Tuesday, March 31, 2009


COMMUNITIES affected by mining have been urged to be abreast of the new Mineral and Mining Law (MML) of the country in order to make claims due them.
The human rights of communities affected by mining have been violated as a result of ignorance of the relevant provisions in the MML and the 1992 Constitution by such communities, and therefore, they could not make claims for any proper compensation and resettlement packages.
The Executive Director of Livelihood Environmental Ghana (LEG), Mr Richard Adjei-Poku, made the call at a day’s sensitisation forum for a cross-section of the public at Ntotroso in the Asutifi District in the Brong Ahafo Region.     
LEG is a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) with the objective of advocating the protection of the environment, human rights, community interest and livelihood of men and women, especially vulnerable groups who come into contact with activities of large transnational mining companies.      
LED organised the forum to support the recent news conference organised by the Ghana National Coalition on Mining (NCOM), registering its displeasure about the way the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to subvert and undermine community concerns and public interest, particularly in cases involving Newmont Ghana Gold Limited and Adamus Resources.
The forum also formed part of activities marking the national day of action against violence in mining and surface mining in forest reserves.
Some of the issues raised at the forum were on compensation, resettlement and moratorium.
Mr Adjei-Poku, who responded to some of the questions raised by the participants, called on mining companies not to take advantage of the ignorance of the mining law by local communities to exploit them.
He stated that mining companies had the responsibility to pay adequate compensation to people whose lands had been acquired and also resettle them on suitable alternative lands with due regard for their economic well-being, social and cultural values.
Mr Adjei-Poku called on the relevant departments and agencies to help build the capacities of local communities in order to enhance their knowledge to enable them to demand their rights in connection with the impact of mining on their communities.
A staff and facilitator of LEG, Mrs Comfort Agyei-Mensah, who read the press statement of the Ghana National Coalition on Mining, called on the EPA to withdraw the permits it had granted to Newmont and Adamus Resources Limited to begin operations under unexplained circumstances.
She stated that the withdrawal of the permit would be consistent with the recent position of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources that “his outfit will not allow mining activities in to be carried out in restricted forest reserves”.
“We also demand a parallel capacity building programme for local communities to enhance their understanding of the EIA process and relevant content of the scooping reports and environmental impact statement reports. The Agency has the power and the option to impose tax deductible levy on the mining companies to fulfil this demand”, the statement added.
The Coalition further demanded the timely and adequate notification to communities before public hearings were conducted.
It added that the mode of notification to communities should also take account of the language and unique communication channels instead of limiting notices to the media and District Assembly notice boards.

Monday, March 30, 2009


By Samuel Duodu, Brosankro

THE Tano South District Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has organised a community health durbar at Brosankro, a farming community with a call on the chiefs and people of the area to help fight against the spread of Tuberculosis (TB) and the deadly HIV/AIDS in the community.
The people were also educated on communicable diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, Schistosomiasis and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and substance abuses, the need to keep their environment clean, as well as on government policies such as free maternal care, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and free immunisation services.
According to statistics made available to Graphic Nsempa at the durbar, the Tano South district with its capital as Bechem in the Brong Ahafo Region, recorded a total of 24 TB cases last year, with four of them from Brosankro.
Out of the four TB cases reported from Brosankro, two of the patients were cured while two died as a result of ignorance about the disease.
The District Disease Control Officer on TB control and management, Mr Amofa Boateng therefore called on Nananom and the people to support and encourage members of the community they suspected to have the disease, to seek early treatment rather than subject them to public ridicule, that would make them hide instead of coming out for treatment.
He announced that TB was a curable disease and its treatment was free and available in all government hospitals as well as some mission hospitals.
Besides that, he said the ministry of health had instituted enablers’ package (financial support) for TB patients and their supporters to ensure that patients reported regularly for their TB medicines and any other services they needed.
Mr Boateng also urged mothers to have their babies vaccinated with BCG as early as possible to protect them against TB.
The District Director of Health Services, Mr Bedima Duut in his address disclosed that, with support from the district assembly, the Ghana Health Service and the National AIDS Control Programme, some buildings have been renovated for use as health centres, to serve Brosankro and its surrounding communities.
He said while waiting for the formal inauguration of the health centre the directorate had posted a midwife and seven other staff to take care of the immediate health needs of the people.
Mr Duut disclosed that the centre would also offer free HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) services and urged the people to patronise the service to know their HIV/AIDS status.


