Green Damongo Project: Damongo to become the greenest city in Ghana

in alignment with the Government’s Green Ghana Project, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister and Member of Parliament for Damongo, has initiated ‘Green Damongo Project’ a privately-led tree planting drive in his constituency.

The initiative is intended to plant 32,000 tree seedlings in Damongo and its surrounding areas to beautify the constituency and contribute to the fight against climate change.

Mr Jinapor launched the ‘Green Damongo Project’ at a ceremony in Damongo on Friday, June 14, which saw the MP underscoring his unalloyed commitment to greening Ghana and building a resilient ecosystem.

The first phase of Green Damongo project will involve planting approximately 2,670 trees along major roads in the town and selected sites including the old and new markets, the Agric College junction to Kasha restaurant, from Sawla highway to the RCC, as well as the road from the Military Junction to the hospital.

The second phase will extend over 66 kilometres on each side of the road
between Jojo Pe and Damongo, while the third phase will encompass each side of the road between Damongo and Sieyiri, totaling 83 kilometres.

Tree species selected for the Green Damongo Project include the Savannah Mahogany and Cassia.

Mr Jinapor, in an address, charged the constituents to be custodians of environmental sustainability by embracing the project and assume the responsibility of protecting the environment from harmful practices.

He highlighted the objectives of the Green Damongo project including raising awareness on the need for collective action to restore the degraded landscape in Damongo and instil the values of tree planting and nurturing them to maturity.

‘I stand before you today, in all humility and modesty, to say that, the Green Ghana Day initiative has been wholeheartedly embraced by the entire citizenry and residents of Ghana. As Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, under whose stewardship this project was birthed, I have decided to bring the project home,’ he said.

‘For it i
s said, ‘the power of a great idea is amplified when it is shared with the place that holds your heart.

‘This morning, I am honoured to share with you a vision that is close to my heart and crucial for the future of our community, ‘the Green Damongo Project.’ Ours is a Constituency that is blessed with vibrant people, rich culture, and a promising future.

‘However, to ensure that our future remains bright, we must take concrete steps today to safeguard our environment. One such step is the planting of trees on the medians of our roads.

‘Therefore, it is with great pleasure and deep sense of optimism that I unite with you once again, to launch this significant initiative, in our beloved Constituency. Today, we come together not just as natives and residents of Damongo, but as custodians of our environment, united by a shared responsibility to nurture and protect the natural environment that sustains us,’ Mr Jinapor stated.

The colourful ceremony was attended by several dignitaries including traditional lea
ders, the Municipal Chief Executive for Damongo, Mr Musah Karim Kusobari, and Deputy CEO of Forestry Commission, Mr. Nyadia Sulemana Nelson.

There was a commemorative tree planting to symbolically outdoor the initiative.

Mr Karim Musah, the West Gonja Municipal Chief Executive, paid special tribute to the Lands Minister for the initiative, describing it as a laudable gesture that would go a long to help curb deforestation and land degradation in the area.

He explained that the municipality would ensure the success of the project by forming committees to monitor and nurture the trees planted.

The Green Ghana Project was launched in 2021 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

It is under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission.

The initiative has become a significant action for protecting and enhancing Ghana’s forest cover.

Source: Ghana News Agency

ECG attributes absence of load shedding schedule to supply uncertainty

Mr Kwadwo Obeng, the Deputy Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) says the company cannot provide a planned load shedding schedule to customers because of uncertainties in power supply.

He said it would be difficult to adhere strictly to the timetable especially when not all outages were a result of fuel supply challenges.

Mr Obeng explained that outages could be a result of planned maintenance, network fault, as well as theft and vandalism.

‘We said that because information of about how much to be shared was erratic, we couldn’t really provide a timetable, because in the morning we could say that we need to shed just 40 (megawatts) at 8 o’ clock. And imagine we prepared a table to shed 40 and by 12 pm that situation changes.

‘We realise that even if we prepare a timetable, there would be lot of inconsistencies. And the worst we want to have as a nation would be for the utility provider to say you would go off and then you don’t go off, or your outage exceeds the stipulated period,’
he said.

