Rabu, 15 September 2010


THE Minister of Energy, Mr Joe Oteng-Adjei, has urged electrical contractors to make good use of their electrical directory in order to advertise and promote their expertise.

He also encouraged them to use it as a tool to connect the entire membership of electrical contractors and the general public.

He commended the efforts of the electrical contractors for their contributions in the safety and reliability of appliances in the society.
Mr Adjei was speaking at the launch of the third edition of the electrical contractors’ Directory by the Ghana Electrical Contractors’ Association (GECA) in Accra.

The directory is to help address the concerns of the general public on the use of electrical appliances.It is also to guide the public in choosing the right electrical contractors from the association.

Mr Adjei also urged the contractors to comply with the norms, ethics and standards that were associated with the electrical profession.
“It is only by doing this that you can win the confidence of the general public and the government who would then use your service for the socio economic development of the nation,” he said.

The Minister of Water Research, Works, and Housing (MWRWH), Mr Allan Bagbin, said organising regular training programmes for the members of the association would ensure compliance with the code of conduct.

He said this was necessary due to the prominent fire outbreaks in prominent public buildings which were mostly due to electrical faults.

He added that another sure way of improving on the performance of electrical contractors was to collaborate with other professionals in the construction industry.

“ This would ensure best delivery in your work and also improve on your performance which would inturn  help eliminate fire hazards,” he said.

Mr Abongo also assured the electrical contractors the enforcement of standards for electrical designs and building codes in an appropriate revised Building Regulations of 1996 LI 1630.

The National President of GECA, Mr Joseph Walker, appealed to the MoE and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to take a look at the importation of inferior cables used for electrical works.
“ Inferior electrical cables used for constructions do not last long and this causes major electrical faults,” he said.

He also requested for the separation of electrical works from the main building works so as to ensure effective installation of electrical cables.

The  Managing Director of the Nexans Kabelmental Ghana Limited (NKGL), Dr E. K. Annan,  who was the Chairman for the occasion said the directory was an effective way of identifying with electrical contractors.
He added that the directory would help identify quality cables for building construction.

Senin, 13 September 2010


Story: Zainabu Issah

THE Pamela Bridgewater Project in collaboration with the Sulemana Memorial Hospital and other stakeholders have organised a ‘Sala’ party for female porters (kayayei) in Accra.The kayayei also underwent a health screening exercise and health education on how to avoid teenage pregnancy and to stay protected from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV.

Mr.Yahaya Alhassan, President of the Pamela Bridgewater Project, said  because of inadequate shelter, the Kayayei are exposed to early child birth.

“ We therefore organised the party as a way of creating a platform to educate them on the dangers of these  diseases and also encourage them to practice family planning and abstinence since it is the only way they could protect themselves from these diseases,” he said.

The National Co-ordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), ACP Ms Elizabeth Dassah, said educating the kayayei would help in reducing the rate of early childbirth and their risk to HIV infection.

She said most people were more interested in the services that kayayee rendered other than their health.
“It is therefore a good initiative to have them gather  and educated on the need to abstain from sex and practice family planning,” she said.

She was not happy that less attention was given to the kayayei and called on the government to get involved in helping them to develop their talents.

The Director of the Social Response Network (SRN), Mr Lord Hamah, commended the organisation for trying to address the plight  of kayayei in the country.

He also requested for the government to try and address the economic issues of the north and also bridge the gap between the north and the south.

Mr Ben Brako, a popular musician in Ghana who was present at the occasion said the issues of  head potters in Ghana was one that was not taken seriously in the country.

He added that it was important for the government to set up funds to support the kayayee in the country and called on other organisations to support the Pamela Brigdewater project to achieve its ultimate goal of building a shelter for the kayayee in Accra.

The Journalist of the year, Mr Samuel Agyemang who was also present for the  occasion said enough attention should be given to support the kayayee in the country.

He added that shelter which was one of the major key problems of the kayayee was one that the government must clearly look into.

He said whilst the government was doing well in clearing the city of filth, it should also consider the housing of the girls and if that was achieved, then the city would be considered “clean”.

