Jumat, 11 Mei 2012


THE Executive Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Dr Stephen O. Korankye, has called on the media to educate the public on population and its impact on national development.

He said  population issues were critical to decision making, both within the government and on an individual basis, but were often not discussed, for which reason little or no attention was given to related issues.

Dr Korankye made the call when he paid a courtesy call on the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, to discuss the way forward on using the media as an advocacy tool on population issues.

The NPC was established by Act 485 in 1994 as the highest advisory body to the government on all population issues and to ensure proper co-ordination and implementation of all population policies and programmes.

Dr Korankye said the NPC faced many challenges, particularly regarding resources such as computers and softwares to make work easier and also upgrade its data.

“We do not have many resources to work with and this is putting pressure on the existing facilities that we have which are also outmoded and need to be replaced,” he explained.

He said the population was the number one resource in the country but when produced in excess it created problems to already existing facilities and the development of the country.

He also complained that the NPC had no ministerial body of its own, saying it was difficult to operate without an advisor between the council and the government.

Dr Korankye added that personnel who were trained to undertake population issues ended up leaving the sector because they were not well paid, while the personnel in the regional offices did not have means of transport, making it difficult for them to gather data for national purposes.

For his part, Mr Ashigbey said population issues were paramount to every developmental agenda, hence the media were always ready to educate and inform the public on population and its impact on national development.

He  pledged the GCGL’s continuous support towards imparting knowledge and providing the platform for issues of national importance to be discussed.


The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has embarked on an exercise to clamp down on the activities of scrap dealers in the metropolis.

To indicate its commitment, the assembly has started impounding  trucks loaded with scraps to prevent them from dumping it at the area close to the Beeyeman Cold stores.

The area is presently littered with all kinds of scraps, making the place perpetually untidy.

The assembly communicated its intention to stop the operations of the scrap dealers in an announcement last September that the trucks of  dealers  who did not abide by the law would be seized.

Soon after the announcement, a combined team of the AMA Task Force and the Ghana Police Service began to arrest offenders.

Till date, over 300 metal scrap trucks have been seized  to enforce the law and also to discourage the movement of the trucks loaded with scraps along the major routes.

The trucks were seized along the Kaneshie -Mallam road, Barnes road, Ministries and Independence road as well as the new George Walker Bush motorway in Accra.

Presently the seized scrap trucks are kept at the  Kaneshie Waste Management Yard of the AMA awaiting the decision by the authorities as to how to dispose of them.

The Chief Metro Guard, Mr Joseph A. Okai, who is also the Head of Operations  of the AMA task force, told the Daily Graphic that the activities of the scrap dealers along major roads obstruct smooth vehicular movement. 

He said they also posed a danger to pedestrians and motorists who use the busy roads and sometimes also contributed to motor accidents in the metropolis.

Additionally, the loads they  carry around town on their trucks also hinder free movement of pedestrians.

Mr Okine noted that due to the exercise, the volume of scraps at the dumping grounds near the Beyeeman Cold Stores has reduced considerably.

“The AMA is planning what measures to take to completely halt the operations of the scrap dealers and also remove the remaining scraps from the area.

Mr Okai observed that to avoid arrest, some of the scarp dealers have resorted to using bicycles as a means of transporting the metals and cautioned them  to desist form the act before the law catches up with them.

"We are aware that they have now changed their mode of transporting the metals and we are also instituting plans to arrest them when we see them," he threatened.



A CREAKY wooden bridge that poses a danger to its users and a stinking and stagnant drain filled with garbage and ramshackle wooden structures that serve as an abode are but a few sights that would meet a visitor to Mamobi, a suburb of Accra.

Home to more than 50,000 people, Mamobi is one of the most densely populated communities in Accra but the facilities in the community best describe it as a shanty town.

The wooden bridge constructed over the Mamobi-Kwakudi drain over 10 years ago by the residents to link the people in the community to the Kanda Highway is now a death trap.

The drain stretches from the Kawukudi junction to the Nima gutter and Alajo and then joins the Odaw river to the Korle Lagoon.

It is quite scary to walk on the bridge as it has no supporting structures.

Residents, particularly schoolchildren, have no choice but to use the bridge everyday to their various schools and homes and it becomes even scarier at night when there is no light.

Structures built along the drain are on the verge of collapse as erosion has gradually eaten up the walls of these houses.

Some residents have willingly abandoned their structures while others have resorted to dumping refuse behind their houses as a way of fighting erosion.

Residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic expressed their fear that their houses might finally collapse during the heavy rains.



THE President of Regent University College of Science and Technology, Reverend Dr Emmanuel Larbi, has called for the establishment of a Bank for Education to provide loans for needy students to finance their tertiary education.    

When established, he said, the bank could grant soft loans to educational institutions for them to expand.

Dr Larbi made the call at the university’s fifth graduation ceremony to confer various degrees and awards on students who had successfully completed their studies.

“Funds from this type of bank could come from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust,” he explained.

He said GETFund Law, which seeks to provide financial support to agencies and institutions under the
Ministry of Education for the development and maintenance of essential academic facilities and infrastructure in public educational institutions, could be amended to enable it contribute to the establishment of such a bank.

Dr Larbi explained further that one of the challenges plaguing the educational system in the country was the inability of the intellectually capable to be in school because of  financial difficulties.

“ We have situations where students cannot move beyond the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) because their parents cannot afford to support them financially,” he explained

He observed that although Ghana had 68 accredited diploma and degree awarding institutions, the institutions could not absorb all the students  from  high schools.    

He said an urgent research was  needed to be conducted to inform policy makers regarding the number of qualified prospective students who qualified for enrolment in the public universities or private universities.    

On politics, Dr Larbi said, “the politics where we are willing to maim and kill, the politics where we determine to consistently paint our opponents as beasts and criminals of the highest class, the politics where we are willing to win power or retain power at all cost, and by all necessary means is alien to true politics.”

 “Unless the distorted understanding  of politics is changed, Africa  will continue  to have self-acclaimed messiahs on the political scene who more often than not are wolves in sheep’s clothing,” he said

He, however, called for strong, effective and ethical leadership that could transform the country and the African continent within the shortest possible time.    

He urged the graduates to live with boundless optimism in the future.



THE Principal of the Methodist University College, Rev Professor Samuel Adjepong, has called on insurance companies to set up scholarship schemes for students who show exceptional qualities and skills in their area of study in order to push them to develop their talents.

He also called on them to expand their insurance provision in order to reach out to every Ghanaian.
 Professor Adjepong was speaking at the fifth graduation ceremony of the Ghana Insurance College (GIC) in Accra.

He cited students who offered courses like agriculture and needed funding and support to make the course more appealing to others saying, “agriculture is not the most subscribed choice of profession but it is the backbone  of the country’s development”.

Furthermore, GIC should develop the distance education module in order to bring insurance studies to the door step of those who needed it.

“This would help the college to reach out to many other students who desire to study insurance but are unable to do so due to the location of the school,” he said.

Also, the online delivery would help to increase the number of students in the school thereby having more people in the insurance sector to help move the country forward.

