Muslim World League donates to flood victims in Volta Region


Muslim World League, an International Islamic Non-Governmental Organisation under the Government of Saudi Arabia, has donated some relief supplies to the Akosombo Dam flood victims in the Volta Region.

A total of 1000 flood victims from Mepe, Battor, Sogakope and Adidome in the North, South and Central Tongu districts benefited from the supplies, which included bags of rice and sugar, milk, cooking oil, sugar, mackerel and spaghetti.

Dr Mohammed Bashir Adam, the Country Director of the League, said the gesture was through collaboration and a shared commitment to the well-being of those communities.

It underscored the Organisation’s core mandate of supporting people facing adversity and emphasised its commitment to alleviating suffering without discrimination.

Dr Adam said the League’s approach to disaster relief was characterised by its dedication to the principles of centrism and moderation, eschewing extremism, violence and exclusion.

He said the organisation extended its reach to anyone in need, rega
rdless of their religious or ethnic background as it recognised the importance of humanitarian aid.

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, commended the Organisation for the gesture, saying it would go a long way to alleviate the plight of the people.

He said measures were being taken to resettle them and restore their livelihoods, adding that the Government was trying to provide resettlement for the victims to lessen their suffering.

Dr Letsa revealed that the Ministry of Housing was working towards providing the resettlement, while the ministries of Agriculture and Aquaculture would be visiting the area to discuss ways to restore their livelihoods.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, expressed gratitude to the League for the support.

He said the second impacted person’s resettlement site was completed and slated to open on Saturday, February 10, 2024.

Source: Ghana News Agency

First Lady Commissions Akropong-Akuapem Library, trumpets its importance


The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has commissioned a new ultra-modern library at Akropong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region for students and pupils in the area, and emphasized the importance of library in aiding the learning of children.

It is one of the 15 completed libraries so far built by her Rebecca Foundation with support from then various partners.

The library project aims to inculcate the habit of reading among school pupils by providing them with the right ambiance, adequate, interesting, and relevant reading materials to enrich their knowledge.

Mrs Akufo-Addo a library is not just a place that houses books, it is a place where children learn to explore and imagine a world beyond their own. In short, access to libraries promotes curiosity, innovation, and critical thinking.’

According to the first lady, libraries kept children glued to their books and away from unsupervised content on gadgets, adding that research had shown that most children, who have access to libraries read more and have be
tter language skills and a broader literary taste.

Libraries instil desirable study habits in students. A library is truly integral to the teaching and learning processes. Pupils could carry out research and broaden their horizon beyond what is taught in the classroom, she said.

She said since a library was a unique resource for a happy and healthy childhood, every child must have access to one. ‘That is why the Rebecca Foundation, is focused on expanding the country’s inventory of libraries.

‘That is why it is also important that we encourage our children to patronize this library. We must also teach them about responsible use of the resources provided,’ she said.

Mrs Akufo-Addo, who is also the Executive Director of the Rebecca Foundation, thanked the Okuapemhene, Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III and the people of Akropong-Akuapem, the NPP Parliamentary Candidate for Akuapem North Constituency, Mr Samuel Awuku and the Municipal Assembly for their tremendous support in completing the project successfully.

She
encouraged the traditional leaders to work with the Municipal authorities, educators and parents, to ensure the shelves of the library were re-stocked and repairs and maintenance carried out on the computers and the building regularly.

She also urged the traditional leaders and elders in the area to encourage their wards to make proper use of the facility.

‘I advise the children in this community and its environs to make good use of this facility since it will go a long way to help their future, ‘she said.

Mrs Akufo-Addo said ‘Learning to Read Reading to Learn’ initiative, currently being rolled out was to support the Government to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG), which aims to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’

The Okuapemhene, was very grateful for the library and tasked the people of the area, especially the students, to make good use of the facility.

On his part, Mr Awuku, expressed gratitude of
the entire Constituency and the Region to Mrs Akufo-Addo for the many good works done through her Foundation in supporting women and children in various parts of the country.

In 2018, Mrs Akufo-Addo decided to support government’s agenda to provide quality accessible education to Ghanaian children through her Rebecca Foundation and under its Learning to Read, Reading to Learn Initiative, have so far built 15 libraries in school clusters across the country.

The Foundation also introduced a television reading programme to encourage children to read more and apply learned concepts to their everyday lives.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Wiawso NHIS has more than 124,000 active members – District Manager


Mr Francis Ennin, the Sefwi-Wiawso District Manager, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), says the active membership of the Scheme Lt increased from 97,000 in 2022 to 124,051 in 2023 within the area.

