BOK African Concern, a Berekum-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has officially handed over two community projects to the chiefs of Senase in the Berekum Municipality and Masu in the Dormaa Central Municipality of the Bono Region.
This forms part of efforts to generate youth employment for returnees and potential migrants in the two areas.
The Nana Owusu Fakyiwaa Soap Factory at Senase in the Berekum Municipality and Masu Community Block Factory projects at Masu in the Dormaa Central Municipality has storerooms, mechanised boreholes, working area for manual and electric powered block making machine all valued at ¢600,000.00.
The amount also includes; some start-up kits, which were presented to a group of farmers, hairdressers, and physically challenged persons at the ceremony.
The Soap Making Factory has a working room, main office, a storeroom and a washroom, a mechanised borehole and a standing pipe.
Speaking at a ceremony to officially commission the Nana Owusu Fakyiwaa Soap Factory Project, Mr. Kofi Adjei, Berekum Municipal Chief Executive, commended the chiefs for making two half-acres of land available for the project in Senase and Masu.
Mr. Adjei urged members of the community to ensure proper maintenance of the facility to ensure the community derived maximum benefit.
He advised residents to heed recent call by the President to wear nose masks and adhere strictly to social distancing and other hygiene protocols to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Benson Savio Boateng, the Executive Director, BOK African Concern, said Ghana ranked second after Nigeria among the list of countries with the highest numbers of irregular migrants in Africa and Migrants in the Brong and Ahafo Regions were more than half the population of the rest of the regions put together.
“As a result the implementing partners, BOK, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and GIS had deeply thought this through how to change the narrative. They consulted traditional rulers to explore avenues on how to address the challenge of unemployment among irregular migrants,” he stated.
Mr. Boateng said the Senase community was chosen for the project due to the popularity it had gained in soap production, most residents were operating in that industry and received vocational and technical training through the support of the Municipal Assembly and the Business Advisory Centre(BAC).
Mr Nuhu Salifu Dimah, Head of Business Advisory Centre, Berekum, noted that the facility would enhance their socio-economic livelihoods through knowledge acquisition, empowerment, and skills development.
He advised owners of the facility, and supervisors to ensure they registered the business with state regulatory agencies including; the Registrar General’s Department and the Food and Drugs Board (FDA) for certificates to start operations.
He said his outfit made arrangements to begin an online registration process for those small scale enterprises and therefore encouraged operators and prospective operators to take advantage to register.
“Our USSB Code, online platform and call centres are all ready,” he added.
Nana Gyamfi, the Nifahene of Berekum Senase, thanked the implementing partners for building the facility and asked for additional support for the community.
The start-up kits given to the various groups included; two mattocks, two rakes, five cutlasses, two packet fungicides, five hand trowels, three garden lines, two (400 metres water hoses) and one tricycle.
Others are; two industrial soap mixer, three industrial boiling pots, an electric cutting machine, manual cutting machines, two metal tables, 10 bags of caustic soda, two bags of salt, two knapsack sprayers, three bags of poly feed, six bottles liquid organic fertilizers, three watering cans, and two measuring tapes.