He, however, urged the graduates to apply what they had studied to their work and uphold the ethics of the profession.

The Director of GIC, Mr Justice Ofori, said in order to assist practitioners to adhere to good practice and ethics of the profession, the College had developed a distinctive training model that integrated the theory and practice of insurance.

“The College collaborates with other leading insurance training institutes elsewhere in the world to develop appropriate training models,” he said.

He said apart from the initial equity funds provided by the stakeholders, the College also generated its income mainly from professional courses and seminars targeted at different categories of insurance professionals and practitioners of other professional disciplines such as banking and accounting.

Mr Ofori said the expectation of the stakeholders that the College would champion the advancement of ethical insurance practice and professional competence.

He also urged the graduates to do well in promoting the ethics of insurance in all their endeavours.

A total of 216 students comprising  Advance Diploma, Diploma, and Certificate programmes graduated with three students, Madam Norvisi Dzikunu, Mr Sydney Kafui Amenyedor and Seth Adjaye Otchere being the overall best students under the Advanced Diploma category.

Kamis, 10 Mei 2012



THE Fafraha Presbyterian Young Adults Fellowship (YAF) has donated a number of items to the Akropong School for the Blind.

The items included 10 cartons of Ideal Milk, two cartons of Milo, a bag each of gari, sugar and maize, four bags of rice and a 25-litre gallon of cooking oil.

The President of YAF, Mr Daniel Sarpong, said the visually impaired in the society also needed as much attention as every citizen in the country and that their inability to see did not make them different from others since they used their unique senses to do remarkable things.

“Inability does not mean disability so we will continue to support them in every way we can,” he added.

The Senior Housemaster of the Akropong School for the Blind, Mr Emmanuel Tetteh, thanked the group for the items.

 He  appealed to the Ministry of Roads and Highways to construct speed humps in front of the school and a foot bridge to make the road disability-friendly.
He recalled that last year, a student of the school was knocked down by a vehicle while he was crossing the road.

He mentioned that Aburi Girls Senior High School, which is also situated along the road, had numerous speed humps, including a pedestrian foot bridge, which allowed the students to cross the road.

“This is a school with students who can see clearly yet have been provided with speed humps in front of the school and a foot bridge, so the students can go to and from the school without facing any challenges on the road,” he added.

 Mr Tetteh explained further that the school also faced the challenge of inadequate feeding grant.

 “We always fall on donor agencies to help us with produce and cash for feeding and taking care of the students,” he said.

He further appealed to organisations and corporate bodies to help complete a wall around the school to stop those living close to it from using it as a footpath.

The Akropong School of the Blind currently houses 375 students comprising 120 girls and 255 boys.



IODINE deficiency is the most common cause of preventable brain damage to children. It also increases risk of infant mortality and miscarriage and can cause goitre, an enlarged thyroid gland. This deficiency is easily and effectively prevented with the use of iodised salt.

As far back as the 1960s and 70s, reports from surveys indicated that Ghana had persistently low iodised salt consumption, with the resultant health problems.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) documented cases of goitre, a disease caused by iodine deficiency, at the junction of the Red and White Volta, along the banks of the Sissili River and Binduri and Jirapa, all in the Northern Region and then at t Krobo and Akrofom in the Brong Ahafo Region.

It was not until 1994 that the results from an almost two years survey conducted in 27 districts nationwide by the MoH and the University of Ghana revealed that though iodine deficiency disorder was endemic in the northern parts of the country, it was also generally wide spread.

The cases of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) were found in districts right at the coast of the Tema Municipal in the Greater Accra Region and the Mfantsiman District in Central Region to Jirapa and Bongo districts which were far away from the coast in the Upper West and Upper East regions.

Also, nine out of the 27 districts studies were found to have serious IDD problems. The districts were Hohoe Nkwanta in the Volta Region, Bole, Zabzugu Tatale and East Mamprusi in Northern Region, Bongo in the Upper East Region and Jirapa in the Upper West region.

 A total of 3,847 goiter cases were identified in all parts of the country during the survey.
In the year 2000, Ghana, supported by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), launched a campaign to achieve universal salt iodisation in the country.

 Ghana, a major salt producing country, produces around 250,000 metric tons of salt a year, of which about 40 per cent is consumed within the country and the rest exported to other countries in the sub-region.

A campaign, led by the Ghana Health Service and supported by salt producers, was backed by law banning the production and sale of non-iodised salt for human and animal consumption and vigorous enforcement of iodised salt regulations.

This resulted in an increased iodised salt coverage rate from 0.7 per cent in 1997 to a little more than 40 per cent by 2003. The rate increased to 74.1 per cent in 2005.

  However, recent figures indicate that the rate has now dropped, even though household surveys indicate that about 90 percent of consumers are aware of the importance of using iodised salt.

The surveys show that only 32 per cent of households have their salt adequately iodised.

The absence of strict enforcement and effective monitoring have been identified as major hindrances to Ghana's bid to achieve 90 per cent household consumption of iodised salt.

To address the issues of monitoring, enforcement  and the lack of political will, which appears to be hampering the increased usage of iodised salt, the Ghana Health Service, in collaboration with United Nations, organised a training workshop on Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) campaign for religious organisations and health professionals to create awareness of the benefit of consuming iodine salts.

The goal of the USI is to achieve the virtual elimination of iodine deficiency through iodisation of all salts for human and animal consumption.

Speaking at the workshop, a Nutrition Consultant, Mr J. G. A Armah, said the consumption of salt in the Greater Accra Region had fallen over the years, especially in the salt production area of Dangme East and its environs.

He said non-iodised salt had found its way into other districts including Tema, Dangme West and Ashiaman and this posed a great challenge to the modest success so far.

He urged the Food and Drugs Board to check the authenticity of the salts before they are sent to the market for purchase and consumption.

The Deputy Director of Nursing Services of the Greater Accra Region, Madam Helen Mary Bainson, added that iodine deficiency could have adverse effect for communities with a high rate of deficiency.

“This is because the mental retardation can cover a wide range, from blunting of intellect to cretinism, and a large part of the population may have some intellectual impairment,” she explained.
She said individuals in those communities also had lower education and lower economic productivity and the whole community suffered.

 In her presentation, Madam Evelyn Tabil from the Health Promotion Unit of GHS called on the media, traditional and religious leaders to frequently educate the public about the benefit of iodised salt.
She also advised that iodised salts be properly packaged to prevent the iodine from evaporating.



The Development Action Association (DAA) has organised a stakeholders’ meeting to deliberate on how to encourage rural farmers and traders to use standard weights and measurement scales in buying and selling agricultural produce.

The meeting was also used to conduct a baseline study on the current measurement standards of agricultural produce in Ghana so as to sensitise the general populace to incorporating measuring scales in agricultural trade.

The Programmes Officer of Agric Support and More, Mr Felix Appiah-Ankam, in a presentation on Promoting Standard Weight and Measurement (SWM) in the Sale of Agricultural Produce, said the introduction of weight s and measurements in marketing agricultural produce was a national issue which needed to be addressed with urgency.