He said 103,049 of the total number paid for their own registration while the remaining 21,002 were supported by others with the registration process.

Mr Ennin attributed the increase in active membership to the support from individuals who normally paid for others to get registered, and various community outreach programmes by benevolent individuals and organisations.

He appealed for more support to those who could not afford to register onto the Scheme to ensure their access to quality healthcare services.

On some of their challenges in service delivery, he mentioned intermittent network glitches during the registration process.

‘But the Government has been supportive by providing vehicles for our staff to move around to register residents in the area,’ Mr Ennin said.

He encouraged members to always
renew their expired cards by using the myNHIS mobile application to ensure they continuously accessed services by the Scheme, while reducing congestion in the offices.

He said their continuous engagements with health providers had helped to reduce illegal charges and commended the staff for their sustained support throughout the years.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Organised Labour suspends demonstration against 15 per cent electricity VAT


The leadership of Organised Labour has rescinded its decision to embark on a nationwide demonstration against the implementation of a 15 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity consumption.

This follows the government’s directive to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) on Wednesday, February 7, to suspend the implementation and communicating same to Organised Labour.

The demonstration by the umbrella body of both public and private sector labour unions in the country, including the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and its 21 affiliate unions, was to take place next week Wednesday.

Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary General, TUC, announced Organised Labour’s halt of the labour action at a press conference in Accra on Friday, February 9.

‘On 7th February, 2024, government announced the suspension of the implementation of VAT on electricity consumption by residential customers. The leadership of Organised Labour has received a formal letter from the M
inistry of Finance informing us of the new directive,’ he said.

‘We would, therefore, like to inform our members that the planned demonstration scheduled for 13th February, 2024, has been suspended until further notice,’ Dr Baah said.

However, the unionist indicated that they would relentlessly work to ensure that no government implemented the 15 per cent VAT on electricity, which has been in the country’s VAT Act for the past 11 years.

‘Even though we’re suspending our action on the 13th of February, we still have work to do because Act 870 is still there. What we need to do is to get this Act repealed. If we don’t, today, they’ve suspended it, but tomorrow, they’ll still use it,’ he said.

‘So far as the Ministry of Finance has communicated to ECG and NEDCo and to us that it’s suspended the implementation pending further engagement, we’ve also suspended our action.

‘That pending further engagement, we’re not interested in it,’ said, Mad Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, President, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midw
ives Association, said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.

‘If they resume the implementation in anyway, we’ll also resume our action. So far as the VAT is imbedded in Act 870, we’ll target and see how we can remove that aspect from the Act,’ she added.

Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, Executive Secretary, Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG) backed Organised Labour’s call to have the first Schedule (9) of the VAT Act (Act 870) annulled.

‘The fight has not ended; that law must be repealed and Parliamentarians must hear us that it’s a bad law. We want to make sure that no government goes back to it,’ he stated.

The Ministry of Finance directed ECG and NEDCo to start the implementation of a 15 per cent VAT, effective January 1.

The tax is applicable to residential customers of electricity above the maximum consumption of level specified for block charges for lifeline units.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Professionals advised against sexually exploiting the vulnerable


Mr Christopher Lartey, the Principal Programmes Officer, Department of Children, has called on professionals to refrain from taking advantage of their positions to engage in sexual activities with the vulnerable in society.

It was imperative for all professionals to abstain from using their ‘gowns’ for sexual exploitation or abuse since doing so was against nature and national laws, he said.

Mr Lartey, at a training to build the capacity of the Regional Child Protection Committee in Ho, stated that victims of such acts suffered emotional distress and lost of faith in the profession of the perpetrators.

The majority of people, unfortunately, did not take sexual exploitation and abuse seriously, giving room for weaker members of society to be taken advantage of, which was unlawful, Mr Lartey said.

He told the Ghana News Agency that the Child and Family Welfare Policy placed a high value on traditional and religious leaders as essential partners in child protection and, therefore, urged them to assist in pr
otecting children.

He said safeguarding children’s rights was the Department’s responsibility, and that it would keep working to provide an atmosphere that allowed children to reach their full potential to ensure a secured future for them.

Mr Augustus Awity, the Chief Director, Volta Regional Coordinating Council, noted that members of the Committee needed to develop their capacity to carry out their mandate effectively.

He tasked the Committee to do everything within its power to advance and defend children’s rights for the benefit of the nation.