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

GHANAIANS have been urged to consider paying a token for the waste they generate, to help the central government and the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to manage the waste and sanitation issues of the country effectively.
“The government and for that matter the MMDAs used more than half of their budget in addressing the waste and sanitation problems of the country in their various jurisdictions and it was therefore high time that such an option was considered by all Ghanaians to help generate funds for waste management and sanitation in the country.”
Mr Adu Boadi Acheampong, the co-chairman of the Transitional Team’s Task Force on Waste Management and Sanitation- 100 Days Programme, made the suggestion when he led a three-member team of the task force to the Sunyani Municipal Assembly on Wednesday, to access the waste management and sanitation situation of the assembly, as well as ensure the achievement of President J.E.A. Mills’s vision to rid the country of filth within 100 days in office.
The co-chairman noted that Ghanaians should consider such a move, in order to help institutions tasked with the responsibility to manage waste in the country, to deal effectively with the waste they have created in the system, adding that such a suggestion should be embraced by all, as in the case of utilities.
He stated that when in the past communities were asked to pay for the use of stand pipes in the absence of taps in their various homes, they initially kicked against the idea but they later saw the need and embraced it and therefore, maintained that, the same should be adopted for waste management in the country.
Mr Acheampong noted that the sanitation problem of the country was attitudinal and therefore, called on the MMDAs and the various departments and agencies tasked with waste management to intensify their public education and adopt new measures as well as strategies to contain the situation.
He called on the law courts to also assist the assemblies to enforce their byelaws on sanitation and environment by imposing heavy fines or punishments on offenders so as to serve as a deterrent.
Mr Acheampong also appealed to waste management experts, to also take into consideration the health of the people, when selecting the final dumping sites for assemblies, saying the team observed that most of the final waste disposal sites, were very close to rivers and streams, which in effect rendered some of those water bodies in the country dead.
He cited the Korle Lagoon in the Greater Accra Region and the Pemu Stream in Dormaa Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo as classic examples.
Mr Simon Opoku, the Sunyani Municipal Environmental Officer for his part disclosed that the department had intensified its house-to-house and community inspection to ensure that people kept their surroundings and homes clean at all times.
He also disclosed that a number of people in the municipality who were arrested and sent to court for sanitation related offences and prosecuted, were fined Gh¢72 each.
The Coordinating Director of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly, Mr. Gyamfi Ameyaw, pledged that the assembly would intensify its public education on sanitation and also enforce its byelaws strictly.


By Samuel Duodu, Nsawkaw

THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Tain, Mr Amed Ibrahim, has assured farmers in the Tain constituency that the government was committed to the prospect of improving agriculture in the area through mechanised farming.
According to him, the Degedege irrigation Dam in the Seikwa Traditional Area in the constituency would be rehabilitated to enhance productivity, adding that more dams would be constructed in the constituency, to ensure all -year- round farming.
This, he said would enable the constituents to liberate themselves from poverty, which was so severe in the area.  He cited rivers such as the Tain River, which cuts across the constituency and the Hempene as water bodies that had enough capacity for irrigation purposes.
The MP was optimistic that with the district’s fertile lands, constituents would be able to utilise such facilities to raise their standards of living.
In an interview with Graphic Nsempa at Nsawkaw, the constituency capital in the Brong Ahafo Region, the MP reiterated the government’s commitment to its promises to the constituency, adding that, plans were far advanced to address the concerns of the constituency.
“The development of the constituency is my heartbeat,” he stressed.
The MP appealed to the constituents to be patient while the government expedites action on all the needed structures that would enable the government to deliver the needs of the people in the constituency as promised.
Mr Ibrahim lamented the small number of inhabitants acquiring tertiary education in the constituency. “It is very sad that only 0.001 per cent of the district’s population is in the tertiary institutions,” said the MP.
He therefore hinted his intention to deploy his share of the MP’s common fund into sponsoring tertiary students from the constituency to enhance the human resource capacity of the constituency.
“I know people won’t see the impact in the short term, the benefits will come later.”
He also urged students from the constituency who were currently at the senior high school level to learn hard in order to benefit from his initiative.
To those in farming, the MP urged them to avail themselves of the government’s interventions such as loans and other farm inputs that were on the way.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Traditional rulers have been urged to give their maximum support and cooperation to persons appointed by President J.E.A. Mills to the positions of Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs) in their various traditional areas in order to help speed up community development.
“Nananom play a very important role in the local governance structure and therefore must use the power and influence they wield at the local level to help ensure the smooth running of the assemblies and the development process of the municipalities and districts.”
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, said this when a section of chiefs from the Ahafo area of the region led by Agyewodin (Prof.) Adu-Gyamfi Ampem, Omanhene of Acherensua Traditional Area in the Asutifi District, called on him at his office to wish him well.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo was responding to a call made by Nana Ampem that the President should take into consideration the geographical and ethnic backgrounds of those he wished to appoint as MDCEs.
According to Nana Ampem, the Asutifi District is made of two constituencies namely, Asutifi North and Asutifi South and under almost all previous governments, the DCE for the area came from the North.
The chiefs were of the view that there must be a geographical balance in the appointment of DCE for the district.
The regional minister in his response, further explained that although geographical and ethnic backgrounds were necessary, it was not a top priority, adding that the ultimate power to appoint a DCE was with the President and it was his sole prerogative.
“We must therefore leave that to the President to appoint those he deems fit and above reproach and without blemish and could deliver as DCEs,” he added.
“The President would not appoint any incompetent, lazy and an arrogant person to be a DCE,” he assured.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo noted that Nananom should do everything within their power to ensure that the acrimony the that was often associated with the approval of the Presidents’ appointees as MDCEs at the assembly level was minimised.
The regional minister also called on Nananom to impress on their people to desist from making statements that could further divide the society now that the electioneering was over.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo gave the assurance that as the regional minister and the President’s representative, he would not discriminate against anybody in the region but would welcome everybody no matter their political affiliation.
The chiefs also commended President Mills for appointing Alhaji Collins Dauda as Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and Mr Eric Opoku, as Deputy Regional Minister, who are both citizens from the Ahafo Area of the region.
In a related development, the Regional Executive of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), led by Mr Kofi Kokwa alias Kofi Jato, the Regional Chairman, has also called on the minister.
Among the issues they raised were the upsurge of armed robbery on the Sunyani-Kumasi and Wenchi-Bole roads, the reshaping of roads leading to rural and food -producing communities in the region and the rampant road accidents.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo in his response pledged that the regional security council would take up the matter and called on his counterpart in the Ashanti Region to do same to check the incidence of armed robbery, especially on the Sunyani-Kumasi highway.
He blamed the recent road accidents on negligence, speeding, wrong overtaking and complete disregard for road signs by drivers, and called on the leadership of the GPRTU to do more through education of their members.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


THE kingmakers of Adrobaa in the Tano North District in the Brong Ahafo Region have appealed to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to call the Bantamahene to order since he has no jurisdiction to oversee matters concerning Adrobaa let alone come to perform rituals in the town to destool their chief.
The kingmakers said they had sent the matter to the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs for redress and therefore appealed to all citizens of the town to remain calm since the matter was being resolved by the House.
This was contained in a letter to the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, which was signed by Nana Serwaa Panin, the Queen of Adrobaa, Nana Praka Ababio, the Abusuapanin, Nana Kwasi Mframa, the Gyasehene and Nana Opoku Fofie, Krontihene, all of the Adrobaa Stool, who are also part of the kingmakers. The letter was sent on behalf of the (kingmakers) and copied to the press in Sunyani.
The kingmakers of Adrobaa also described the recent action by the Bantamahene, Baffour Asare Owusu Amankwatia, from Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and the Duayaw Nkwantahene, Nana Boakye Tromo, to destool the chief of Adrobaa as not being uncustomary and against tradition but was only meant to create tension in the area and the region as a whole.
The Bantamahene and Duayaw Nkwantahene, they said, contrary to customs and tradition, had installed a rival chief at Adrobaa which has created tension and anxiety in the town.   
The kingmakers, therefore, appealed to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to advise the Bamtamahene to refrain from such provocative act in order to sustain the peace and unity of the town.
They said Nana Boasiako was still Adrobahene and should therefore be accorded that respect.
The kingmakers stressed that since Nana Antwi Boasiako had not been destooled by the kingmakers of Adrobaa, the people in the town and the general public must recognise him as the chief of the town.
“They said the chiefs and people of Adrobaa were peace-loving people and therefore cautioned that anybody, including the Bantamahene, who wanted to foment trouble in the area to desist from such acts.”
They said Nana Boasiako was enstooled as the Adrobaahene in accordance with the Chieftaincy Act 2008, (Act 759 section 57) by the kingmakers of Adrobaa and had since not been destooled.
The kingmakers stated that Adrobaa was no more a member of the Duayaw-Nkwanta Traditional Council as it was completely independent of the Duayaw Nkwanta Traditional Council.
“By a copy of this letter, the Regional Officer of the Administrator of Stool Lands has been advised not to channel any revenue or royalties for the Adrobaa Stool Land through the Duayaw Nkwanta Traditional Council again,” they said.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