He was speaking at a public forum organised by Civil Society Organisations (CSO’S) on how to address the current power challenges facing the country.

Mr Albert Ayirebi-Acquah, a representative of the Independent Power Producers (IPP) who generate about 2339 megawatts said the IPPs have in the past three years generated about 40 per cent of the country’s power needs.

‘Although we don’t have the 2024 power plan, we expect to contribute over 50 per cent of power generated in the country,’ he said

He cited the unavailability of fuel, and failure of government to meet its financial obligations to the IPPs as factors to the ongoing power crisis.

Mr Ayirebi-Acquah said the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM), a system established to collect and pay revenue to power generators, was not a panacea to the constraints in the power sector.

He noted that the IPPs accept that the CWM in its current form as an interim measure that provides some level of certainty and predictability of payment from ECG.

Mr Ayirebi-
Acquah said that it was important for current commitment under CWM be honoured in a timely manner to enable IPPs meet financial obligations.

He also called for a representation of IPPs on the CWM implementation committee to improve transparency, efficiency and ensure due consideration are given to their concerns.

Other stakeholders present at the forum were the Public Utility Regulatory Commission, Volta River Authority and the Ghana Grid Company Limited.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GJA, GIBA call for high media participation in Ghana Compact Citizens’ Convention

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) have asked media practitioners to participate in the first ever Citizens’ Convention and give it the needed publicity.

The Ghana Compact Citizens’ Convention would bring together more than 500 Ghanaians representing key stakeholder groups, including political leaders, government agencies, civil society organizations, women and youth groups.

Other participants would be professional associations, private sector groups and university students where there would be a dialogue and a national consensus on the country’s challenges and critical issues.

A statement signed by Mr Kofi Yeboah, GJA General Secretary, and Madam Gloria Hiadzi, Executive Secretary, GIBA, said: ‘GJA and GIBA believe the initiative has the potential to secure Ghana’s economic and political transformation, and thus, deserves the maximum attention of the media.’

Under the auspices of the Ghana Compact, the event is scheduled to take place from Ju
ne 18 to 19, and from 0900hours to 1730hours at the Cedi Conference Centre, Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Legon, the Statement said. The Ghana Compact, which is the brainchild of Dr K. Y. Amoako, Founder of the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), was launched in December 2022 by a coalition of major policy institutes and civil society organisations in Ghana.

The Compact has garnered the support of prominent Ghanaians, media partners, youth leaders and heads of key public and private institutions.

The initiative will address some of Ghana’s most pressing transformation challenges, including constitutional reforms, national development planning, youth, education and skills, gender equality, private sector development, health, and climate change.

‘It intends to increase democratic accountability, deepen political discourse, address political polarization, and engage citizens in addressing these critical challenges underpinned by values such as loyalty, honesty and integrity,’ th
e Statement said.

Over the past two years, ACET and its partner policy institutes have undertaken numerous studies on the above issues and held several consultations with experts and opinion makers towards a consensus on the policies and actions to tackle the challenges.

In collaboration with the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), citizens’ engagements at the district level also took place between March and May 2024 to obtain the views of ordinary Ghanaians on the critical issues confronting Ghana’s political and economic transformation.

The engagements covered six regions and a broad cross-section of Ghanaians online.

The Compact will hold two key events (the first being the Legon Convention) to form the foundation for a more issues-based election season and future governance based on mutual accountability and a collective vision for the future.

The participants at the Legon Convention would pull on the analysis provided by the Ghana Compact partners and the feedback from fellow citizens to
debate and adopt a Compact Declaration to serve as a working ‘Social Contract’ between the citizens of Ghana and their government, irrespective of the political party in power.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Youth advised to know their sickle cell status before falling in love

Madam Charlotte Owusu, the founder of Sickle Cell Condition Advocate (SICCA), has emphasised the importance of knowing one’s sickle cell status before falling in love.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder that can be passed down from parents to children. If both parents are carriers of the sickle cell gene, there is a high chance that their children will inherit the disease.

