Farmers Contribution: PFAG, Akuafo Nketewa discuss pre-season plans, awards

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), with its collaborator, Akuafo Nketewa Company Limited, have met to discuss a pre-season award ceremony to recognize farmers contribution to agriculture in the Upper East region.

The day, slated for March 27 and 28 in the Navrongo Municipality of the Upper East Region, is also expected to award deserving sorghum farmers and aggregators.

It is on the theme: ‘The role of the small holder farmer in addressing food and climate change challenges in Ghana.’

The programme is the brainchild of the PFAG and Akuafo Nketewa Company Ltd, aimed to honour farmers and agribusiness owners for the immense role they play in agriculture development in the country.

Dr Charles Nyaaba, former National President, PFAG, and now the Board Chair of Akuafo Nketewa Company Ltd, who spoke to the media on the sidelines of the meeting, said it was to whip up and sustain interest of the youth in farming.

Dr Nyaaba, in an earlier presentation, said some major innovations would be launched
on the awards day, comprising a farmers pension scheme and a cooperative and credit union to help farmers and agribussinesses to save and rely on those savings in times of need.

He said access to financial services was a challenge and the new schemes would help the farmers, in urgent need, to withdraw their savings to cushion them.

‘One of the things we have observed is that farmers toil to till the land to produce food to feed the nation but during old age how they fund their medical expenses is a problem,’ Dr Nyaaba said.

The farmers, while still producing, could put some savings aside for future use.

As part of government’s plans to roll out the phase two of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs), the leadership of the farmers educated members on the new programme and outlined the objectives of the Phase Two.

This includes to promote agriculture development, food security, increased productivity and job creation through adoption of holistic value chain approach.

Dr Nyaaba encouraged members to share t
he information with other farmers and encourage them to actively get involved in the registration process and participate in it.

He said the second phase promised better intervention including mechanisation services , extension and provision of inputs more than the first phase.

Some of the members shared some of the challenges experienced under the Phase One, which included low farmer- extension-officer ratio, and hoped the new phase would be able to address those problems.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Four drug peddlers remanded in police custody for attacking police officers

The Donyina Circuit Court has remanded four drug peddlers into police custody for allegedly attacking police officers who were conducting operations at the Aboabo School Park in the Asokore-Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region.

Philemon Agyei, 22, Ali Abdallah, 18, Baba Issah, 18, and Mohammed Yussif, 20, will reappear before the court, presided by Mrs Aliata Saeed, on April 8, this year.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Andrews Banafo, prosecuting, told the court that the Airport Police Command in Kumasi received information that the Aboabo school park had become a den of ‘wee’ smoking and drug peddling.

He said on March 20, 2024, at about 1930 hours, the Airport Police Command launched an operation in the area to arrest persons involved in those activities and succeeded in arresting the four.

Other drug peddlers and smokers who were also at the vicinity, numbering about 100, attacked the police personnel on duty with cutlasses, mallets, sticks and stones, prosecution said.

The police had
a hectic time to disperse the crowd after arresting the four members of the gang.

ASP Banafo said the suspects were sent to the police station and arraigned after investigations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

World Water Day: Ninitin, Hwidiem residents cry for potable water

As the world marks Water Day today, March 22, the people of Nintin and Hwidiem, a twin farming community in the Asante Mampong Municipality, are struggling unendingly to get potable water for their daily household use.

The perennial water scarcity in the two farming communities, located on the Kumasi-Ejura Highway of the Ashanti Region, is becoming a huge socio-economic burden for the people.

These communities are noted for the sale of organic fruits such as bananas, pawpaw and avocado.

The situation, according to Mr Nicholas Osei-Owusu, the Assemblyman for the area, has affected basic school attendance and the health of the people.

The most affected are school children and women who trek deep into the valley of the Mampong scarp to collect water flowing from the rocks and forming small dams on the rock surfaces.

A visit to the community by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) showed that aside the women and children walking far distances to search for water, healthy living, sanitation and hygiene in the two com
munities have become a challenge as most of the residents resort to open defecation.

The yellow gallons, popularly referred to as ‘Kufuor gallons’ are the esteemed household assets in the towns since they are the most sought after and popular water fetching articles.

Commercial tricycle riders, who travel to Bosofour, near Mampong to fetch water, charge GHc 2.00 per gallon.

The situation, Mr Osei-Owusu noted, was not only affecting the financial situation of the people, who are peasant farmers, but also eroding their meagre incomes.

He told the GNA that several efforts to sink boreholes at various locations in the communities had proved futile due to the hard rocks beneath the ground.

With a total population of approximately 5,000 residents, the two communities have endured this situation for many years and with the impact of climate change, the challenge was becoming more unbearable since the water from the rocks was also depleting.

‘School attendance, household incomes and social life are being worst
affected daily, and urgent attention is needed to save the situation,’ Mr Osei-Owusu said.

He appealed to the Government, foreign missions and non- governmental organisations in Ghana to go to their aid in finding lasting solutions to the communities’ predicament.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Atua Government Hospital laundry block abandoned for over 10 years

Construction works on the laundry block of the Atua Government Hospital in the Eastern Region have been left unfinished for over 10 years, showing no signs of progress.

