Manufacturers of plastic products must be responsible for the management of plastic waste across the country, the President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), Mr Steve Amoaning-Yankson, has stated.
The plastic waste problem, he said, had become a huge global issue with dire consequences particularly on fish and human lives and, therefore, called on policy makers, particularly legislators, to refocus their attention to tackling the plastic waste problem in the country from the end of the manufacturers.
Mr Amoaning-Yankson said these when he delivered the 49th presidential address of the GhIE at the Engineers centre in Accra on Monday, November 19, 2018.
The presidential address, which was on the theme: “Engineering effective delivery in sanitation”, is a landmark event on the calendar of the GhIE every year, during which the president of the GhIE addresses members on a specific subject matter and offers possible solutions to the problems associated with the sector.
Mr Amoaning-Yankson noted that the real culprit of the plastic menace had been let off the hook while the blame had been shifted onto individuals who had little control over the problem.
“If the plastic manufacturers are not ready to accept their responsibilities, then we have no option but to call on the government to ban the manufacture of plastics,” he stressed.
The GhIE president described as unacceptable the present state of sanitation after 60 years of independence and observed that sanitation in Ghana had been relegated to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) who were already faced with lots of difficulties in terms of manpower and other resources.
To compound the problem, he said, all the sewage treatment plants in the country had broken down and the state of deterioration required huge sums of money for their rehabilitation.
Citing Tema and Accra as areas whose sewage treatment plants required urgent attention, Mr Amoaning-Yankson said the sanitation problem in Accra would have been better had the sewage system development which was started in the early 1970s under a World Bank support and abandoned, been pursued.
Solid waste management
Touching on solid waste management, the GhIE president proposed the adoption of recycling to manage waste to reduce the amount of waste to landfills.
By that process, he said, useful components of the waste stream which could serve as materials in the industry could be captured, citing for example that the Tema sanitary landfill site did not allow operatives to undertake those critical activities.
“A recent study under the Water and Sanitation Programme of the World Bank has established that Ghana loses $290 million annually on account of inadequate practices in the management of liquid waste,” he added.
The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, who attended the lecture noted that professional bodies such as the GhIE must look at prevailing problems in the country, tackle such problems from the professional perspective and create the necessary contacts with the specific institutions responsible.
He expressed concern that many of the MMDAs had failed to explore the full benefit from property rates collected within their respective jurisdictions and called on the assemblies to be up and doing.
An agriculturist, Dr Foster Abu Sakara, who chaired the function said: “If indeed cleanliness is next to Godliness then by looking at some of the drains in the country, we are farther away from God as a people.”
The Vice Chairperson of the Gender Committee of Parliament, Ms Abena Durowaa Mensah, has called for the enforcement of the Beggars and Destitute Act, 1969 (NLCD 392), which criminalises the act of begging and giving to beggars.
She also called for the formulation of a policy to protect children from being used as street beggars, warning that begging was illegal in the country and could lead to prosecution of both the beggar and the giver.
She said the policy should spell out sanctions for parents and guardians who pushed children into begging dangerously on streets.
Ms Mensah, who is the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, made the call in Parliament when she read a statement on: "Street Begging in Ghana; Child Exploitation".
She expressed worry about the growing phenomenon of street begging, especially in capital cities, and the disturbing use of children in that activity.
"Some years ago begging in Ghana was rare. Now, begging, especially in the capital cities, is happening on every street corner and every pavement in the central business districts, particularly Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.
"The number of children being pushed onto the streets keeps increasing by the day with those of Sahelian origin (fair skinned beggars) leading the charge", she said.
Children on streets
Ms Mensah said begging in Ghana had become a lucrative enterprise, "where the entrepreneurs sit either in their homes or under shades created at some corners of the street, and send children onto the streets to beg for money from car owners and passengers, using the natural sympathy that flows for vulnerable children as a weapon for money-making."