He said a number of rural farmers, most of who were women, continued to complain of poverty because they were not given the right amount of money for their produce.

“Tomato farmers for instance during the bumper season do not have a say in the price of their product because the traders know that the tomatoes would get rotten if they are not sold. They therefore decide on how much to give the farmer which usually does not even come close to what the farmers spent in growing the produce,” he said.

Additionally, traders in the urban areas tend to sell the produce from the rural farmers in bags of kilos and measurements, the price of which is sometimes equal to or more than that of the original  produce.

He was optimistic the introduction of the SWM would bring an innovation in how marketing was done in various market centres.

Mr Ankam said the SWM had the potential to improve significantly the profit margins of farmers and traders alike while giving consumers value for money.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, a Director at the ministry, Mr  Theophilus  Osei Bonsu, lauded the promotion of the SWM and said it would encourage value addition, processing, packaging and hygiene among farmers.

 He said neighbouring countries like Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, among others, used the SWM and, therefore, called for public-private partnership in promoting the SWM.

Additionally, rural women should be sensitised more to the correct processes in measuring  their farm produce so as to make it easier for them to come to a consensus on the measure of a produce before selling it to the traders.

Mr Bonsu, however, called for a public private partnership in promoting SWM which would increase income growth and competition among farmers.

The Founder of DAA, Madam  Lydia Sasu, also called on the government to take immediate steps to implement the SWM  so that the rural women farmers would also benefit from their agricultural ventures.
She also called on the stakeholders to come together to find the way forward in transforming commerce in Ghana.


NINETEEN thousand Ghanaians, including 5,100 children under five years, die each year form diarrhoea, a study conducted in 2011 by the Water and Sanitation Programme and WaterAid has revealed.

According to the study titled, “Economic impact of Poor Sanitation in Africa 2011,” nearly 90 per cent of these deaths is directly attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.
In addition, poor sanitation is a contributing factor, through its impacts on malnutrition rates, to other leading causes of mortality, including malaria.

It is with this background that WaterAid in Ghana launched its WaterAid in Ghana’s new Goodwill Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) Ambassador’s Programme in Accra. 

The programme is to promote behaviour change towards improved health and hygiene education cleanliness, improve political prioritisation of WASH to fight WASH poverty and to also increase awareness of the WASH programme and funding base.

The Ambassadors include the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional area, Nana Kobina Nketia V; Mrs Akofa Ajeani Asiedu, Ms Shamima Muslim, Mr Nathaniel Kwabena Anokye Adisi, popularly known as Bola Ray; Ms Jane Awindor, also known in the music circles as Efya; Mr Ben Brako and Ms Wilhelmina Abu-Andani, popularly known as Mimi.

The Country Representative of WaterAid Ghana, Madam Afia Zakiya, said the human right to water entitled everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.

She said the water and sanitation sector in the country needed to be given the immediate attention so as to prevent epidemic in future.

She, therefore, called on Ghanaians to take action and show the government and other duty barriers at all level that water and sanitation was crucial for human survival.

“We should tell our leaders and policy makers that investing in taps and toilets is an investment in basic human needs and an urgent priority. Schoolchildren need taps and toilets in schools and their homes,” she added.

The Deputy Minister of Environment Science and Technology, Dr Ahmed Mustapha, in his remarks, pledged the support of the Ministry to help improve the water and sanitation sector.

He recalled that the recent outbreak of cholera was as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene.

He also called on landlords to provide toilet facilities in their homes in order to prevent open defecation.
Dr Mustapha also urged the ambassadors to use the mandate given them to advocate good sanitation.

The Regional Extension Services Specialist for the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Mrs Theodora Adomako-Adjei, stressed that it was time sanitation and water issues became a core part of policies being discussed in the country.

Additionally, most out patient department (OPD) cases being recorded in hospitals were water and sanitation related cases, which could be avoided.

She appealed to Ghanaians to change their attitudes towards sanitation and water issues in order to eradicate water and sanction related diseases completely.

“Sanitation is everybody’s business. It is about time we changed our attitudes towards the sanitation and water sector for everybody’s safety,” she said.



Ghana Commercial Bank  (GCB) will continue with its transformation programme  to help reposition  itself as one of the  leading banks in Africa, the Managing Director, Mr Simon Dornoo, has said.

The transformation programme, which began in 2010, is a major change programme which involves  the review of the bank’s  governance structures, processes, systems  and infrastructure, with the view to provide the best  products and services to its customers and other stakeholders.

Key initiatives in the transformation programme include alternate service points, automated teller machines (ATMs) and SMS banking, Internet banking, 24 hour personal loans, governance issues and branch upgrade and rebranding.

Speaking with the media in Accra, Mr Dornoo said  alternate service points  would cover the provision of more ATMs, enhancing the Internet  banking service at both corporate and individual levels, the introduction of international debit cards and the  automation of  personal loan  process.

“Given the enhancement in ATM services and the alternate sources of service, we will have less people in the banking halls and attend to loan requests which have peaked because of its automated process,” he explained.

Additionally, the bank would increase its ATM acrosss the country to 223  by June this year to enhance delivery  in its systems and service to its clients.

The SMS banking would also allow customer to receive  alerts on their phones as  soon as transactions hit their account, saying “these are aimed at  making banking easier for customers” adding that by the end of February, about  133,011 customers had signed on to the SMS banking service.

Mr Dornoo said the Internet banking  would ensure the convenience of checking balances, transfers of funds across accounts, facilitating salary payments and accounts monitoring.

He said the introduction of the  24 hour  personal loan had enabled the bank to satisfy its customers tremendously and promptly in loan facilitation, saying “ In fact, a salaried worker can obtain a loan from GCB within 24 hours. The actual application process takes less than 15 minutes and the funds are made available in the customer’s account within 24 hours”.

He disclosed that the bank would be refurbishing 25 more branches this year, whilst considering the rebranding of the bank and the launch of Point of Sale network to complement existing channels.

“We will have Visa cards accepted on GCB ATMs to be followed by issuing of Visa debit cards. This will add to improving our customer service and put the bank firmly ahead of competition in terms of the variety of electronic products and services in the market,” he explained.



Vodafone Ghana has once again opened entries for questions for the flagship health initiative, “Healthline”, calling on Ghanaians to text their questions to health matters shortcode 1788 across all networks.

For the next four weeks, the shortcode 1788 would be open to everyone to text in their questions on any health topic they are interested in.

The questions will be answered by a panel of doctors in the season two of the pioneering television show, which captured the hearts and minds of Ghanaians last year.

 In an address to the media, the Head of Corporate Communications at Vodafone Ghana, Carmen Bruce-Annan, explained the need for people to text in their health questions, saying,”the questions people will ask will determine the content of the show. We want to empower people to take control of their own health practices and this starts with giving them accurate, reliable information which is relevant to them.”

She said in the last season of Healthline, over 10,000 questions were submitted by the public and were used to develop the contents of both the television and the radio show.

She was optimistic that more questions would be received from the public this year and the television programme would be adapted to address the many health concerns of the public.