The head of the Sulemana Medical Team, Madam Elizabeth Apedo said most of them did not know what family planning was.

“Their birth intervals are very small which causes malnutrition in their children. It also affects them since their bodies do not get to recover fully from birth,” she said.

Madam Apedo advised them to desist from early child birth and concentrate more on their health and frequently visit the hospitals for medical attention.


The Zonal Operation Manager of Vicdoris Pharmaceuticals, Mr Ernest De-Graft Egyire says most of the kayayee are venerable to malaria since they sleep outside without mosquito net.

“We therefore are here to distribute malaria drugs to those who would be diagnosed of malaria and also distribute condoms for their protection and safety,” he said.
The party was also characterised with the distribution of food and drinks and the award of partners who have supported the organisation through their immerse contributions of which the Journalist of the year was again awarded for his story on shelter in the city.




THE Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations (UN) in 1948 recognises that children need special safeguards and appropriate legal protection. It therefore proclaims that  every child should be given special care and assistance before and after birth, by reason of his/her physical and mental immaturity.

A juvenile an individual under 18 years ( a child), suspected to have committed an offence against the laws of a state is a juvenile offender. They include children who engaged in criminal and other activities which do not conform with societal norms. Juvenile justice is, therefore, the dispensation of justice involving a juvenile. This is in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations (UN) in 1948.

Although such juveniles were crime suspects, they had their rights which needed to be protected and sections of the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC), 1989 states that children in conflict with the law have the right to treatment that promotes their sense of dignity and worth and take into account their age and their reintegration into society. Due to this, Ghana enacted the Juvenile Justice Act 653, 2003, to assist authorities to handle juveniles.

Addressing a media training workshop on the juvenile justice administration in the country, organised by Plan Ghana in conjunction with Child's Rights International (CRI) and the Ghana National Coalition on the Right of the Child (GNCRC) and funded by the European Union (EU), in Accra recently, a Public Prosecutor at the Attorney General's Office, Ms Getrude Aikins, was reported to have said that the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC), 1989, saw the placing of juveniles in custody as a measure of last resort. However, a statement by the President of Child’s Right International (CRI), a child-related NGO, Mr Bright Appiah, indicated that from 1993 to 2003, a total of 10,488 juveniles were placed in police cells as adults while 377 under the age of 12 were detained in police cells due to the lack of remand homes. This situation he said was due to a breakdown in the implementation of laws that protected children and juvenile offenders.
Juvenile offenders have the right to be questioned before a guardian or a lawyer, the rights to hide ones identity from the media, the rights to have a guardian informed of an arrest and the right to be granted bail on mild offences.

While it is important for authorities to seek the interest of a juvenile on suspected crime before taking decisions since that formed part of his or her rights, parents and family members of juvenile offenders who are committed to serve sentences at Juvenile Correctional Centres are also encouraged to visit and help their children to reform.          

A chart with some inmates of the Juvenile Correctional Centre in Accra, however indicated that this aspect of juvenile justice and reformation,  is not easily achieved since most of them claimed that their parents have neglected them.

 Adu (not real name), a 16-year- old boy from Konongo, who is serving a two-year prison sentence said he stole three metal scrubs from a friend and  was later arrested and confined.
Because of his actions, he could not inform his parents of his arrest and when I further asked if he had been visited by any of his relations since he was imprisoned, he replied in the negative. " I have never been visited by any of my relations. I only get to talk to people when organisations come to visit us".
Another inmate, Erik (not real name) is now 18  years old. He claims to have been imprisoned falsely. He said he was alleged to have raped a girl he fell in love with.
"Because the parents of the girl are rich, they decided to punish me by saying I have raped their daughter," he explained. He also said his parents have not visited him since his incarceration, adding that “My family chose to abandon me here because they do not like me anymore. They did not give me the chance to explain what happened. I have been here for almost two years and I can no longer tell how they look like. They have chosen to abandon me here, so I would do the same".

