The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP) and Department of Feeder Roads (DFR) has organised a dissemination Seminar on Labour based Bituminous Surfacing Technology (LBST) for District Engineers. The Seminar aims to share the knowledge obtained from the LBST project with district engineers of GPSNP. It took place at the Koforidua Training Centre (KTC) of the Ministry of Roads and Highways in Koforidua from 24th February to 25th February 2021.
The Department of Feeder Roads and JICA implemented: “Technical Cooperation Project for developing Labour Based Bituminous Surfacing Technology” from February 2016 to December 2018.  The Project conducted several activities including two field trials (First field trial was conducted from February 2017 to August 2017, and the second trial was from February 2018 to September 2018) in Koforidua to come up with “Guidelines for Labour based Bituminous Surfacing Technology”. The performance of the trial construction indicates that, the Guidelines could be utilized not only to provide quality low volume road infrastructure, but also contribute to generating employment opportunities among local people, especially in rural area.
MLGRD on the other hand is currently implementing the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP) with support from World Bank to strengthen safety net systems that improve the productivity of the poor. One of the components of the project is Labor intensive public works (LIPW) program which seeks to extend income‐earning opportunities to poor households through LIPW to maintain or rehabilitate assets such as roads that improve the productivity of communities and respond to the anticipated effects of climate change.
In her speech, the Senior Representative of JICA Ghana, Ms. Maki Ozawa said: “Government of Ghana and JICA implemented a Technical Cooperation project on LBST from February 2016 to December 2018.  During the period, various activities including two field trials were conducted to come up with the guideline which was launched by Ministry of Roads and Highways in December 2018. The performance of the aforementioned field trials, over three years after construction, suggest that LBST can be utilized to construct quality low volume roads, and also contribute to generating employment opportunities among locals, especially in rural area. Additionally, LBST could create opportunities for small local contractors to provide construction services, as LBST requires less equipment comparing to EBT. We hope that after this seminar, you will gain the necessary confidence to apply the LBST guideline for rural road construction under your LIPW program in the future.”
In his remark, Mr. Inusah Shirazu, Head, Rural Development Unit of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development reiterated: “The Ministry will facilitate the adoption and utilization of this technology among MMDAs subject to availability of technical and financial capacity. I hope this workshop for selected District Engineers is the beginning of the capacity-building process for MMDAs. I hope we can continue to work together to create the needed hope for Ghana’s rural and urban economies and to build a resilient infrastructure base for a prosperous Ghana.”
JICA has been cooperating with Ghana for the past 58 years through several schemes, including Japanese Yen Loan, Grant Aid, and Technical Cooperation. Infrastructure sector, particularly road, has been prioritized for several years under JICA’s cooperation to Ghana. JICA has been utilizing Japanese technological capability to contribute to the economic and social development of Ghana. Recent examples include the construction of the Tema motorway interchange which was completed in June 2020 and the ongoing rehabilitation of trunk road N8 (Phase 2). Both projects are implemented through JICA’s Grant Aid scheme. A new bridge on the Volta River, which is expected to start later this year, is being implemented under JICA’s concessionary Yen loan scheme. So far, JICA has provided over 700 Kilometers of national trunk roads and a number of bridges as well as technical trainings to the officers and engineers in road sector.

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