Ms Bruce-Annan reaffirmed  Vodafone’s commitment to making a difference in the health sector in Ghana and added that members of the public can also send their questions by visiting the Healthline  facebook page at www.facebook.com/ vodafone healthline.

He said knowledge about common health issues and practices could improve lifestyle and even save lives, hence its importance for the public to provide accurate and reliable information.

He lauded the public’s reaction to the show last year, indicating that there was the need for the initiative to continue as long as the public showed interest in it.
The television show will, however, be coming soon on all major television networks.


The Chief Executive Officer of Amen Scientific Hospital, Dr Sheikh Amen Bonsu, has been honoured by the Ministry of Health of Cote d’Ivoire for his immense contribution to the promotion of traditional medicine in Ghana and the sub-region.

The honorary awards ceremony saw in attendance the Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo; the Chief Imam, Sheikh Osumanu Nuhu Shaributu; representatives from the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM), the Food and Drugs Board, the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM) and the delegation from Cote d’Ivoire.

Mr Mettle-Nunoo in his remarks lauded the achievements of Dr  Bonsu and said Ghana was in the process of introducing traditional medicine practice in 17 hospitals across the country.
He said this was to help promote the basic principles and objectives of traditional medicine and help eliminate the quack ones from the system.

He also noted with keen interest the contribution of Islam to the development of medicine in Africa and called for more to be done to improve the standards of production.

The Cote d’Ivoire Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Bernard Ehui Kotoan, for his part called for the exploration of traditional medicine in Africa in order to find ways of effectively creating its awareness on the continent.

He also called for more support for traditional medicine practitioners and also to recognise and encourage  people who had performed well in the promotion of traditional medicine.

“As a country and continent we have to recognise and encourage people who have performed very well and it is with regard to this that we present this honorary award to Dr Bonsu, in order for him to continue to perform better,” he said.

A former Deputy Director of the CSRPM, Dr Osafo Mensah, mentioned the various roles traditional medicine has played in the healthcare delivery system in the country, adding that its potential had not been exhaustively examined.

 “Globally the World Health Organisation (WHO) had stated that about 80 per cent of the world’s population use herbal or traditional medicine and its practice was started by various ethnic groups in Africa with over 90 per cent of the drugs used in the hospitals today,” he explained.
For his part, Dr Amen Bonsu lauded the response to traditional medicine, saying “many people are choosing herbal medicine as their preferred choice of medical care”.

 He noted that the hospital — which has 14 branches operating nationwide and in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Nigeria — was committed to and focused on sustaining and achieving its mission and vision in order to aid the rapid growth of the herbal traditional medicine.

 “Besides providing safe health delivery to our people, we are also contributing to the socio-economic growth of the country and the sub-region at large. This is due to the fact that we provide jobs for the teaming numbers of youth who graduate from institutions across the country,” he added.

He expressed appreciation for the efforts and contributions of the delegation from Cote d’Ivoire towards the growth and sustainability of the herbal industry and hoped to continue the collaboration to ensure the improvement of traditional medicine for socio-economic development.

Dr Bonsu also called on West African countries to improve their economies by cutting down importation and increasing exports for favourable balance of payment and trade.


TWENTY Dental Surgeons drawn from Ghana, the Gambia and Nigeria are to benefit from a four modular course in dental implantology at the University of Ghana Dental School in Korle Bu.

Dental implantology is a new branch of dentistry which involves the reconstruction of missing teeth and their supporting structures with natural or synthetic substitutes.

The course is being organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, Ghana, in collaboration with the University of Ghana Dental School at Korle Bu and the Academy of Medical Sciences of Germany with the support of the Ministry of Health.

The first modular course starts in April, while the second, third and fourth modular courses would be organised in July, October and December 2012 respectively.

Dr  Maulvi A Wahab Adam , the Ameer and Missionary-In- Charge  of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission said about £200,000 had been borne by the mission through the approval of the  Supreme Head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V and the Academy of Medical Sciences and stakeholders in Germany.

 He said this was a contribution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission towards the provision of social services in general and healthcare services in the country.

He, however, urged the participants to be fully engaged in the course in order to upgrade their skills and also add up to the already existing dental surgeons in Ghana and Africa.

The Vice Dean of the University of Ghana Dental School, Prof. Ebenezer Nyarko, who is also the coordinator of the course said dental implantology was one of the latest high technology in dental surgery for the treatment of dental cases worldwide.

He,however, called for more funding in order to increase the number of students who undertake the course every year.

The Chairman for the occasion, Professor Aaron Lawson of the College of Health Sciences, said the selection of the course participants from all over the country was to ensure the intended spread of knowledge throughout Ghana.



SIX hundred and twenty four girls in Junior High Schools (JHS) are to participate in the third edition of the annual National Girls camp project being funded by the USAID as part of the Transition and Persistence (TAP) Project implemented by Plan Ghana.

The project aims to increase JHS enrolment and completion rates in 156 JHS’s in 13 districts selected from the Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern and the Greater Accra regions. It is aimed at exposing girls to better opportunities and prospects in life. The camp meeting would also broaden their outlook and thinking and build the girls' self esteem and confidence.  

The first batch of 312 girls are participating in the 10-day camp meeting, on the theme: “Harnessing the potentials for active participation in education,”. 

The programme is being supported by USAID, in collaboration with the Girls Education Unit of Ghana Education Service (GES) and Plan Ghana.   

In addition, it would empower them to set meaningful future goals and look at how to achieve them to live responsible lives and adopt healthy behaviours.

The participants were selected based on their academic performance, attendance and their overall character in their various schools from the Akuapem North,  Dangme West,  Dormaa Municipality, Ga West, Tano South and  Dormaa East. The rest are from Asuogyaman, Lower Manya, Upper Manya, New Juaben, Gomoa East, Gomoa West and the Yilo Krobo districts.

The focus of the Girls Camp is to inspire girls to enrol and complete their Junior High School education and to also expose them to better opportunities and prospects in life.

The Country Director of Plan Ghana, Mr Prem Shukla in his address said the camp is expected to broaden the outlook and thinking of the girls while building their self esteem and confidence.

He said there was the need to empower the girls to set meaningful future goals and define how to achieve them for their lives in future.

He, however, pledged the continuous support of Plan Ghana in helping children especially the girl child to realise their full potentials in societies, where there is respect for peoples rights and dignity.

“Plan Ghana aims to reach out to children especially girls because we know that in some communities girls are losing out on many opportunities because they are not being educated as boys are often given preference over girls when it comes to education,” he explained.

Mr Shukla added that in some communities, girls are given out to marriage very early which affects their desire to get access to education to enable them realise their full potential.

He urged the girls to remain focused and work hard to ensure that they achieved their dreams as well as set good examples to help other girls in their schools and communities to become equally responsible.

He was optimistic that the camp would give them the exposure to be agents of change when they return to their communities.

A representative of USAID, Mr Luis Tolley, said the organisation was interested in the education of children and was glad to partner with stakeholders to promote quality education in the country and advised the girls to set achievable goals and apply what they have learnt to every aspect of their lives.