She said the typical Ghanaian culture accommodated physically challenged people begging for alms and actually encouraged the giving of alms to the poor.
However, Ms Mensah said the attempt by some citizens and now foreigners to exploit this cultural orientation of Ghanaians, and worse of all, employ the services of children in the act, "is worrying, unacceptable and unconscionable’’.
"I respectfully call on this House to debate this phenomenon and help push for the creation of a comprehensive policy that could give protection to children on our streets, sanction parents in this exploitation business and help sanitise life on our streets", she said.
Ms Mensah said children begging on streets faced a lot of hazards, which included rape, sexual abuse, victims of road traffic accidents and exposure to vices of drug abuse.
Besides, she said, the children suffered from dehydration, ate unhygienic food and did not have sanitary facilities.
"The children urinate on the streets and use the drains as toilet facilities. Road users, drivers and pedestrians experience interruption. It creates an unsafe driving environment where accidents are more likely", she said.
Ms Mensah recalled that on May 25, 2018, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), in collaboration with the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly, embarked on an exercise to rid the streets of beggars, and indicated that children and adults were arrested and sent away to detention centres.
However, she said, within days, the children found their way back onto the streets but the two assemblies had gone quite on the issue.
"The time to discuss this issue is now. Either we debate it now and get a comprehensive and sustainable policy or risk being flooded with beggars on the streets, at the mosque, in church and even on the precincts of Parliament.
"It is worrying to have physically challenged people begging on the streets instead of getting some skills to be self sufficient.
It is even more worrying and in fact depressing to see children, who are the future of the country, being pushed onto the streets to be used as tools for evoking sympathy that produces money for irresponsible parents turned begging entrepreneurs", she said.
Congratulations, Mr. Tinkaro Osei Asare Richmond, the President elect for National Union of Ghana Students for the 2018/2019 academic year.
Tinkaro has held several leadership positions at the students'front which has given him the experience, knowledge and exposure to bring an end to the numerous challenges that have been confronting the National Union Of Ghana Students over these past few years.
Leadership positions he has held over the years include, Minister of Youth and Student Mobilization at the Ghana Youth Leadership Parliament, President Local NUGS University of Ghana 2015/2016, Administrative Assistant, Ghana International Model of United Nations, Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations Dream Team Africa, Head of External Affairs Committee University of Ghana SRC 2015/2016 among other positions.
By: Adu Mensah Kwaku Jnr
Over the years there have been numerous and unending public education and awareness about the effects of poor sanitation, despite these efforts it seems living in dirt has become a norm for most Ghanaians. Polythene/plastic bags and sachet water have become our friend and worst enemy in this country. Cities, towns and villages have become areas full of polythene bags and water sachets due to the indiscriminate disposal by inhabitants of the country.
Many Ghanaians are of the view that cleaning our surroundings is solely the responsibility of Zoomlion, as a result we throw polythene bags anyhow. People sit in vehicles and throw these bags on the street without thinking about the effects. It has also become a tradition in Ghana that groceries bought should be placed in a polythene or plastic bag no matter how small the item is, these bags later become waste in our various homes.
Are we going to develop as a nation if we keep on doing this? Will we be able to achieve the sixth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals which is “having clean water and sanitation” with this negative mentality? Former President Jerry John Rawlings once said “If we do not improve our sanitation habits we will never develop. There will be new street lights, roads and drains but we will dump refuse in the new drains and slow our development”.
Do we really think about the effects of poor sanitation; diseases outbreak, flooding among others? According to World Health Organization “a child dies every minute from malaria which is caused by mosquitoes that breed and multiply in filthy environment”. Do we always have to blame the Government when there is flooding, while we are mostly the main cause of flooding by getting our drainage systems choked with plastic bags and water sachets.
Always solutions given about solving sanitation issues are Government, MMDAs and other stakeholders providing bins, enforcing laws, creating awareness, clean up exercises among others. These solutions will never solve our poor sanitation issues with our negative mentality of indiscriminately disposing plastic bags.