One inmate, who gave his name as Nii, said his parents were divorced and so his mother was the one taking care of him and this four siblings. She later got sick and had to be admitted at the hospital. “As the eldest child, I had to search for money to look after her. This is how come I got involved in stealing. My luck run out one day and I was arrested, tried and imprisoned. Since then, I haven’t set my eyes on any family member, since they have not come to visit me.”
Based on the information I derived from some of the inmates during the interactions, I concluded that lack of parental care, peer pressure and even broken homes, constituted significant factors contributing to their plights.

Most of them who were not ready to talk to me about why they were in the correctional institution accused their parents for neglecting them. Others said their parents could not adequately cater for them so they had to do all menial jobs to survive, and they became responsible for their upkeep.
It is obvious that the country still had a long way to go with regards to protecting the rights and welfare of children and juvenile offenders, and to help reform them.

There is therefore,  the need for a combined effort by the police, social welfare officers, lawyers and judges, media, parents and policy makers to ensure that the interests of children, especially juvenile offenders were protected in the country.


The President, John Evans Atta Mills has donated food items to the National Chief Imam, the Ameer of Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission and the Chief Imam of Al-Suna Wajamat.

The Member of the Council of State, Mr Emmanuel Adzei Annan, who stood in for the President, said the donation was to wish all Muslims a happy Eidr-Fitr and for going through a successful 30 days of fasting.

The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, thanked the President for his kind gesture towards the Muslim community.He also prayed for peace in the country and requested all Muslims to be at peace with one another.

He added that the Ramadan had been fruitful and that all lessons learnt in the month should be adequately implemented.

The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, Maulvi A. Wahab Adam, said the donation would effectively be distributed to needy who do not have the means to celebrate the end of the Ramadan.

He also urged Muslims to do well in giving to the needy as the month of fasting was also to inculcate in everyone the spirit of giving.


The Chief Imam of the Al-Suna Wajamat, Sheikh Umar Ibrahim Imam, also thanked the President for his gesture.He assured the President of the continues support of the Muslim community towards the development of the country.

He urged the Muslim youth to build their entrepreneurial skills so that they would be self-reliant rather than waiting on the government to find them jobs.

The items donated included 90 bags of rice and nine cartons of cooking oil which was evenly distributed among the three Muslim groups.

Minggu, 05 September 2010


A Member of the Council of State,  Madam Hajia Hajarah Ali, has urged muslims in the country to participate fully in the upcoming population census.
She observed that some muslims habitually failed to allow themselves to be counted during censuses and said they must participate in the exercise so that resources could be allocated to them when the need arose.
 Hajia Ali was speaking at a census sensitisation programme organised by the Coalition of Muslim Organisations Ghana (COMOG) in Accra at the weekend.
The programme was also to explain to Muslims the need to participate in the exercise and how it would be conducted.
A Population and Housing Census Facilitator, Mr Mohammed Frimpong, explained that the exercise would be in two forms: The household population and the non-household population.
He, therefore, requested that adequate information about families should be given in order to have a precise account after the census.
He added that the information given would not be used to result deport non-citizens in the country as was the widely held belief.
“The exercise is not about deportation. It is about knowing the number of people in the country,” he said.
In another development, an Islamic newspaper dubbed “Muslim News” was launched in Accra last Saturday to provide information on developments in the Islamic world.
The twelve page monthly newspaper would tackle issues faced by Islamic communities and also be a source of information on Islam.
The Deputy Minister of Women and Children Affairs, Ms Boya Gariba, who launched the newspaper said it came at an opportune time when several factors have culminated in rendering Ghanaian muslims vulnerable and disunited.
She added that information was the most vital tool for the development and the enhancement of all people including muslims yet the Ghanaian muslim was left in a vacuum as far as credible news and information was concerned.
“ Most Muslims know little or nothing about what is going on in the country and this is directed at them,” she said.
Ms Boya added that the newspaper as a source of information would help find practical solutions to the problems affecting muslim women, children and the less privileged in the society.