The Director of the Girls Education Unit of the GES, Mrs Matilda Bannernan-Mensah, in her remarks, called on the girls to build their potentials and that of their colleagues.

“Recognise what you all can do and combine your efforts to achieve greater heights in your endeavors,” she said.

The Acting Deputy Director General and Director of the Basic Education Division of the GES, Mr Stephen Adu, said the process of nation-building demands the maximum contribution from all citizens hence the need for all to be educated, especially the girl child.

He said closing the gender gap is one of the major challenges confronting the girl child, adding that gender equality in education and training is a potent driver of women’s empowerment and nation building and also one of the most important catalyst of social change and integration.

He urged the girls to seize opportunities that would be provided them at the camp to tap their potentials for their future development.

He said “throughout  the country, safe school infrastructure is being improved and being made gender friendly.The provision of school uniforms, exercise books and other school materials to promote learning are also being provided to ensure that girls in particular are not denied access to education,” he explained.

He was optimistic that the beneficiaries of the camp activity would serve as advocates for the promotion of education for the girl child.

The Girls Camp is also jointly implemented by the Girls Education Unit (GEU) of the GES with the support of the District Education Directorates of the projects districts, the district assemblies, Parent Teacher Associations, traditional authorities and teachers.

The camp activities would include discussions on the benefits of education, reading skills and study clubs, hygiene, establishing and maintaining good relationships and sexual reproductive health.

Others are values, esteem building and standards, interaction with role models, educational field trips, sight seeing, exercise, nutrition and health, games, and vocational skills.



THE Member of Parliament for the Ayawaso East Constituency, Dr Ahmed Mustapha, has lauded his constituents for maintaining the peace and unity that has prevailed in the Nima -Mamobi community in the ongoing biometric voters registration exercise.

He said even though other constituencies have had their complaints about the ongoing exercise, he was happy that they had remained calm and resolved their issues amicably without the involvement of the law.

He called on the residents to continue to maintain the peace and fully participate in the exercise to enable them to exercise their voting rights during the 2012 December elections.

Dr Mustapha, who is also the Deputy Minister for Environment Science and Technology, made this remarks when he registered at the Rishada Islamic Registration Centre at Mamobi, Accra.

Speaking to Daily Graphic after the registration, the Dr Mustapha called on all residents who were 18 years and above to come out to register and vote come December.

He cautioned them against the temptation to register twice or be coerced to indulge in electoral malpractices which was punishable by law.

He also called on the Imams, and youth leaders in the community to continue to propagate peace in the community taking into consideration the benefit it would have on the future generation of the community.



THE Chief Executive Officer of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, was adjudged the overall Best Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 at the just-ended  2nd UT-Ghana Entrepreneur Awards held in Accra.

The awards ceremony was aimed at honouring, inspiring and recognising the outstanding achievements of Ghanaian and resident foreign entrepreneurs in small, medium and large enterprises (SMLEs), who have excelled in developing successful business, employment generation and contributing to the growth of the country’s economy.

It was organised by Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Deloitte and Touche.

The awards night commemorated this year's World Entrepreneurship Day (WED), where 30 prominent entrepreneurs were honoured and was also used to create nationwide awareness and promote more small and medium-scale enterprises, and encourage business start-up.

In addition, it was to support the development of new enterprises and the creation of role models who could inspire and mentor future generations of entrepreneurs.

In his welcome address, the founder of the Entrepreneur Foundation of Ghana, Mr Sam Ato Gaisie, said entrepreneurs, in their own way, contributed to the development of the country, hence the need to recognise their efforts.

He said the SME sector was fast growing, hence the need for entrepreneurs to aim for the best through joint partnership and other forms of capital to compete with other countries.

He appealed to institutions to support the foundation in honouring prominent entrepreneurs in the country.
In a speech read on behalf of the Vice President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Stephen Ackah, challenged them to go a step further to identify high-budding entrepreneurs in Ghana to mentor and assist.

He said the mentoring would make their start-up journeys less lonely and failure-proof, saying, “We would then be leading a movement to catalyse long-term economic growth of this country”.

He pledged the government’s support to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship, especially among the youth who complete school with the mindset to work in only  big companies.

He called for the collaboration with universities and polytechnics to provide entrepreneurship clinics that would increase their interest in self-employment and creation of  ventures.

The Vice President was optimistic that the set-up of venture capital funds and angel investment funds could give young businesses the needed start up capital to launch properly, in addition to the benefit of experiences.
He also encouraged big companies and established organisations to support young businesses with a percentage of their contracts so as to give them the financial push, experience and exposure.

The President of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr Seth Adjei-Baah, said the country over the years had experienced increase in the attraction of investors due to the vast human talents in the country.

He said entrepreneurs had demonstrated capabilities to adapt to the changing needs of the world of work owing to technological innovations, competition and globalisation.

He, however, urged the entrepreneurs to continue to play active roles in the development of the country.
The awardees included Dr Felix Anyah, Executive Chairman of the Holy Trinity Health Spa, Mr John Daniel Otoo, CEO of Capital 02 Health Company Limited, Mrs Edith Dankwa, Executive Director of the Business and Financial Times Newspaper, Mr James Ebo Whyte, CEO of Roverman Productions, Mr M C Vanani, CEO of Consolidated Shipping Agencies Limited, Dr Kweku Frimpong, CEO of  Champion Divine Clinic, Mr Kimathi Mawuse Dake, CEO of Jescan Construction Limited, Mr William Ato  Essien, CEO of Capital Plus, and Mr Herman Chinery Hesse, Executive Chairman of SOFTtribe Limited.

Others were the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, Sir Samuel Esson Jonah, CEO of  Manet Group of Companies, Dr Theresa Oppong-Beeko, CEO of Regent University College of Science and Technology, Prof Emmanuel Kingsley Larbi, CEO of Beige Capital Group, Mr Mike  Nyinaku, CEO of MetroTV, Mr Talal Fatal, Chairman of Melcom Group of Companies, Mr Bhagwan Khubehandani, Executive Chairman of Global Media Broadcasting Limited, Mr Edward Boateng, CEO of TT Brothers, Mr Isaac Tetteh, CEO of Japan Motors Group of Companies, Mr Salem Kalmoni, and Chairman of Krif Ghana Limited, Mr  Kenneth Okosun.

The rest were the CEO of M Plaza and Mariset Hotels, Mr Stephen Osei Akoto, Executive Chairman of Comet Properties limited, Nana Odeneho Kyeremanteng, Managing Director of Expectravel-HRG Ghana, Mr Sydney Baeta, Chairman of Mohinani Group of Companies, Mr Ramchard Udharam Mohinani, CEO Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited, Mr Samuel Amo Tobbin, CEO of Y. Kumey International Group, Chief Yaw Kumey, CEO of  Lintas Lowe Limited, Mrs Norkor Duah, CEO of Kwatsons Group of Companies,Dr Woley, Managing Solicitor of Kulendi Law, Mr Yonny Kulendi Esq, and  CEO of  Magvlyn Industries Limited, Mr Magnus Nunoo.