Madam Owusu, interacting with staff of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tema, on the disease, stressed that many young people were unaware of the risks of having sickle cell disease children and its implications on their relationships.

She emphasised the need for education and awareness about sickle cell disease to be created, particularly among young people.

She urged young people to get tested for their genotype before committing to a relationship, as doing so would help them make informed choices to avoid bringing forth sickle cell patients, which come with a lot of pain, financial commitment, and psychological implications.

e stated that knowing your genetic compatibility before falling in love was a vital step in discovering what lies ahead, which could help safeguard the health and well-being of their future children.

‘Knowing your genotype can help you make informed decisions about your health and your relationships. It is better to be aware of the risks and take steps to reduce them than to ignore them and suffer the consequences,’ she added.

She encouraged people with AA genotypes to accept marrying SS, AS, and the other variants of sickle cell disease to help reduce and eradicate the disease in the country.

According to her, 75 percent of the population were of the AA genotype, while two percent were of the SS genotype, and the remaining 23 were carriers who could transfer to their children. ‘Therefore, if 75 percent agreed to marry the others, it would make a significant difference in reducing the disease rate among Ghanaians and other black people,’ she stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Faith groups urged to join sickle cell prevention awareness creation

Faith-based organisations, especially churches and mosques, have been urged to actively join the awareness creation on sickle cell prevention among the populace, especially the youth.

Madam Charlotte Owusu, Founder of the Sickle Cell Condition Advocates (SICCA), who made the call when interacting with staff of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tema, said such organisations could make a change in awareness creation due to the large number of people they lead.

Madam Owusu emphasised the crucial role faith communities play in supporting individuals and families affected by sickle cell disease.

She said faith groups can influence health education, health promotion, and positive health outcomes amongst members of their faith community, making them a critical stakeholder in preventive health campaigns.

She noted that many people with sickle cell disease face stigma and discrimination, even in faith communities, which need to be addressed to make it easy for them to declare their sickle cell status.

She encouraged
Christians to remember that everyone is created equal in the eyes of God and that sickle cell disease is a natural part of human diversity.

The SICCA founder said there was a need to raise awareness and promote education to break the stigma surrounding sickle cell disease.

She added that faith groups have a significant role to play in supporting affected individuals and families and must work together to create a society that understood and accepts people with sickle cell disease.

Madam Owusu also highlighted the importance of early detection and treatment, citing the need for increased access to healthcare services.

She urged faith groups to partner with organisations like SICCA to promote sickle cell education and awareness.

She expressed the belief that, with a higher percent of Ghanaians identifying as Christians, faith-based communities, especially Christians, have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals and families affected by sickle cell disease.

Source: Ghana
News Agency

GHS commended for prompt action on patient abandoned in bush

Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Minister of Health, has commended the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for setting up an investigative committee to look into the case of a patient allegedly abandoned in a bush at Gomoa Ojobi by the Trauma and Specialist Hospital, Winneba.

‘I appreciate the prompt action taken by the Ghana Health Service to constitute a committee to conduct an independent inquiry into the matter, the Minister said in a response letter to the Ghana Health Service.

An earlier letter from the Service addressed to the Health Minister said it had constituted a five-member committee to investigate the incident.

The Medical Director of the Trauma and Specialist Hospital at Winneba in the Central Region has also been temporarily relieved of his post pending outcome of investigations.

An accident victim who died on Monday, was allegedly dumped in the bush by an ambulance from the trauma hospital because her relatives never showed up at hospital.

Dr Okoe-Boye said he was confident that the committee would unc
over the facts surrounding the unfortunate incident and make recommendations to prevent such occurrences in the future.

‘I have taken notice of the decision to direct the Medical Director of the hospital to step aside from his post pending the outcome of the investigation,’ he added.

He directed that the committee should conclude its work and submit a report to the Ministry within 30 days from the date the committee was constituted.

‘Thank you for your efforts to ensure the integrity of the health care system in Ghana,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency