Let’s deploy technology to address water crisis in the North – CSIR-WRI

GNA- Addressing the perennial water crisis in the northern part of the country requires the deployment of technology to uncover adequate groundwater sources, Professor Mike Osei-Atweneboana, Director, CSIR-Water Research Institute, has said.

Prof. Osei-Atweneboana observed that unlike the southern part of the country which had a lot of river systems, the northern part experienced seven to eight months dry season, making accessibility of water a major challenge for farmers and residents in those areas.

Speaking at training on: “Exploring groundwater resources for multiple uses in Ghana,” he said the country’s groundwater potential remained untapped.

“I believe that we need the right information to make sure that the waters that are invisible in the northern part of the country, we will bring them out with all the technology and all that it takes so that there will be enough money for food, human and agriculture,” he said.

The training formed part of activities marking the 2022 World Water Day (WWD), an annual United Nations Observance that celebrates water and raises awareness of the millions of people currently living without access to safe water.

This year’s celebration, which will be officially marked on March 22, 2022, is on the theme: “Groundwater, making the invisible, visible.”

The training was organised by the CSIR-Water Research Institute in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and the Water Resources Commission (WRC).

The training was to sensitise drillers and players in the water sector on the available groundwater resources in Ghana and the governing rules, policies and procedures to explore them for multiple uses.

Groundwater is water found underground in aquifers, which are geological formations of rocks, sands and gravels that can hold water.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), groundwater represents 98 per cent of the earth’s unfrozen freshwater.

Prof. Osei-Atweneboana said drillers must upgrade their skills and deploy the right technologies to help in the exploration of groundwater sources to enhance water accessibility, especially in crisis areas.

“As water drillers, it has come to a point where it is necessary to upgrade your knowledge because there are ever-changing technologies and knowledge that will enhance our efficiency as drillers and drilling companies,” he said.

Madam Adwoa Paintsil, Director of Environmental Quality, Water Resources Commission, said it was important for the country to sustainably manage its groundwater resources to ensure wider access to water.

She said groundwater had become increasingly important as a result of climate change and its related impact on rainfall and water sustainability.

“Groundwater has become even more important in our lives because we may have to rely more on it due to climate change. The Ghana Water Company currently has over 30 systems that run on groundwater,” she noted.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Traditional Rulers educated on customary and forest products in Upper West Region

GNA-The Organisation for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGISS), a non-governmental organisation, has organised a workshop for traditional rulers in the Upper West Region.

The workshop was held on data collected on the facilitating of the legal protection of customary relevance Non-Timber Forest Production (NTFP).

It was also meant for the traditional rulers to validate the findings on information gathered on facilitating the legal protection of customary relevance non-timber forest products in the region.

The Daffiama Naa, Naa Dikomwine Domalae, the President of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, urged traditional rulers to work together to help eliminate harmful traditional practices relating to funerals and burials in the communities.

He tasked Traditional Rulers to ensure that customary relevant trees such as shea, baobab, tamarindus and parkia or dawadawa were protected from wanton destruction by community members.

Naa Domalae commended ORGISS for supporting the workshop and its commitment to the development of customary laws that would protect the customary relevant trees in the region, and the chieftaincy institution in Ghana.

“The House wishes to commend ORGISS for its support to improving the welfare of the chiefs in the various traditional areas through the establishment of by-laws”, he said.

Naa Domalae appealed to other NGOs to emulate the ORGISS and support the chieftaincy institution to undertake relevant projects in accordance with the 1992 Constitution.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Centre for Plant Medicine Research receives financial support

GNA – The Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR) has received a grant of Ghc 100,000.00 from the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to support its Endowment Fund.

The Fund, launched on November 30, 2021, is to facilitate research and development at the CPMR.

The NLA made the donation in fulfilment of a pledge to the Centre during the latter’s 45th-anniversary durbar, where two new products “Ampoforte” and “Immunim” were launched.

Mr Samuel Awuku, Director General, NLA, presented the money to Dr Kofi Bobi Barimah, the Executive Director, who, together with his team paid a courtesy call on the Director-General.

