Review of the Village Infrastructure Project (Vip) As A Rural Poverty Alleviation Strategy In Ghana: A Case Study Of The Asante-Akim South District of The Ashanti Region

Type Thesis or Dissertation
Title Review of the Village Infrastructure Project (Vip) As A Rural Poverty Alleviation Strategy In Ghana: A Case Study Of The Asante-Akim South District of The Ashanti Region
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Poverty is the condition of having insufficient resources or income. In its most extreme form, poverty is lack of basic human needs, such as adequate and nutritious food, clothing, housing, clean water, and health services. Extreme poverty can cause terrible suffering and death; and even modest levels of poverty can prevent people from realising many of their desires. The world’s poorest people many of whom live in developing areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe struggle daily for food, shelter, and other necessities. They often suffer from severe malnutrition, epidemic disease outbreaks, famine, and war. It is due to the idea of reducing the incidence of poverty that the government of Ghana adopted the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, which represents comprehensive policies to support growth and poverty reduction in the country. With this the Government of Ghana aims to create wealth by transforming the nature of the economy to achieve growth, accelerated poverty reduction and the protection of the vulnerable and excluded within a decentralised democratic environment. In Ghana, like other developing countries, the evidence of poverty is seen mostly in the rural areas. Over 60% of Ghana’s population lives in the rural areas, and as such past governments have adopted various programmes and policies aimed at reducing poverty and promoting rural development. The Village Infrastructure Project I (VIP I) has been one of the agents for this fight against poverty in the rural areas. The study was undertaken to investigate the impact of the VIP on poverty alleviation in the Asante-Akim South District. In order to aid the research process, literature was reviewed based on the characteristics of similar efforts by government and other agencies in relation to poverty alleviation and rural development in general. Stakeholders such as the beneficiary communities and individuals of the project as well as the District Assembly were directly involved in the study. Some of the major findings from the analysis were that, even though the VIP sought to consider other areas other than agriculture, it was realised that all beneficiaries of the ‘private goods’ involved in the project were in agriculture and agro-processing. In addition, it was realised that the existence of co-operatives within the district made it possible for the people to access the ‘private goods’ easily. The concept of participation was relegated to the background. There was however, significant impact recorded among beneficiaries. The analysis identified that the major challenges to rural poverty alleviation included ineffective structures put in place to ensure the monitoring, management and sustenance of projects. The analysis also showed that the most effective and efficient means by which individuals in rural areas can access projects such as this is for such individuals to form co-operative societies. Based on the analysis, and with regards to ensuring success in rural poverty alleviation programmes there is the need to establish effective mechanism for capacity building and supervision and also ensure public participation in the planning and the implementation process. Most importantly, participating institutions, especially the district assemblies should be made to carry out all their duties effectively.

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