha, stated: 'Having a home is a basic human right which allows us to live happy and fulfilling lives.'

She stated that increasing population and urbanisation have made access to homes a difficult challenge in cities in the country.

According to her, in bridging the housing gap, 60 percent of Ghana's urban population will need some form of government support to get housing. This calls for massive support, according to the Deputy Minister, to make housing accessible to all.

She stated that the UNOPS/SHS-Government of Ghana partnership would yield the needed results in providing decent homes for the people of this country.

Under the project, large scale affordable housing units are to be provided for every Ghanaian. It would also create local jobs for thousands of people, boost the Ghanaian economy, and help bridge the housing gap.

Total Global Housing Units

The UNOPS is expected to build over 800,000 homes across Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. It is the largest affordable housing scheme the world has ever seen.

In Asia, India and Pakistan are the two beneficiaries, while Ghana and Kenya are benefiting in Africa.

Ghana, with an estimated housing deficit of over two million, which is projected to increase to 2.2 million in a few years, will receive about $5.3 billion to construct the affordable houses across the country.

The new partnership will also explore new opportunities in the renewable market, with UNOPS expected to work with MYRA-SHS Energy, a subsidiary of SHS, which focuses on investments in renewable energy projects and associated infrastructure.

It is the latest step in the UNOPS Social Impact Investing Initiative (S3I), which aims to attract financing from the private sector to develop projects in emerging markets.

The technology is earthquake and hurricane resistant, and comes with the utilisation of renewable energy and non-toxic insect-repellent properties. The concept aims at providing a 'turnkey solution' to reduce the current shortfall of tens of millions of decent dwellings.

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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Sep 5, 2019
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