Mr Israel Akrobortu, the Volta Regional Director, Department of Children, said they were poised to ensuring that the rights and wellbeing of children were promoted and protected.

Madam Eyram Thywill Kpe, Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender, said gender relations had been identified as one of the main contributing factors to child marriage.

UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund came out with the Gender Transformative Accelerators to change gen
der relations to address these relationships and stop child marriage.

Madam Kpe revealed that due to Ghana’s constant handling of child marriage, it was one of the 12 countries implementing the global programme to tackle the issue.

The country still needed to do more to combat child marriage because one in five girls currently got married before turning 18 years, she added.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Security guard, 50, arraigned for allegedly having sex with minor


A 50-year-old security guard accused of having sex with a nine-year-old girl in Abeka has appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.

Winfred Nyefene is alleged to have offered the victim GHC2 after his last sexual encounter with her.

Nyefene was charged with defilement. He pleaded not guilty.

Mrs Susuana Eduful, the relieving judge, admitted Nyefene to bail in the sum of GHC100,000 with two sureties, one of whom must be a family member and the other a public servant earning at least GHC2,000.

The court has adjourned the matter to March 13, 2024.

The court further advised Nyefene to seek the services of a lawyer from the Legal Aid Commission.

The prosecution argued that the complainant is the mother of the victim, a class four pupil.

It said the parties in the case are co-tenants residing at Abeka, Accra.

On January 8, 2024, at about 1800 hours, a witness in the case saw the victim coming from Nyefene’s room.

The prosecution stated that a witness who had previously observed the victim leave the room bec
ame ‘highly suspicious’ and alerted another relative, who then informed the complainant.

It said the complainant examined the victim, who disclosed that Nyefene had sexual intercourse with her on several occasions, the most recent being January 8, 2024.

According to the prosecutor, the victim mentioned the most recent incident, in which Nyefene offered her GHc2.00 for having sex with her in his room.

On January 9, 2024, the Tesano DOVVSU received a report on the matter and issued a medical form for the victim to be examined and treated.

In the victim’s statement to the police, she indicated that Nyefene had had sex with her on five separate occasions.

The prosecution said Nyefene was arrested but denied the offence in his caution statement.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Two women granted GH?5,000 bail each for fighting in public


The Ashaiman District Court has granted bail in the sum of GH?5,000 with one surety each to Obaa Yaa Annan and Lydia Koomson for fighting in public.

The court, presided over by Mr Derick Parden Eshun, granted the two persons bail after they pleaded not guilty to charges of disturbing public peace.

Police Inspector Kwajo Danso, prosecuting, said Annan, a 41-year-old trader, and Koomson, 25, a hairdresser, both resided at Nkansa, close to Downtown Ashaiman.

On August 7, 2023, at about 0930 hours, there ensued a misunderstanding between the two on the proper disposal of wastewater, leading to a fight between them.

The two fought in the open (at the sight and hearing of the public), injuring themselves and Annan then went to the Katamanso Police Station to make a complaint, where she was given a medical form to attend hospital and return the form after treatment, prosecution said.

Koomson was subsequently arrested for investigation, which revealed both the initial complainant and the supposed perpetrator en
gaged in a fight in a public place to disturb the peace of others.

The two accused persons both bit each other during the fight and they were, therefore, arraigned and charged with the offence.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Rabies kills six people in Bono Region – VSD


Rabies killed six people in the Bono Region in 2023, Dr. Donald Joachim Darko, the Bono Regional Director of the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) has said.

Comparatively, he said the deaths marginally declined because the Department recorded eight deaths in 2022.

Rabies is a deadly virus transmitted through the saliva of infected animals and some symptoms include fever, headache, excessive salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis and mental confusion.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, Dr. Darko said the Department vaccinated 4,402 domestic animals in 2023. More than 8,171 domestic animals, including dogs were vaccinated in 2021 and about 3,606 animals in 2022, he added.

Dr. Darko said the Department was working hard to achieve the World Health Organisation’s target of ensuring rabies free deaths by 2030 and called for support from the general public.

He said until 70 per cent of the pet and domestic animal population were vaccinated three consecutive times, it would be difficu
lt for the country to achieve the WHO target.

Just about six years to go, Dr. Darko called for effective collaboration between the Municipal/ District Assemblies, Ghana Health Service and the VSD towards intensifying public education as well as accessibility and affordability of vaccines to achieve the 2030 target.

He also urged the public to endeavour to bring their cats, dogs and other pets for vaccination at least once a year to help prevent diseases and needless deaths.

Source: Ghana News Agency