Can our nation be free of plastic bags like Rwanda and other countries? Do we really feel comfortable nicely dressed and walking around a filthy environment? Ghana will remain seventh or even move up as the dirtiest country in the world if there is no substantial progress of us changing our negative attitude towards the use and disposal of polythene bags and water sachets.
By: Adu Mensah Kwaku Jnr
A parent who has a child in a boarding senior high school (SHS) in Ghana is expected to save nearly GH¢6,045 over a three-year period under the free SHS (FSHS) programme, the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has said.
The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has asked the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to strengthen their enforcement activities against open defecation.
The Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Micheal Gyato, who made the call, said the role of the MMDAs in ending open defecation must begin with the enforcement of stringent compliance laws which required all households to have toilet facilities.
“I want to urge the MMDAs to go the extra mile to enforce laws on open defecation and ensure the availability of household toilets in their areas of jurisdiction,” he stressed.
Mr Gyato was addressing a durbar to commemorate World Toilet Day yesterday at Jamestown in Accra.
World Toilet Day is an international observance commemorated in 139 member states of the United Nations on November 19 each year.
The theme chosen for this year’s global celebration was: “When nature calls”, and in Ghana the in Ghana the focus was on how to halt the annual cholera outbreaks in parts of the country and the need to adopt appropriate means to deal with the situation.
The celebration also placed emphasis on how to discharge liquid waste in a dignified manner, without causing harm to individuals.
The durbar to mark the day was attended by the CEO of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah; some traditional leaders of the Ngleshie Alata Traditional Area, students of selected schools in the Jamestown area, as well as civil society organisations in the sanitation sector.
Mr Gyato said according to data on housing, only 15 per cent of Ghanaians currently had access to toilet facilities in their homes, while an estimated 35 per cent of urban dwellers patronised public toilet facilities.
He added that a staggering 19 per cent of the population defecated in the open.
Mr Gyato stressed that the data provided a strong reason the country needed to show a strong commitment to the fight against open defecation.
In his address, Mr Sowah said the celebration presented a perfect opportunity for the country to reflect on the journey to fighting open defecation.
He said the government, for its part, had introduced measures, including the provision of toilet facilities in cluster schools, to help fight the menace and prevent the possible outbreak of cholera and other diseases.
He said it was also supporting households to build their own toilet facilities and called for collective efforts by all to end open defecation in the country.
“The government wants to end open defecation and so we have decided to offer 70 per cent financial support to households which are ready to construct toilets.
“We don’t want a situation where people found indulging in open defecation will give the excuse that there are no toilets in their homes,” he said.
The Chairperson for the occasion, Dr Doris Yaa Dartey, a media consultant, called for behavioural change among the public in the quest to end open defecation.
She also called on traditional authorities to throw their weight behind the fight to end open defecation.
A gas filling station at Krofrom in the Ashanti Region caught fire on Tuesday morning after an explosion.
Some cars and nearby shops are said to have been affected by the raging inferno.
Citi News’ Ashanti Regional Correspondent, Hafiz Tijani, said there are unconfirmed reports of some casualties.
Hafiz said although the cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained, he said eyewitnesses claimed it started from the emergency room where the gas cylinders are refilled.
He added that the gas filling station is located between two washing bays.
“It happened around 8am and it’s not so clear what sparked this fire. We have some shops close to the washing bay. Now that is where the fire service is trying to douse the fire. I can see flames bellowing from some shops close to the washing bay and the Fire Service team just came in with another tender trying to put the fire off. For the gas filling station, all the facilities here have been razed including some cars that came to refill their cylinders.”
He said some nearby shops are still burning, but the fire service has contained the situation at the gas filling station.