Plan Ghana, a non governmental organisation (NGO), has donated relief items to the Gomoa East District Assembly to aid inhabitants who were victims of flood that hit the country this year.
The items, which were worth Gh¢17,600, included 300 bags of rice, 100 cartons of keysoap, 1,500 sachets of powdered milk, 300 gallons of cooking oil and 300 mini bags of sugar.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Isaac Kinsley Ahunu- Armah, who received the donation on behalf of the flood victims, said the donation would be distributed fairly to all the victims.
He added that the flood remained an unfortunate event in the lives of the people because of its effect in the district.
“Our communities on that day woke up in a state of shock when we realised we were flooded. It is indeed an unforgettable event and will remain indelible on our mind.”
He, therefore, called for the support of  individuals, NGOs and corporate institutions to donate towards efforts to make life return to normal in the affected communities.
The Programme Area Manager of Plan Ghana, Mr Joseph Assan, said the donation was  to help alleviate the plight of the flood victims.
He  urged the assembly to ensure transparency in the distribution of the  items and pledged that more of the donations would follow if the items brought are distributed fairly.
Some of the items were later distributed to the people of Takiyam who were the worse affected in the district.
Speaking to Daily Graphic, Madam Duodoo, who was a victim of the flood and a resident of Takiyam, said the flood had rendered her family homeless .
“ I sleep outside while my five children spend the night with friends and relatives because our building is not safe and can collapse at anytime,” she explained.
According to NADMO, the June 2010 floods affected 1,393 people in the district with properties running into several millions destroyed.


Jumat, 03 September 2010


As part of its social responsibility programme, the Excellence Foundation has  organised a  blood donation exercise for the Korle Bu Blood Bank.

The donation which was done with support from Cadbury Ghana Limited was to bring to the fore, the precarious situation at the hospital’s blood bank.It was also to encourage other corporate bodies to emulate their action and support the blood bank.

The Corporate Affairs Director of the Excellence Awards Foundation, Nana Osei Afrifa, said the demand for blood was so high that people sometimes lost their lives.

“We recently have had instances in the country when tragic accidents have occurred and most of the victims die as a result of lack of blood for transfusion,” he said.
He added that if there was a constant replenishing of blood at the bank it could help save lives.

The Head of Laboratory of the Trust Hospital, Mrs Rosemond Bray, said the donation of blood by the foundation was very laudable since people now shy away from blood donations because of the rise of sexually transmitted diseases.

“ Unlike previously when people would hurriedly donate blood when the need arises, this time people feel reluctant to donate because of the fear that certain diseases might be found in their blood,” she said.


GRACE  Oil Petroleum Company Limited (GOPCL) has donated food items and an undisclosed sum of money to the Christian Faith Foster Home at Frafraha.

The items included 200 bags of sachet water, 10 packs of toilet roll, 10 bags of 25kg rice, two boxes of key soap and four gallons of cooking oil.

The Administrative Officer of GOPCL, Mr Kwame Adjei-Yeboah, said the donation was to fulfil their co-operate social responsibility to the society they resided in.
“ We are in this community and we know what comes out of it. It is therefore, right for us to give back what we receive from the people,” he said.

Mr Yeboah urged parents to think carefully before bringing children into the world.
He again requested that well-to-do Ghanaians  should come and adopt some of the children and take care of them.
“ The children’s defect is not having parents to take care of them, so it is proper for those who are well-to-do to come in and help cater for them,” he explained.

Madam Henrietta Asare Agyeman, who is a mother at the foster home, said the donation would go a way in helping to cater for the children.

She, therefore, appealed to other organisations to come to their aid.
The foster home currently has thirty children consisting of 24 boys and six girls.

                        Madam henritta reciving the items from the staff of Grace petroleum limited


Story: Zainabu Issah

AS part of the activities marking the 163rd anniversary celebrations of Liberia, the United Liberian Association in Ghana (ULAG) has donated assortment of food and items to the Weija Leprosarium in Accra.

The items include rice, maize, corn, beans, oil, tissues and light bulbs which are valued an amount of Gh¢1,500.

The President of the association, Mrs Julia Richards, said the donation was to complement the efforts of the people of Ghana in catering to the needy in society.She said it was also to recognise the long-standing relationship between the Republic of Liberia and Ghana.

Mr George Quanson, who received the donation on behalf of Father Campbell who is the father of the home, said the donation would go a long way in solving the needs of the Leprosarium.