Mr Awuku said there was the need to support activities of the Centre, adding that they deserved the attention and interest of the government since they formed an integral part of national development.

Dr Bobi Barimah expressed gratitude to the Authority for supporting the Endowment Fund.

Source: Ghana News Agency

JICA supports Ghana Immigration Service

GNA- The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has presented some items to the Volta Regional Command of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to aid in the delivering of its work.

The items which include vest reflectors, solar lamps and solar torchlights, raincoats and rain boots will be distributed to the Sector Commands including Nyive, Akanu and Aflao, Batume, Leklebi-Dafor and Ho Regional Command.

Mr Joshua Mabe, Senior Programmes Officer in -Charge of Infrastructure and Planning at JICA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said when officers at the borders were well equipped, they would discharge their duties effectively.

He said the gesture aimed to build the capacity of officers at the borders and to prepare them to respond effectively to emergencies such the novel coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

This forms part of our project called Strengthening Border Public Health and Point of Entry in Ghana, he said, and noted that a total of sixteen (16) land borders across the country would benefit from the project

Mr Mabe disclosed that similar donation would be made to the Ghana Health Service for onward delivery to Port Health.

The Programmes Officer said JICA would be engaging in another distribution from next week and that would include equipment and consumables to help in the fight against the devastating effects of COVID-19.

He urged the beneficiaries to ensure the items were properly maintained and put good use to achieve their intended purpose.

Deputy Superintendent of Immigration, Reverend Daniel N. Okantey, Chaplain for the Regional Command, who received the items on behalf of the Regional Commander was thankful to JICA for the support.

He said the items would go a long way to help the Service in the performance of its duties in protecting the country’s land borders and assured that the items would be properly maintained and put to good use.

Assistant Inspector, Mr Felix Klu-Adjei, the Public Relations Officer of the Regional Command described the gesture as timely as the rains would soon set in.

He said the raincoats would help them to beef up their protective mechanisms to patrol the borders during the rainy season to ensure security.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Rainstorm destroys more than 18 houses at Kodzobi Ando

GNA – About 18 houses have been destroyed by a rainstorm that hit Kodzobi Ando near Adaklu Kodzobi in the Adaklu district.

Some of the buildings collapsed, while the roofs of some were completely ripped up.

Others destroyed during the storm were lotto kiosks, provision and barbering shops, and hairdressing salons.

Mr. Carlos Atidoh, Deputy Director of Adaklu District National Disaster Management Organisation told the Ghana News Agency that about 30 people were displaced by the disaster and were putting up with friends and their relatives.

Mr. Atidoh advised the people to plant trees around the community to serve as a windbreak during such storm and appealed to them to always consult the works department of the Assembly for technical advice before putting up their houses.

Mr. Atidoh hinted that his outfit would liaise with their regional office to see how best to assist the victims.

Mr. Prosper Kumah, a youth leader in the community appealed to organisations and philanthropists to come to their aid.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Residents of Accra Psychiatric Hospital staff quarters asked to move out

GNA- Residents of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital (APH) staff quarters have been asked to vacate the accommodation by June this year.

A letter to the staff, signed by the Director of the Hospital, Dr Pinaman Appau, said the decision was to pave way for the redevelopment of the Hospital under Agenda 111 project.

The letter, dated January 14, 2022, said: “As discussed at the meeting with you on November 5, 2021, we wish to inform you that the planned reconstruction of the Hospital will take off in June 2022.”

When the Ghana News Agency visited the Hospital Thursday morning, it observed that it’s Outpatient Department (OPD) was busy.

A staff, who spoke to the GNA on anonymity, alleged that the authorities had since last year asked them (staff) to seek transfer to other health facilities.

“A transfer book has been opened and people are panicking,” he said.

She told the GNA that more than half of the nurses at the Hospital had left for other health facilities.

There are media reports that the APH had been sold to a private developer but the Health Minister, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, in a Facebook post dismissed the reports.

