Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has commissioned projects undertaken by the government through the Zongo Development Fund (ZDF) in the Ashanti Region.
At separate ceremonies at Asokore, Vice President Bawumia commissioned furnished classroom blocks, a water system and a Community Sports and Social Centre as part of his two-day visit to the Region.
"Zongo communities are indispensable stakeholders in our determination to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive development in Ghana," Dr Bawumia declared at the commissioning on Tuesday.
"The historic deprivation and lack of development in Zongo Communities are issues that the government of the New Patriotic Party under the visionary leadership of His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is determined to address in a sustainable, comprehensive and equitable manner.
"Expanding access to quality and relevant education is pivotal to the transformation we are determined to engender in Zongo Communities. The Zongo Development Fund is the frontline agency and vehicle through which government seeks to ensure the realization of the development objectives relating to Zongo communities.
"Indeed, since Ghana attained independence, no budget has ever been deliberately allocated for the development of Zongo communities. The establishment of the Fund dedicated to Zongo communities is, therefore, indisputably unprecedented," he said.
A substantial portion of the over 300 projects undertaken by the ZDF across the country can be found in the Ashanti region, the Vice President said.
"Not only has the government implemented a comprehensive development of educational infrastructure in Zongo communities, but it has also intervened positively by improving health facilities, sanitation, human resource development through skills training and educational grants and in improving the ambience, visibility and security in Zongo communities in the Ashanti region," he emphasized.
Speaking at Bantama, where he commissioned a Community Sports and Social Centre, Vice President Bawumia explained that the Zongo Development Fund Act 964 (2017) empowers the Zongo Development Fund to provide basic services and strategic infrastructure in health, education and sanitation; promote entrepreneurship and skills development; provide social protection for the poor and vulnerable; enhance economic development, peace and security and promote tourism, arts, culture and tradition.
"The government remains resolute in bridging the gap between Zongos and other communities in Ghana. The past four years have witnessed remarkable progress under the Zongo Development Fund, in the provision of potable drinking water, community roads, ultra-modern basic school infrastructure, ICT Labs, Community Sports centres, popularly referred to as Astro Turfs, and several other interventions" he emphasized.
While generally referred to as playing grounds, the Astro turfs also serve as community engagement avenues for numerous programmes and activities in addition to providing excellent opportunities for nurturing talented youth of both genders into becoming successful sportsmen and women.
Other Zongo communities that have benefitted from the construction of Astro Turfs are Madina, New Fadama, Kyebi, Tafo, Walewale, Salaga, Akyem Oda, Kwabeng, Agogo and Dodowa. The rest are: Manhyia (work has just begun), Larabanga, Esikado, Chiraa, Sowutuom, Yeji, Bolga and Dunkwa- on-Ofin.