The categories of awards were the Overall Best Entrepreneur 2010, Best Young Entrepreneur, Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding, Special Achievement, Best Woman Entrepreneur, Serial Entrepreneur , Best International  Entrepreneur, and Most Promising  Entrepreneur.

Other awards were Manufacturing Industry Award, Banking and Finance, Health Services, Herbal Services, Pharmaceutical Industry, Media Communications and Entertainment, Advertising and Marketing Communications, Electronic Media, Print Media and Publishing, Food and Beverages and Transport and Logistics.

The rest of the awards were Hospitality Industry, Travel and Tourism, Real Estate Development, Commercial and Property Development, Entrepreneur Professional, Building and Civil Engineering, Office Suppliers and Stationery, Trading and Retailing, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and Education.
The CEO of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, in his remarks, encouraged the youth to take up entrepreneurship to develop themselves and create jobs for others.


Story & Picture: Zainabu Issah

THREE hundred and sixty people from Zongo communities are to be trained as observers during the December 2012 general election.

The Danish Embassy in Accra signed an agreement with the Islamic Peace and Security Council (IPASEC) yesterday to provide funding for the training programme.

The programme, expected to benefit 220 males and 140 females, is intended to help create awareness in Zongo communities of the need to avoid all forms of violence and fraudulent election practices.
It is also aimed at ensuring that Zongo communities have confidence in the electoral process and accept the winner at the end of the elections.

The Danish support follows the launch of IPASEC’s new project, “ Ensuring violence free 2012 elections in Zongo communities in Greater Accra”, which is being spearheaded by the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr Osumanu Nuhu Sharebutu.

Signing the agreement, the Danish Ambassador in Ghana, Mr Carsten Nilaus Pedersen, said he was optimistic that dialogue, visits and exchanges between Danes and Ghanaians, Christians and Muslims would strengthen insights and understanding of each other.

He said such frequent interaction and engagement would help eliminate fear and overcome challenges deriving from extremism and intolerance, both religious and secular.

“Dialogue will help us explore what unites us and what we have in common, what binds us together as humans rather than what divides us,” he said.

He, however, said the grass-roots approach of working directly with people to prevent violence during elections was one which was worthy of support.

The National Chief Imam and Chairman of IPASEC, Sheikh Dr Sharebutu, in his remarks, thanked the embassy for recognising the need to support the peace campaign in Ghana.

He said the Muslim and Zongo communities in the country were faced with numerous socio-economic problems that prevented them from developing their talents as useful citizens and also made it impossible for them to actualise their dreams, aspirations and full potential as future leaders.

“Hence certain political figures and their sponsors are known to take advantage of the Zongo youth and use them to organise support, cause unrest or steal ballot boxes in the interest of the financiers,” he explained.

Additionally, he said Ghanaian Muslims believed in peace building that required a collaborative effort to achieve, hence the need for every patriotic citizen to ensure the maintenance of peace before, during and after the elections.

Sheikh Sharebutu said the funding would go a long way to bring about peace within the Muslim communities in Ghana during election periods.
Present at the signing ceremony were representatives from the Council of Muslim Chiefs, the National
Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Electoral Commission and some heads of Muslim youth groups in Accra.

 Sheikh Dr Sharebutu (middle) signing the agreement form. Looking on are the Danish Ambassador, Mr Carsten Nilaus Pedersen (left), and the Deputy Head of Mission of DANIDA, Mr Jan Pirouz Poulsen.



THE ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (EGDC) has presented a cheque for $30,000 to three rural based women’s groups engaged in food processing and agriculture to boost their activities.

The beneficiaries are the Lioro Widows Group from the Upper West Region, the Dunenyo Women’s Association at Tokokoe in Ho, and the Otaipro Women’s Group in the Eastern Region.

The groups are to use the funds to secure farming equipment and implements such as  tractors, chemical spraying machines, machetes, hoes, Wellington boots, shelling machines , rain coats, cassava processing machines, donkey ploughs and accessories to enhance their agricultural activities.

The rationale behind the support is to help eradicate poverty and hunger among  rural women and to overcome development challenges confronting them.

At a presentation ceremony in Accra yesterday, the Director of EGDC, Madam Aminatta Dibba, said challenges that continued to confront women, such as poverty, illiteracy, HIV/AIDS and   forms of violence, among others, had continued to place the majority of women at the bottom of the development ladder.

Those factors, she said, had perpetuated and deepened the already wide gender disparities that existed in the communities.

She said the gender revolution was gradually losing its momentum hence the need to re-ignite the gender flame and gather the fighting spirit that had brought women to where they were.

Madam Dibba said: “If the gender revolution is to succeed, it must start with the rural woman, who is the most burdened, the most exploited, the most violated, the most abused and the least respected”.

She said without the social, economic, political and legal empowerment of the rural woman, the fight for gender equality and equity would be meaningless and unsustainable.

In that regard, Madam Dibba said, the ECOWAS Gender Centre had initiated a programme to support women and girls suffering form obstetric fistula in ECOWAS member states, who were mostly from the rural areas.

The Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Madam Juliana Azumah Mensah, said she recognised that rural women in household economic units were responsible for almost 70 per cent of household production contributing to food security in the country.

Within the agricultural sector, rural women undertake a wide range of activities relating to food production, processing and marketing.

She pledged the government’s commitment to empower rural women in order to alleviate poverty.

Madam Mensah also commended the EGDC for providing financial support to the rural woman to further enhance their production, ensure food security and break the cycle of poverty.

For her part, the Director of Women’s Entrepreneurship Development of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Madam Habiba Sumani,said the empowerment of the rural woman would contribute immensely in bridging the gender disparities and inequalities in various communities.



The Ghana Red Cross, in conjunction with the Iranian Red Crecent, has organised a free medical screening for the people of Kpong Bawaleshi at Dodowa in the Dangbe West District.

The exercise, which attracted over 500 people, was aimed at providing first aid treatment to sick persons in the area who could not afford to visit the hospitals.

It was also used as a platform to educate the people on communicable and non communicable diseases,and the need to stay healthy at all times.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Secretary General of the Ghana Red Cross, Mr Kofi Addo, said the screening was part of the annual World Red Cross Red Crescent Day celebrations aimed at recognising the contributions of young people in leadership.

He said the health of every Ghanaian was key to national development, hence the need to extend its humanitarian services to the rural communities.

Mr Addo also called on Ghanaians to undertake regular medical checkups in order to know their health status.

He pledged the Ghana Red Cross’ commitment in forming partnership with other medical organisations in its mandate of bringing good health to Ghanaians.

The Medical Director of the Iran Clinic and representative of the Iranian Crescent, Dr Mohammad Hadi Pahla Vanian, pledged their continuous support to the country in the area of healthcare.

He explained that some of the medication made available for the outreach included malaria drugs, antibiotics for various infections, skin ointments and body lotions, and basic medication for diarrhoea, dental problems and other diseases.

“Other sicknesses which cannot be treated over here would be referred to the hospital,” he added.
Speaking on behalf of the people in the community, Mr Eric Ntim, a resident, lauded the efforts of the Iranian Red Crescent and the Ghana Red Cross.



A MAZE of buyers and sellers squeezed into congested ramshackle sheds with leaky roofs and wooden pillars threatening to give up anytime.

Cacophony of sounds from mosques and preachers blend with those of bus conductors (mates) calling passengers.

An army of houseflies furiously attacking a pile of rubbish left by the roadside.

These are scenes that greet the first time visitor to the Nima Market, one of the vibrant markets in Accra, specifically located in the Ayawaso East Sub-Metro.

Started over 50 years ago and cluttered with over 500 sheds, the market serves Nima, Mamobi, Newtown and the Pig Farm communities.

It also serves as a major wholesale hub for particular farm products, including millet, groundnut, maize, gari, beans, onion, wheat, corn flour and other vegetables.

These produce make their way mostly from the Northern parts of the country and other parts of the West African sub-region hence the Nima market is sometimes referred to as the  ‘ECOWAS Market.’

Well known as “ Kasoa Lariba” to wit, Wednesday Market in Hausa, the scene of commercial activities is that of chaos every Wednesday due to the large influx of traders and commercial vehicles competing for space.

Traders who are eager to earn a living invade the pavement and part of the road which is meant for pedestrians making it barely possible to squeeze through the maze of cars and humans.

On rainy days, the Nima Market is less than attractive.  It gets muddy and sticky. Shoppers and traders alike end up with stamps of dirt on their clothes.

Washrooms are non-existent. The only place of convenient stinks so bad that it is always better, according to the traders, to go to nearby houses and plead to ease one’s self.

With a film of sweat dripping down her cheeks, Amina Suleiman, who had just returned from one such visit laments, “The last time I visited that market toilet, I felt like vomiting. The place smells so bad that it can even replace your perfume.”

On market days, the market swarms with both buyers and sellers. Foot traffic becomes so thick that there is always a spill over from the main market onto the main road worsening the already existing ‘go slow.’

There is also the pockets of filth which at the end of the market day piles up all over the place as there are no waste bins or containers to throw the garbage in.

With no drains in the market, the traders end up throwing things that should be in drains onto the floor- sometimes leading to verbal and physical brawls.

The only drains close to the market, which is along the road, is also mostly covered with wooden boards - most of which have outlived their purpose. On a number of occasions, the traders said patrons of the market had sustained injuries.

Not everybody is happy with the chaos by the roadside. The Market Queen, Mrs Charlotte Martey, complained that traders along the road have virtually shut down business within the market because customers no longer want to come into the market to shop.

According to her, to stop the selling on the shoulders of the road, the market leadership had employed eight people to deal with the situation but it could not be sustained.

“I could no longer pay for their services because as much as I pay for them to sack them, others attacked the task force  created and they sometimes engaged in fights which led to the dissolution of the taskforce,” she explained.

For many of the traders, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly had not lived up to its responsibility of providing facilities for the market even though the traders pay their taxes.

“We have complained on countless occasions about the state of the market but it has not brought us any good news. It is all about we will do it, we’ll do it,” she lamented.
She, therefore, called on the AMA and the Accra Mayor, Mr Alfred Vanderpuye, as a matter of urgency, to honour his promise about the rehabilitation of the market.

“The rains are getting near and we fear to lose the market because structures get damaged anytime there is a downpour. The market has over the years being a source of income for our farmers who bring their produce here for sale and those who sell them. We do not want to lose it,” she said.

With her hands deep in piling up tomatoes on her tray, Aunty Gifty, a trader who had plied her trade in the market for 30 years, observed that the market remained the same for many years.

But those who sell along the road also have a reason. Hajia Rukaya, who had been selling millet along the road over the last five years, told the Daily Graphic that the cost of shed in the market was too expensive and people liked to shop along the road rather than in the market.

The state of the market during the rainy season is also not an incentive she said.
“During the raining season, the market becomes flooded and this is a disadvantage to the traders because they all come out to sell on the streets.”

“When it rains, those in the market also come out to the streets to sell their produce. So what difference does it make when I sell on the street rather than be in the market where I pay huge sums of money for a shed but have to come out to the street again when it rains?”

She, however, said that the only way to leave the streets was when the market was rebuilt to accommodate all traders.

Following the recent visit of President John Evans Atta Mills to the Nima Market, it has suddenly become a centre of attraction and considerable interest especially with foreigners.

That, according to many traders, was an exciting moment as it has even led to increase in patronage by foreigners.

But with the rainy season staring at them in the face, many of the traders said the President would be welcomed again when the rains set in so he could see the conditions they work to earn their daily bread.

Selasa, 08 Mei 2012


THE Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, has toured  the capital to acquaint himself with ongoing  projects in the city.

The tour, organised by the AMA, was also to introduce the regional minister to other officials working to improve conditions in the city and to expose him to the environmental issues.

Some of the project sites visited included; the One Way traffic road on the Asafioatse Netty road, and the Kantamanto road,  Lavender Hill, Mampoase drains roads and street lights, and the Millennium City Schools.

Others are the Abossey Okai,Darkuman, Sakaman and the Osu storm drains, Lapaz lorry Station and the Akweteman roads.

The rest are the Kotobabi Abavana toilet facility, West Legon Liquid Waste Treatment Plant, and the East Legon community roads, and the distribution of refuse bins to the residents of the Pig farm community.

At the Lavender hill in Ablekuma South, the Mayor reiterated that plans were far advanced to build six anaerobic digesters to treat waste into organic waste which would be ready by June this year.

He said the digesters would marginally help reduce problems with odours, pathogens and green house gas emissions from animal waste or sewerage sluge and also turn sewerage treatment plants and animal waste on farms into manure.

At  Mampoasi in the Ablekuma Sub-metro, a 14 kilometre (km) road has been constructed with 28km roadside drains. Also, 250 streetlights and pipe born water has been installed in the community.

The Salvation and the Mamprobi Millennium City School are about 80 per cent complete while the Kotobabi Abavana Cluster of Schools is still under construction and when completed, would help eliminate the shift system.

The minister also inaugurated the Kotobabi Ababvana toilet for the schoolchildren and distributed 500 plastic refuse bins to the residents of the Pig Farm community.

At the West Ayawaso district, the minister inspected the construction of the West Legon Liquid Waste Treatment Plant aimed to solve the sewerage problems in Accra.

Contractors said the project when completed would serve the University of Ghana, Legon Presbyterian Boys School, and the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) and in future include Haasto, East and West Legon, Okponglo and Madina.

The project is however about 70 per cent complete and comprises Sewerage Treatment Ponds, Sewers, and the Sewerage Pump Stations.

At the Korle Klottey constituency, the Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Nii Armah Ashiety, thanked the AMA for the construction of the storm drain which has reduced flooding in the vicinity during downpours.

He said this was a prove of the government’s commitment to provide better living conditions to Ghanaians under the Better Ghana Agenda saying, “  Others have been in power for eight years but have not been able to achieve what we have done in four years.”

