Friday, January 28, 2011

DCE warns farmers against bush fires (Page 22, Jan 28, 2011

Story: Samuel Duodu, Drobo

THE District Chief Executive (DCE) for Jaman South, Mr Julius Atta Bediako, has cautioned farmers in the district against starting bush fires.
He, therefore, advised the people in the area to prepare their food at home during this harmattan season to prevent bush fires.
The DCE reminded them of the havoc the 1993 bush fires caused to food and cash crops and property with some people losing their lives.
He, therefore, warned hunters, palm-wine tappers, honey extractors and cigarette smokers to be careful about the way they handled fire in the bush in order to prevent bush fires in the area.
Mr Atta Bediako was speaking at a fund-raising durbar organised by the Adomabea family of Atuna, near Drobo in the Jaman South District of the Brong Ahafo Region in aid of an education endowment fund to support brilliant, needy students.
He stressed that the time had come for the people in the area to inject more funds into education and the general development of the communities instead of relying solely on the government.
Mr Atta Bediako advised the people in the area to let education of their children be their priority as it was the cornerstone of the country’s human resource development.
The DCE urged the people in the area not to allow religious, tribal and political differences to divide them, and be united to move the district forward.
He called on the youth to be disciplined, law abiding, adding that they should not take the laws into their own hands and disturb the prevailing peace in the country.  
Mr Atta Bediako reminded the people that as this year is an action one, most of the towns in the district would be connected to the national grid while the roads would be constructed for smooth transportation in the area, in addition to the supply of school uniforms, water, among other development projects.
He praised the Anomabea family for organising such an important programme and urged them not to let it be a nine-days’ wonder.
The DCE urged the other families in the area to emulate such a good example.
The newly elected assembly member for Anomana Electoral Area, Mr Ahmed Abuu Konadu, thanked the people for giving him the mandate..
Nana Amera Yeboa, who chaired the function, commended the DCE for his hard work and expressed the hope that by the end of the year, he would be described as the action man of the year.

Friday, January 21, 2011


A biometric passport application centre has been inaugurated in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Chris Kpodo.
The opening of the centre means residents of the region who want to acquire biometric passports do not need to travel to Accra to have their documents processed.
The Brong Ahafo Region is one of the six pilot regions in the country to benefit from the biometric passport application centre project, which is in line with the government’s e-governance policy to decentralise biometric passport application.
Mr Kpodo urged those mandated to manage the centre to exhibit high moral standards by not delaying the process unduly or carrying out underhand dealings for monetary gain.
He said the migration from the old passport to the new biometric system was in conformity with international standards. Besides, the change-over would enhance the dignity of Ghanaians travelling all over the world, as the new passport had security features that would eliminate impersonation and other fraudulent activities associated with the old system.
Mr Kpodo said the new system had one-off payment of GH¢50 for normal processing and GH¢100 for those who wanted it urgently.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, expressed the appreciation of the people in the region to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for choosing the region as one of the six pilot regions to benefit from the project.
He asked holders of the old passports not to rush for the biometric ones, since the old ones would be valid till 2015.
He said the new system required the physical presence of an applicant, which would also help eliminate the use of middlemen or passport contractors, thereby saving time and cost and reducing fraud.
The Omanhene of the Seikwa Traditional Area in the Tain District, Nana Kwaku Dwuma Ankoana II, who chaired the function, on behalf of the chiefs and people of the region thanked the government for the centre, saying it would save the people the time and cost involved in acquiring a passport.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