The project, initiated under the leadership of Mr Michael Teye Nyaunu, former Member of Parliament for Lower Manya Krobo, has been neglected and left vulnerable without any clear plan for its future.

When the Ghana News Agency reached out to the hospital management, it said it could not give any public statements on the project without prior approval from the Ghana Health Service.

Meanwhile, a source at the hospital informed the Ghana News Agency that there was a shortage of laundry space, leading to a negative impact on their services.

However, the source was hesitant to speak due to concerns about potential repercussions from higher authorities.

Hospital laundry services offer a variety of essential tasks for healthcare facilities, such as sorting, cleaning, sanitising, and disinfecting used linen.

These services ensure fresh and clea
n linen for patients to enhance their healing process and to prevent infections.

As per the source, the neglected project is causing significant inconvenience in the laundry task.

‘Because of the situation, we have been washing in a small room, which is affecting our work,’ the source said,? adding; ‘Due to that, we have resulted to using a domestic washing machine, which takes a longer period to wash, making it difficult for us.’

The hospital officials believe that once completed, the project would greatly enhance their laundry services and even install a state-of-the-art laundry machine for a dedicated drying space, establish an iron room, and provide office space for the laundress.

It appealed to stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, and non-governmental organisations to provide support for the hospital’s laundry facility to expedite its completion.

In 2014 Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, the incumbent Member of Parliament, Lower Manya Krobo, made a promise to establish a
laundry facility for the hospital but despite his donation to the hospital, there had been no progress on the project.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana, Malawi waive visa for their citizens

Ghana and Malawi have signed an agreement to waive visas for holders of ordinary, diplomatic, and service passports of both countries.

The agreement took effect on February 7, 2024.

It forms part of efforts by the two countries to deepen bilateral ties.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in a statement dated March 21, 2024, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, made the announcement.

‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration wishes to inform the public that the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of Malawi desirous of strengthening their bilateral relations and existing cooperation have entered into an Agreement on a visa waiver regime for holders of ordinary, diplomatic and service passports‚Ķ,’ the Ministry said.

It stated that travellers were permitted to transit, exit, and remain in the territories of both countries for a total of up to 90 days within a calendar year, provided they did not engage in employment.

‘The travelling public is hereby advised to take not
e of this new visa waiver agreement,’ the Ministry said in the statement.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Asylum Seekers: CLIP provides solar powered mechanised boreholes to communities

Three border communities in the Upper East Region hosting some asylum seekers from Burkina Faso because of the Sahel crisis, have benefitted from three solar powered mechanised and high yielding boreholes to help address water challenges.

The facilities, constructed at a cost of about GH?440,000.00, benefited Fatega and Kare, a suburb of Sapeliga in the Bawku West District and Kugri in the Garu District of the Upper East Region.

The facilities have been connected to overhead polytanks with multiple water collection points for the host communities and the asylum seekers.

Changing Lives in Innovative Partnerships (CLIP) in collaboration with Acting for Life (AFL) with funding from the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office of the United Kingdom High Commission provided the support.

It was under the Supporting Agropastoralism to reinforce Social Cohesion in the cross-border territories of the Ghana-Burkina Faso (SAPSOC) project’s third phase, which aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence between host commu
nities and transhumance.

The aid was also in response to the requests by the district assemblies to support them with sustainable water access for host communities, asylum seekers and pastoralists.

At the inauguration of the facilities at the different locations, Mr Lukman Yussif, the Director of CLIP, said the water facilities were to help address the water challenges as a result of the influx of the asylum seekers from neighbouring countries, particularly Burkina Faso.

He said due to the disturbances in the Sahel region, many people had been compelled to seek refuge elsewhere, particularly in Ghana, and the situation had put pressure on the limited resources of the host communities.

‘These communities are already deprived in terms of social amenities and the presence of the asylum seekers has further compounded their problems including putting pressure on the limited food and healthcare facilities among other things,’ he said.

The communities prioritised water challenges after series of engagements bet
ween them, the district assemblies and his outfit, and that necessitated the move to construct the water systems, Mr Yusiff said.

He explained that the gesture was to complement the efforts of the assemblies to address the water challenges, adding ‘although the Tarikom reception and resettlement centre is there, the reality is that we still have many of them at the communities’.

Alhaji Issah Salifu, the Board Chairman, CLIP, noted that apart from the water issues, the communities were still faced challenges including livelihood interventions and his outfit would work to support them in any way possible.

‘I will appeal to the indigenous people to still hold onto your Burkinabae colleagues and see how organisations can support as CLIP is doing its best to support the communities on other issues,’ he said.

Mr Anania Daniel Atampoba, the District Chief Executive for Bawku West, lauded CLIP and its partners for the intervention and that the asylum seekers had been registered moved to the reception centre at Ta

Mr James Agaogo, the Assemblyman for Sapeliga Electoral Area, pledged the community’s resolve to maintain the facilities to last and serve the intended purposes.

Source: Ghana News Agency