The Upper West Regional Communication Secretariat of the National Democratic Congress has finally taken their bite on the happenings in the Wa UDS brouhaha. Below is the full press release
PRESS RELEASE ON THE STATURE OF UDS AND THE DEMAND FOR AUTONOMY OF THE WA CAMPUS.
8th November, 2018.
Ladies and gentlemen from the media, we are grateful for your prompt response to our call for attention, as we speak on a burning issue that is very dear to the hearts of the Chiefs and all the natives of the Upper West Region.
The events of the past two weeks pertaining to the stature of the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies are very serious issues that cannot be swept under the carpet without any conscious efforts at addressing them or finding appropriate ways of mitigating the concerns that, the youth and chiefs have raised.
We wish to applaud the Chiefs, Youth and teeming crowd that poured out on the streets last week to peacefully protest against all latent steps that are taken either consciously or unconsciously to run down all gains that have been made as far as the Wa Campus of UDS is concern.
We unreservedly associate ourselves with the clarion call to halt all surreptitious maneuverings that are targeted at dismembering the numerical strength of the Wa Campus as well as the removal of all bottle necks associated with the timely release of subventions for the running of the Wa Campus and the completion of infrastructural development.
Ladies and gentlemen, the UDS was established by PNDC Law 279 as a potent growth pole to blend the academic world with that of practical community life situation, so as to provide the leverage for the development of Northern Ghana in particular and the country as a whole.
There is no gainsay that, the institution has been very pivotal in the poverty alleviation drive, the enhancement of tertiary education as well as contributing to the course of national integration, as many students travel from all parts of this country to study in its campuses.
It is unfortunate though that, prevailing circumstances at the University defeats the principles that occasioned the Multi Campus system of the University, where social science programs were designated to the Wa Campus.
The silent dismembering of faculties in the Wa Campus and the creation of rival departments on other campuses to run social science programs has occasioned the situation where the Wa Campus is gradually becoming a pale shadow of its original stature.
The ripple repercussions are enormous as businesses are running to a halt, the process of national integration is hindered and the opportunities to access tertiary education is limited.
This gloomy situation is the genesis of a public uproar from the Chiefs and people of the Upper West, against the University management and principal officers of the University who are accused of making decisions that weakens the numerical strength of Wa Campus in addition to paying no attention to the infrastructural needs of the Wa Campus. This has since underpinned the call for the conversion of the Wa Campus into an autonomous University so as to provide the enhanced opportunities for tertiary education and poverty alleviation.
In sync with The Government of Ghana’s agenda to set up autonomous public Universities to serve as incubators of development and public enlightenment, Government under His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama set up the Dr. Christine Amoako-Nuamah’s Committee in April, 2015 to see to the conversion of the three campuses of UDS to autonomous Universities.
This decision was at the behest of the demand for social justice by the Chiefs and people of the Upper West Region.
After broad consultation and rigorous background checks, the Committee recommended the Wa Campus to be granted autonomy with its new name as University for Business and Integrated Development Studies (UBIDS), the Navrongo Campus also granted autonomy and renamed as University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS), whilst the Tamale and Nyankpala Campuses remains as University for Development Studies (UDS).
The interim report on this matter was submitted to Government in May, 2016 and the final report submitted in August,2016.
The report had received cabinet approval by November, 2016 and was awaiting implementation in September, 2017 when the appropriate legislation would have been created for it by the parliament of Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is sad that, the NDC lost the 2016 general election, resulting to a hold up on the completion of this noble social intervention, that per all indications, will occasion a giant leap in the educational and economic infrastructure of the Upper West Region.
The absolute silence of the Nana Addo’s regime on the continuation of the conversion process, puts the project in limbo with the associated upheavals and public tensions that are arising. In the midst of these distasteful circumstances and the disappointments that the people are enduring after the project seems stagnated for the past two years, we wish to make the following pronouncements:
That the call for autonomous Universities out of UDS is a call for social justice and must be treated expeditiously without further delay or recourse to any political considerations.
