The Japanese government has provided a grant of GH¢234,509.75 to revamp the Pagazaa Community Centre where women engage in the production and processing of shea butter.
The centre which serves about 600 women in 10 communities would also create employment for women in sewing and soap making business.
The beneficiary communities were Zobogu, Changnayli, Chicheli, Zakaliyili, Zoo, Futa, Gbabshie, Baglahi, Tua and Pagzaa.
Before the construction of the centre the women had operated from a mud struture for years, until, the centre was hit by a severe rainstorm that destroyed it completely.
That made economic activities for the women difficult, causing most of them, particularly, the young ones between the ages of 18 to 30 to relocate to other towns in the Tamale metropolis and outside the region.
The leadership of the women, led by, Madam Safia Alhassan, who is now the president of centre, petitioned a Non-governmental organisation, Africa 2000 to help rebuild the facility which was abandoned for many years.
The NGO, therefore, secured funds through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGHSP) scheme to build a new centre for the women to promote social and development activities.
The fund was also used to renovate a number of projects including a boiling area, mill house, and installation of electrification for the centre.
Speaking to The Ghanaian Times in an interview during a press tour to the facility, Madam Alhassan, said the construction of the centre had helped address the economic challenges faced by the women at Pagzaa and its surrounding communities.
She recalled how difficult it was for women outside Pagzaa village to walk about 13 kilometres to have access to other centres to engage in Shea butter production, sewing and soap making, noting that reconstruction of the centre had improved the living conditions of the women.
Madam Alhassan, therefore, commended the government of Japan for the assistance and the NGO for spearheading the project.
A representative at the Public Relations Office at the Embassy of Japan, Mr. Stanislaus Acquah, stressed on the commitment of the government of Japan towards supporting deprived communities.
He said, over the years, the government of Japan had supported the development and growth of many projects, including education.
From Bernard Benghan, Tamale