“The APH is to be redeveloped into a 220-bed psychiatric hospital under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EDC) contract as part of Agenda 111,” he said.

The government under the Agenda 111 seeks to redevelop the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, construct, equip and commission two additional psychiatric hospitals, one in Kumasi and another at Tamale.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select committee on Health, Dr Nana Ayew Afriye, after an interaction with the Management of the Hospital, told the media that the facility was not for sale, however, portions of the land would be commercialised under the Agenda 111 project.

He said the part of the land to be commercialised would be opened to Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in due time to minimise the financial burden on the Hospital.

The Accra Psychiatric Hospital, formally the Lunatic Asylum, was constructed in 1904 for the treatment, welfare, training, and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness.

Source: Ghana News Agency

World Sleep Day: Sleep to prevent shutting down of body – Public advised

Dr. Bryte Asamoah, a Radiologist, has advised the public to sleep and have adequate rest after every hard day’s work to rejuvenate the body and prevent it from shutting down.

“Sleep is very vital to the body and it is one of the major health benefits a person can derive or ask for. So naturally when the body is tired, the only solution is to sleep and when the body is deprived of it, it is at risk of shutting down,” he added.

Dr. Asamoah, also a Clinical Director of the Vodafone Ghana Healthline programme, gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency ahead of the 2022 World Sleep Day which comes off tomorrow, March 18, on the theme: “Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World.”

He explained that stressing one’s self intensely without having good sleep, posed a great danger to the body, could accumulate the health deficit of an individual and subsequently lead to death.

Sleep naturally released a lot of chemicals into the body that helped it to recover from the stress of the day, hence, was particularly important for all individuals working in a demanding and stressful environment, he added.

The World Sleep Day, according to the World Sleep Society, is an annual event hosted since 2008, to celebrate sleep and be a call to action on critical issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving.

The day, currently marked by more than 88 countries, with an annual 155 events globally, aims at lessening the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.

The Jagran Lifestyle Desk, New Delhi, India, said initially, the World Sleep Day was co-chaired by The Sleep Centre, Community General Hospital, Syracuse, New York, USA, and Antonio Culebras, MD, Professor of Neurology, Upstate Medical University, and Consultant, and Liborio Parrino, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Parma University, Italy.

Days of The Year, an online guide to the world’s holidays, states that sleep might seem like a normal aspect of life but could be one of the most banal, underrated aspects of people’s lives.

According to the American Sleep Association, more than 50 to 70 million people had some type of sleeping disorder, more than 25 million had sleep apnea, and the most commonly reported sleep problem was insomnia (the inability to sleep at all or for a full night).

The day, it said, was expected to bring people together, whether everyday people or healthcare providers, to discuss sleep problems, help find solutions, and prevent sleep problems for those who did not yet have them.

Members of the public were, therefore, encouraged to give an intentional nod to the day by taking some 20 minute or more nap during a lunch break at work.

Adults were also advised to practice sleep hygiene, bearing in mind that they could not sleep easily just because children slept naturally easily when they were tired, as their sleep routine might need a little bit of extra attention and care.

The healthy habits and relaxation routines, it said, includes fixing bedtime and wake time, exercising, cutting back on caffeine, keeping room temperature of between 60 and 67 degrees F or 16 to 19 degrees C, and dimming the lights to tell the brain it is time to sleep.

Others were turning off the computer, television, smartphone, or other devices at least 60 minutes prior to bedtime as the blue lights could interfere with good sleep rhythms.

The public were also directed to give 30 minutes for bedtime routine by calculating half an hour to wind down with soft music, light stretching or reading a boring book instead of expecting to fall asleep right away, and as well practise meditation – deep breathing and mindfulness practices before bed to enable the brain to release the stress of the day.

Days of the Year admonished the public with sleeping problems and smart phones to use applications like ‘Slumber,’ ‘Calm,’ ‘Sleep Cycle,’ and ‘Reflectly’ to soothe the brain toward sleep or to measure the sleeping rhythms during the night.

Source: Ghana News Agency