That the erstwhile administration under John Dramani Mahama has initiated the process and had almost completed almost every documentary process that is needed in the conversion.
Governance is a continum and His Excellency President Nana Addo should endeavor to complete the implementation of this project.
That government should show adequate commitment to the process by giving clear timelines regarding the conversion process.
That Government must show sufficient commitment to the course of Tertiary education in the Upper West Region, by completing all the stalled infrastructural projects that are currently dotted around the Wa Campus.
That government must intervene in ensuring the expeditious release of subventions from the Central Administration to the Wa Campus for the smooth running of the Campus.
Government must be fair and firm in the judicious allocation of the largesse of the state to all regions in the country.
Conclusively, we wish to reiterate our firm demand on His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo and the NPP Government, to show good faith to the demand for social justice by rising up to task to continue with the conversion process that had gotten to its pinnacle before Ghanaians ceded power over to them. Thank you.
An Hon.member of the Majority Caucus of the STUDENTS’ PARLIAMENT OF GHANA
UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA – KUMASI CAMPUS HOUSE laid a statement in floor of the house at the 4th Sitting of the 12th Parliament, questioning
"DO WE NEED A NATIONAL POLICY TO DEVELOP?"
Below is the full statement presented in the house
STUDENTS’ PARLIAMENT OF GHANA
UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA – KUMASI CAMPUS HOUSE
Statement By: IDDI MOHAMMED – HAFEEZ
1 November, 2018.
Madam speaker, it gratify my heart to stand before the Honorable house to deliver a statement on development of our country by enacting a national policy, do we need that?
Madam speaker, with your permission my statement is based on three areas and I call them the three pillars. The first pillar is our nation, Ghana is a country of different tribe, kingdoms, culture and believes. This country need to come together as one nation, an American is an American, a Ghanaian should also be a Ghanaian regardless of which part of the country the person is coming from. The first step to nation building is to co – exist with each other and stop labeling each other as this tribe and that tribe, we are the future generation of this country and we should set the pace.
Our chiefs, stakeholders and opinion leaders of this country should come together to push our country forward, they should help to bring a short and a long term policy for the country. Our children and grandchildren should come and benefit on our hard work. If we come together as a nation then we can get a national policy, our chiefs need to strive towards unity and nation building.
Dr. KWAME NKRUMAH
Madam speaker, the second pillar has to do with the resurrection of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. This man fought and gain independence for our country, he happens to be the first president of our country Ghana, he laid down a foundation and we refuse to build on it, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s resurrection is not the body but his vision for this country, his policies and projects he left for this country.
Madam speaker, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s industrial policy for this country has touched my heart, he mentioned this policy in his last address to parliament on 1 February, 1966 before his overthrown.
“technical education is progressing steadily. Already a technical Teacher Training college has been built at Kumasi to train teachers; it is expected within five years this college will have trained an adequate number of technical teachers for our polytechnics, technical institutes and training centers. A third Government secondary technical school was opened in Obuasi in November last year and a fourth one under construction at Koforidua is near completion.
While higher education advances on a broad front. I have directed that emphasis be laid on education in science and technology with view to Ghana producing in the shortest possible time not only the administrators and managers required to implement our development programmers, but also the Scientist, Technologist and technicians needed in industry and agriculture,
At the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the former faculty of Science has been reconstituted into two faculties, namely the faculty of Applied Science and the faculty of Technology. In the faculty of Applied Science courses in Metrology, Nuclear Physics and Applied Bio-chemistry have been introduced, while courses in Chemical and textiles Technology and Glassware are planned for the faculty of Technology”. The NLC halted this policy, Ghana lies at the heart of a region which has been leading sub-Saharan African culture since the first millenium BC in metal-working mining, sculpture and agriculture. Chemical Technology was retained in the faculty of Science until 1976 when moved to the faculty of engineering.