The Accra Mayor, Mr Alfred Vanderpuji, in his remarks thanked the various contractors of the projects for their effort in bringing to light the Millenium City Dream of the government


 Story: Musah Yahaya Jafaru & Zainabu Issah

THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has called for a strong and innovative public-private partnership (PPP) towards addressing the issue of stigmatisation against persons with HIV.
Such a partnership, he said, was also crucial in empowering  women in the fight against HIV.

The Vice-President made the call at the opening session of the Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV summit organised by the University of Ghana in collaboration with the Brown University of the United States of America Academic Partnership in Accra yesterday.

 The collaboration between the University of Ghana and the Brown University is designed to address HIV/AIDS jointly with the Ghana AIDS Commission and the National AIDS/STI Control Programme and the Ghana Health Service.

Held on the theme, “Towards an HIV-free Generation by 2015”, the summit sought to discuss successes and challenges in eliminating Paediatric HIV in Ghana by 2015.

Besides public-private partnership, the Vice-President called for the active participation of men in the elimination of MTCT in order to meet the less than five per cent target of MTCT by 2015.

The government, he said, had released an unspecified amount towards the elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV in the country by 2015, and added that the government had earmarked GH¢150 million for the fight against the dreadful disease.

Out of the allocation, some substantial resources had been released to the Ghana AIDS Commission for its operations and work.

The Vice-President said the government would continue to support efforts at achieving virtual elimination of MTCT.

“I hope that by 2015, no child would be infected with HIV/AIDs as a result of transmitting it from the mother,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Provost of the University of Ghana (UG) College of Health Sciences, Professor Aaron Lawson, said participants during the summit would take into consideration not only the challenges of MTCT but also how to overcome those challenges.

He, however, implored participants to give their outmost best in ensuring that the MTCT target was achieved.

The Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr Angela El-Adas, in her remarks, said the elimination of MTCT was a shared responsibility of all stakeholders.
She, however, called for a continuous collaboration in order to achieve the 2015 MTCT target of less than five per cent.

Professor Timothy Flanigan, a Professor of Medicine from the Brown University, pledged the commitment of the university in the participation in the global fight against MTCT and HIV/AIDs, saying “we would collaborate with the UG in providing the requisite knowledge and skills towards the understanding of HIV/AIDs to medical students”.

He said the partnership was also a way of sharing requisite knowledge between the two universities in the area of medicine and the fight against HIV/AIDs.

Addressing the summit, Chief Paediatric, Adolescent and Maternal AIDS Branch of the United States of America (USA), Madam Lynne M. Mofenson, explained that without the use of anti-retroviral interventions, MTCT rates were 20-25 per cent in formula-fed infants and up to 40-45 per cent in prolonged breastfeeding.

She, however, said women who required treatment for the disease received the highest priority in order to effectively prevent MTCT.

The Programmes Manager of the National AIDS/STI Control Programme, Dr Nii Akwei Addo, explaining the state of MTCT in the country, said there was the provision of treatment, care and support to women infected with HIV, their infants and families.

He said  lack of funding, human resources, among others, were some of the challenges faced in the provision of health care to persons living with HIV.

Abandoned uncompleted Maamobi drain pose treat to lives.

What started as the construction of a drain to ensure the smooth flow of waste water and improve sanitation in the Mamobi- 441 community, now poses a threat to the lives  of residents in the community.

Structures built along the now uncompleted drain, which runs from Kawokudi Junction through Paloma Restaurant to the Korle Lagoon, are on the verge of collapse as erosion has gradually eaten up the walls of these houses.

Some residents have therefore willingly abandoned their structures while others have resorted to dumping refuse behind their houses as a way of fighting erosion.
The first part of the Mamobi drainage, which was awarded to the State Construction Company (SCC), was completed 1999, but the second phase, which runs from the Mamobi bridge to Kawokudi junction, is still struggling to see the light of day.

The drain is now filled with human excreta, rubbish and dirty stinky stagnant water which makes it almost impossible to breathe when passing through the community.

People whose houses are close to the drain, stand a high risk of losing their lives and property during heavy floods because the rains over the years have eaten up the walls of the drain.

There are reported cases in which flood waters (from the drain) destroyed some houses and property while some mothers also reported that their children fell in the drain and were injured.

With the onset  and predictions of heavy rains this year, residents now fear for their lives citing that the rains has already exhibited its wrath in what they consider as better layout communities.

Speaking to Daily Graphic, Madam Alice Dotse, a 76 year old woman who has lived in the community for close to 40 years, said residents are compelled to dump refuse at the edges of the gutter to prevent further breakdown of walls of houses which face the gutter.

She narrated a scene she witnessed during one of the heavy rains in the past years, where a wall of one of the houses broke down and washed down properties worth thousands of Ghana cedis.

“I remember being able to save a bag of clothing for the people. By the time the rain stopped, all their belongings were gone. It was a very sad moment especially when the woman had just given birth,” she said.
Madam Dotse said the creaky wooden bridge was constructed by the residents to aid crossing of the gutter.

“The bridge we built has been subjected to change over the years due to the depth of the drain. Because it is built with wood, the rain sometimes washes it down and we have to collect money from residents and those who use the bridge on a daily bases to rebuild it.”

She added that in the early 1990’s, the then President Rawlings participated in the cleaning of the gutter and called for an immediate construction of a drain.

This however came to light when part of the drain was constructed leaving the one within the Mamobi-441 community.

She however appealed for an immediate intervention from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to help put the gutter in good shape before it eats to their homes.

Another resident, Alhaji Gado, who spoke with fury, recalled being a victim of the wrath of the heavy rain when he slipped and fell in the gutter while he was clearing rubbish behind his house.

“Most of the time, people pour rubbish into the gutter when it rains. This sometimes get stuck in the gutters behind their houses when they don’t come out to direct it into the main gutter. This results in the mosquitoes coming into their rooms.” he explained.

Holding a shovel in hand, Mr Seidu said there was a time when the heavy rains cracked his bedroom wall and before he realised his room was flooded.

He also expressed his concern about the need to construct the drain as early as possible in order to save the lives of the people especially the children who live in the community.

However, in October last year, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ayawaso East Constituency, inaugurated the Nima Mamobi Urban Storm Water Management to a tune of GHC7.3 million.

The project, expected to complete within two years, is aimed at leading the mitigation and perennial flooding and enhancement of sanitation in the community.

It has, however, come to a halt due to financial constraints and lack of resources to push the project and make it a reality.

Dr Ahmed, in an interview, said the delay in the execution of the project was also a result of poor performance on the side of the contractor.

“The contractor has not performed up to the expectation of government hence two warning letter have been sent to him on the way he is handling the project,” he explained.

Also, the contractor is faced with the challenge of resources such as the premix concrete which are scarce in supply.

He, however, said plans are far advanced to make an arrangement from a company in Australia  to procure a regular supply of the premix concrete.

An effort to reach the Chief Executive Officer of Caspian Energy Ghana Ltd, Mr Humphrey Quaye, who is the contractor of the project, has, however, proved futile.