MEDIA practitioners, especially journalists and radio presenters, have been urged to sustain the campaign on malaria prevention and treatment through their reportage as the disease is the leading cause of death in the country.
Available statistics from the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) indicates that about 4,500 deaths caused by malaria are recorded annually in public health facilities across the country, while 1,500 children under-age five and 60 pregnant women die every year from the disease.
Media practitioners have therefore been advised to pay special attention to malaria prevention and treatment programmes to reduce the disease to its barest minimum.
Journalists and radio presenters were further tasked to provide effective and factual reportage on malaria and seek accurate information on it before reporting on the disease.
Speaking at a day’s training workshop for journalists and radio presenters in the Brong Ahafo Region in Sunyani, Mr Morris Ocquaye, the Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) Adviser of Promoting Malaria Prevention and Treatment (ProMPT), said media practitioners, especially broadcasters, by passing on accurate information on malaria to the populace, would help in the control and prevention of the disease.
He stated that apart from being a killer disease, malaria could also retard the mental development of children.
Malaria, Mr Ocquaye said, is preventable and curable, so media practitioners should give equal attention to the dissemination of accurate information on the disease to the public.
 Mr Ocquaye said one of the effective strategies for the prevention of malaria was the use of Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated nets (LLINS) for night-time prevention of mosquito bites.
He said the workshop was also aimed at equipping media practitioners, especially journalists and radio presenters with the requisite information on malaria to clear the misconceptions associated with the disease in the country.
The NMCP Officer at the Ghana Health Service (GSH), Mr Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, who presented a paper on malaria, burden, epidemiology and vector control, said everyone in Ghana could get malaria but children under age five and pregnant women were most vulnerable.
He said malaria was transmitted or spread naturally through the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito and could also be transmitted accidentally through blood transfusion or through injection with blood contaminated with the malaria parasites.
Mr Gakpey said the typical breeding sites for mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite included stagnant waters and rain pools, overflow water, roadside ditches,  potholes, rice fields, tidal swamps, semi permanent stagnant waters along streams, rivers, among others.
He mentioned the main interventions for malaria control as the use of Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated nets (LLINs) for night-time prevention of mosquito bites, Indoor Residual Spraying of insecticides and Intermittent Prevention Treatment for pregnant women (IPTp) with Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP).
On the national anti-malaria drug policy, Mr Gakpey stated that chroloquine was no more an effective drug for malaria treatment and it had also been banned in the country, stressing that it was also an offence to sell or trade in chroloquine in the country.
 He said artesunate-amodiaquine combination was the recommended drug for the treatment of malaria in the country, mentioning other approved drugs as artemether–lumefantrine and dihydroartemisinin piperaquine.  
Mr Gakpey said the additional ACTs would be used for patients who could not tolerate the artesunate-amodiaquine combination as quinine drug of choice for the management of malaria in the event of treatment failure.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Health Promotion Officer, Mr William Sopiimeh, who represented the regional health directorate, urged journalists to partner the GHS to spread the information on malaria prevention to reduce the disease burden.
A media consultant for PROMPT, Ms Rosemary Ardayfio, said the workshop was to update the knowledge of media personnel to enable them to give out accurate information on malaria control and prevention.
She said it was also aimed at introducing the affordable medicines facility for malaria (AMFm), the drug and treatment policies and shift from targeted distribution to universal coverage of LLINs.

Monday, January 17, 2011


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.

PROF. Thomas Kwadwo Djang-Fordjour, 56, a former Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Education, Winneba, Asante Mampong campus, has been inducted into office as the new Rector of the Sunyani Polytechnic.
The new Rector who is a Prof. in Veterinary Medicine took over from Prof. Kwesi Nsiah Gyaabah, who retired after serving for 12 years.
Prof. Djang-Fordjour who has a lot of experience in the field of tertiary education, also served as Head of Department of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Sokoto in Nigeria, between 1988 and 1992, and acting Head of Department at the Department of Animal Science at the University of Development Studies (UDS), Tamale from 1993 to 2005.
The acting Chairman of the Sunyani Polytechnic Governing Council, Mr Stephen Kofi Mensah, inducted Prof. Djang-Fordjour into office at a well-attended investiture ceremony at the Polytechnic auditorium in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital.
Among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony were the Chairman of the Conference of Polytechnics Rectors, Dr Y.S. Paligah, the Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the Omanhene of Sunyani Traditional Area, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawirie II and Omanhene of Berekum Traditional Area, Daasebre Amankona Diawuo II.
Also present were some rectors of the sister polytechnics, some members of the various Polytechnics Governing Councils and academic staff from the University of Education, Winneba, Asante Mampong campus.
Addressing the investiture ceremony, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, stressed the importance of polytechnic education to national development, saying it produces highly technical and skilled level manpower to run the economy.
He gave the assurance that the government would continue to provide the necessary support for polytechnic education, especially in the areas of the provision of infrastructure to facilitate teaching and learning as well as accommodation for teachers and students.
Mr Opoku reiterated the call on tertiary institutions, including the polytechnics, to tailor their training policies to the needs of the oil and its related industries, saying it is unacceptable for the country to continue to import expertise when a lot of the country’s youth remained unemployed.
Prof. Djang-Fordjour, in his address, said his vision for the Sunyani Polytechnic was to make it a prominent institution recognised nationally and worldwide for Polytechnic Education in technical, vocational, commerce, finance and management studies.
He said the road map to achieving this goal includes effective management of existing resources as outlined in the government’s White Paper on Education Reform Review, 2007 (Polytechnic).
Prof. Djang-Fordjour gave the assurance that he would embark upon an open administration that would allow the committee system to operate, respect the views of staff, students and other stakeholders, and also open all communication lines to help check rumour mongering, fear and panic.
He stated that he and his management team would work to secure the accreditation for the Bachelors of Technology in Hospitality and Tourism Management, General Agriculture, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Higher National Diploma (HND) in Wood, Bricks and Tiles Technologies and Computer Science Engineering as soon as possible.
Prof. Djang-Fordjour asked for the co-operation of the Council, the Academic Board, Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana and all unions on the polytechnic’s campus so that together they could build an enviable polytechnic in the country.
The new rector who is a native of Kutire No. 1 in the Berekum Municipality is married to Mrs. Diana Djang-Fordjour and has four children.