Madam speaker, the National Liberation Council (NLC) led the Ghanaian government from 24 February 1966 to 1 October 1969. The body emerged from a violent coup d'état (Ghana's first) against the civilian government led by Kwame Nkrumah. The Ghana Police Service and Ghana Armed Forces carried out the coup jointly, with collaboration from the Ghana Civil Service. It is alleged that the plotters were well connected with the governments of Britain (under PM Harold Wilson) and the United States (then under Lyndon B. Johnson), who some believe approved of the coup because Nkrumah challenged their political and economic ambitions in Africa.
The new government implemented structural adjustment policies recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Money in the national budget shifted away from agriculture and industrialization towards the military. National enterprises, property, and capital were privatized or abandoned. Whereas Nkrumah had condemned the development projects of multinational corporations as signs of neocolonialism, the NLC allowed foreign conglomerates to operate on extremely favorable terms. The Ghanaian cedi was devalued by 30%. These economic changes did not succeed in reducing the country's debt or in increasing the ratio of exports to imports.
The National Liberation Council regime won support from powerful groups in Ghanaian society: local chiefs, intelligentsia, and business leaders, as well as the expanding military and police forces. However, its policies of economic austerity were not beloved of workers at large, who suffered from increasing unemployment and repression of strikes. In 1969 the regime underwent a carefully managed transition to civilian rule. Elections held on 29 August 1969 thus inaugurated a new government led by the NLC's chosen successor: the Progress Party of Kofi Abrefa Busia. The NLC brought Ghana where we are now.
Madam speaker, the third pillar is our political system, it seems we do not understand the meaning of politics, we are practicing democracy very well but politics is a different story. Poli' in Latin means 'many' and 'tics' means 'bloodsucking creatures'.
1957 - independence, Nkrumah of CPP is PM, 2 key parties
1960 - declared republic, one party system, presidential system
1966 - military overthrow of 1st republic
1969 - 2nd republic, Busia of PP is PM, 2 key parties
1972 - military overthrow of 2nd republic
1978 - palace coup to restructure military government
1979 - junior officer uprising and military housecleaning
1979 - ushered third republic, Limann of PNP is President, 3 parties
1981 - overthrow of the constitutional PNP gov't by the PNDC military junta
1983 - Attempted overthrow of the PNDC junta by other junior army men 1992 - Rawlings of NDC is Dem elected as President, 2 parties **
1996 - Rawlings of NDC is re-elected, 2 parties
2001 - Kuffour (NPP) is President
2005 - Kufuor begins second-term in office
2009 – Atta mills (NDC) is President
2013 – John Mahama (NDC) is President
2017 – Akuffu Addo (NPP) is President
Summary: multiparty system 29 years
military system 21 years
one party system 6 years.
Madam speaker, the presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Ghana is the head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. The seat of government is at Golden Jubilee House. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and Parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
The constitution that established the Fourth Republic provided a basic charter for republican democratic government. It declares Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people. Intended to prevent future coups, dictatorial government, and one-party states, it is designed to establish the concept of power sharing. The document reflects lessons learned from the abrogated constitutions of 1957, 1960, 69, and 1979, and incorporates provisions and institutions drawn from British and American constitutional models. One controversial provision of the Constitution indemnifies members and appointees of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) from liability for any official act or omission during the years of PNDC rule. The Constitution calls for a system of checks and balances, with power shared between a president, a unicameral parliament, a council of state, and an independent judiciary.
Executive authority is established in the Office of the Presidency, together with his Council of State. The president is head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces. He also appoints the vice president. According to the Constitution, more than half of the presidentially appointed ministers of state must be appointed from among members of Parliament.
Madam speaker, in conclusion the national policy of this country is well needed, we need to continue from where we begin. The industrial sector can be our savior, as a country we do not produce and how should our cedi appreciate against the dollar. Our chiefs can stand up against these political leaders as they did against Nkrumah in collaboration with the National Liberation Council.