Madam Glades Adobe, the Prefect of the home, received the items on behalf of her fellow inmates and thanked the organisation for their donation.


PLAN Ghana, in partnership with Child Rights International(CRI) and Ghana National Coalition of the Right of the Child (GNCRC), has donated support items worth Gh¢40,000 to the Ghana Prison Service (GPS), the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service and the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) to strengthen them in the discharge of their duties.

The donation is part of a three-year project implemented by Plan Ghana with support from the European Union to prevent and combat all forms of violence against children or the youth who are in conflict with the law.

The items included computers, printers, digital cameras, photocopiers, mattresses, bednets, bedsheets, blankets, vocational training tools for tailoring, carpentry, electrical works and hairdressing, as well as raw materials for making  beads.

The programme support manager, Mr William Agyekum,  said even though the children were in conflict with the law, they also had the right to comfort and training.
"The items are to help support the children so that they would come out ready for the job market," he said.
Mr Acquah urged the institutions to use the items wisely to train the children so that they may not lag behind in the society.

The Deputy Director of DSW, Mr Lawrence Azam, said the items would equally be distributed to the various juvenile institutions under the DSW.

He added that the items would effectively be used to train the children to become better people.
A representative from DOVVSU, ASP Alichiew Abdullahi, said the donation would go a long way to  help the unit to discharge its duties.
" We would be able to keep records of our programmes and also store the data on children in the unit," he said.

The Regional Commander of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Alhassan Legibo, appealed to other organisations to constantly think of the children.
"They have only offended the law but that does not make them different from the rest of us," he said.

The Regional Commander of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Alhassan Legibo, receiving the items from the Programmes Support Manager of Plan Ghana, Mr William Agyekum Acquah, whilst other members of the Prisons Service look on.


Story: Zainabu Issah

PLAN Ghana in partnership with Save the Children Sweden, and other development stakeholders has organised a-four-day  youth forum on violence against children in Accra.

The forum which brought together 80 children from 16 West African countries was designed to facilitate and exchange ideas and find solutions to violence against children.

It was also to give the youth the opportunity to expand their networks to stop violence through encouragement and empowerment.

The United Nations Special Representative on Violence Against Children (UNSRSG), Ms Marta Santos Pais said the issue of violence against children was becoming very rampant as such there was the need to put up measures to eradicate it.

She added that children who were most vulnerable to these incidents were girls .
"They are sexually exploited and made to do all kinds of dirty jobs which intern affects their lives in future," she said.

Furthermore, certain cultural practices like female genital mutilation has made girls vulnerable to infections and maternal death.

" I therefore urge you all to speak up whenever you feel exploited and violated so that people would be brought to justice," she said.

Ms Pais also urged the participating countries to do well in supporting the eradication of violence against children.
"They are the future leaders and when they are exploited who would be there to play the role of future leaders," she said.
She again said children witness violence and endure physical, emotional and sexual violence everyday .
"This makes them suffer reprisals and stigmatisation because they do not know whom to report to for counselling and support," she said.

The Minister for Youth and Sports, Ms Akua Sena Dansua said for the needed attention to be given to children issues, there was the need to encourage children to report violence done them.
" You are the children who are being exploited against your will. We at the Ministry can't do anything about it unless you voice it out for those who are guilty to be punished," she said.

The Vice Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Dr Agnes Akosua Aidoo said there was the need to initiate drastic measures to address violence against children, since it could be the cause of life to and death of children.

She advised parents to ensure that punishment meted out to children for offence committed, should be reformative and not exploitative.

" You can deny the child some of his or her favourite hobbies like footballs, television, games and even visits from friends. This way you are denying the child something very important to him or her," she said.

She added that the abuse of children physically tended to remain with them until they grew. Thus also inflicting the same wounds unto other children.

Some of the participants from The Gambia, Mali and Cote d'voire gave reports on how children are abused in their countries.

 From left: A participant from Cote d'voire, the United Nations Special Representative on Voilence Against Children, Ms Marta Santos Pais, the Minster for Youth and Sports, Ms Akua Sena Dansua and a participant from senegal at the forum.