A farmer in the Brong Ahafo Regional Nana Yaa Badu, has appealed to the government to grant long term loans to farmers to enable them to expand their farms.
She said that would encourage farmers to diversify their crops by growing more cashew, pepper, maize and also engage in poultry and fish farming to settle the loans which would be granted them.
Nana Badu made the appeal at a meeting with a cross-section of farmers at Senase, near Berekum.
She expressed concern about indiscriminate bush burning in the municipality that had resulted in bush fires in the municipality, destroying large quantities of agricultural produce.
Nana Badu, therefore, appealed to the municipal assembly to provide logistics such as uniforms and wellington boots to the fire volunteers to ensure effective prevention of fire.
She stressed the need for farmers to invest in the education of their children up to the university level for them to become responsible adults in the future since education is the key to success in life.
Nana Badu admonished the farmers to refrain from wasting their money on marrying many women and expensive funerals.
She reminded the farmers that the increase in the producer price of cocoa to GH¢200 was to help them to sponsor their children’s education and to ensure an improvement in their standard of living.
Nana Badu implored the farmers to cultivate the habit of saving with the banks to enable them to secure financial assistance, whenever they were in need.
As an opinion leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Badu advised the youth of the party not to take the law into their own hands by removing Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) from office which did not augur well for party unity and cohesion.
She, therefore, advised them to be disciplined and law abiding by impressing upon the MDCEs to deliver qualitative leadership to the people.
She commended the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, for his outstanding performance in the region, describing him as the "action man of the year."                                                                            


The Brong Ahafo Regional branches of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) have initiated moves to force their national executive to form a united Nkrumahist political party to contest the 2012 elections.
At a forum in the Sunyani municipality, the rank and file of the two Nkrumahist parties publicly declared to the whole nation their position on unification before the 2012 general election.
The meeting was held in collaboration with Nkrumah Rising, an organisation composed of CPP and PNC members desirous of creating sufficient internal pressure at the grass roots within the PNC and the CPP to bring about the total unification of the two parties.
Addressing the forum, the CPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Jomoro, Ms Samia Nkrumah, used the opportunity to announce her intention to contest the chairmanship of the CPP, with the reason that she wanted to be in a better position to facilitate and cement the unity agenda that was before the CPP and the PNC.
She noted that the unity of Nkrumaist groups was not a luxury but an absolute necessity if they wanted to win political power in order to transform the country.
“This cannot be achieved by a tradition that boasts not more than three MPs and, therefore, requires a different mind-set. Since 1992, unity among the Nkrumahist parties has eluded us, but we are at a junction where we either unite or we perish. We must unite or perish,” she stated.
“We in the PNC and the CPP are descendants of the same tradition. We are a family and no matter our current challenges, it is imperative that a tradition like ours emphasises unity above all else. Symbols and names are important, but we have to learn to focus on what unites us,” the only CPP MP added.
Ms Nkrumah said there was very little that divided the two parties, looking at their manifestos, and called on all to have faith in the Nkrumahist vision and work towards it.
She stated that this was the time for the PNC, the CPP, the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and other Nkrumahist groups to form a formidable, unified, alternative political force to contest the 2012 elections as one Nkrumahist party.
She commended the Brong Ahafo Regional executives of the PNC and the CPP for working together before any other group started talking about unity on the ground.
“We recognise your pioneering role in this endeavour and I am here to be part of this process, without which our revival as one Nkrumahist party will not be possible,” Ms Nkrumah stated.

Friday, January 14, 2011


From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.

BUSHFIRE destroyed 224 farmlands cultivated with food and cash crops as well as livestock estimated at the cost of GH¢390,491.00 (¢3.9billion) with one death and four injuries in the Brong Ahafo Region in the year 2009 and 2010.
Out of the 224 bushfire cases recorded for the period between 2009 and 2010, 59 were reported while 165 were not reported with Techiman and Wenchi municipalities recording the highest cases of 105 and 60 cases respectively.
The region also recorded a total of 258 fires from January to December, 2010, as compared to 249 cases recorded for the same period in 2009.
The breakdown is 115 domestic fires for the same period in 2010 as against 105 in 2009, electrical fire 20 for 2010, 25 for 2009, vehicular fires 40 for 2010, 33 for 2009, commercial fires one for 2010, five for 2009, institution fires one for 2010, none for 2009 while others are 19 for 2010 and 24 for 2009.
The Regional Fire Command also attended to 40 road accidents from January to November 2010 and 44 for the same period for 2009 which resulted in the death of 21 people in 2010 as compared to 24 deaths recorded for the same period for 2009 as well as 86 and 60 injuries for the period respectively.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Fire Officer, Mr Paul Opoku, who gave the statistics on the fire situation, said the command has banned group hunting in the region which begun from November, 2010 and ends in March, 2011 since it has been identified as the major cause of bushfires during the dry season in the region.
On road accidents, Mr Opoku, who is also a Divisional Officer Grade 1 of the GNFS, said the command has intensified its education campaign to help minimise fire outbreak in the region, especially domestic and bushfires which increase during the dry season (harmattan).
The Regional Fire Officer said the command in collaboration with the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) and the Regional Secretariat of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) had set up anti-bush fire task forces which include the military, police, GNFS and NADMO to prevent and check those who would set fire during the dry season.
Mr Opoku said the command had trained 7,000 fire volunteers in the region while plans were underway to recruit more volunteers across the region to help combat the bushfire menace in the region.