THE Managing Director of the Metro Mass Transport (MMT) Limited, Mr Henk Visschers has pledged that the company would continue to offer affordable services to the public as part of its social responsibility towards building a sustainable public transport system for the country.
He stated that the MMT was not in the country to make profit but to help provide Ghanaians with safe, efficient, reliable and low cost transport services to every part of the country.
Mr Visschers made the pledge when he opened a two-day conference for inspectors of the company in Sunyani as part of its activities to improve upon its services to the people this year.
He stated that in recent times, most passengers had not demanded for their tickets when boarding the MMT buses.
The MD, therefore, advised the inspectors to update their knowledge in order to embark on routine inspection to ensure that the staff, especially conductors, were abreast of the new trends the company had adopted in its operations.
“This time around, passengers who do not demand for their tickets after paying for their fares before boarding the buses, would not be held liable but instead the conductors who would be held responsible for that”, he stressed.
Mr Visschers, therefore, urged commuters to always demand for their tickets before boarding any MMT bus.
He said another area that would engage the attention of management, would be road safety issues and the development of strategies to prevent accidents on the roads.
He said the company had, therefore, put in place measures to ensure that drivers of the MMT complied with road safety rules and regulations, stressing that the buses had been equipped with a mechanism to check speeding.
Mr Visschers emphasised that MMT bus drivers were expected to drive within the speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour .
He further stated that the MMT management had planned to re-train 1,300 of its drivers on safe driving, adding that those who are not fit to drive after the training, would be retrained and assisted to take up other jobs in the company.
According to him, the company had procured new alcohol metres for routine alcohol checks among drivers and conductors of the company which was being done 100 times a day nationwide.
He warned that any driver of the company who was found to have exceeded the company’s 0.00 per cent alcoholic intake would be dismissed.
Mr Visschers stated that the MMT had set its own standards to check alcohol intake which should be 0.00 per cent and not the statutory 0.08 per cent allowed by the laws of the country.
He announced that the company would upgrade its terminals in Kumasi, Techiman, Tamale and Accra at Kaneshie to provide comfort for passengers.
Mr Visschers and his entourage later paid a courtesy call on the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo at his office.
He told the regional minister that the company wanted to increase its fleet of buses in the region but could not do so due to lack of parking space.
The MD, therefore, appeal to him for assistance to enable the company to secure a place in the municipality for that purpose.


CASHEW farmers at Sampa, a leading cashew production area in the Brong Ahafo Region have appealed to the government to set up a regulatory body for the pricing of cashew as in the case of cocoa, coffee and sheanuts.
That measure, they felt, would go a long way to check cheating by local and international cashew buying agencies operating in the region.
The farmers said it was unfortunate that even though the government had set up a cashew development project to support farmers to increase the production of the crop, they were at the mercy of buyers who determine the price of the crop.
They, therefore, called on the government to use an existing body such as the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to regulate the sale and purchase of cashew in the short-term or establish a new company to take charge of the organisation and promotion of cashew.
The regent of Sampa, Nana Kwame Siey, who is also a prominent cashew farmer, on behalf of his colleagues, made the appeal through the Daily Graphic at Sampa in the Jaman North District recently.
Other farmers who spoke to the Daily Graphic shared similar sentiments, and therefore, urged the authorities to provide uniform price for the commodity at the national level and also set up an institution that would promote the crop along the same line as cocoa, coffee and sheanuts.
The farmers stated that some private agencies and buyers had been deliberately complaining of the low quality cashew in the area and took advantage of the situation to fix low prices to exploit them.
They said farmers were unable to repay loans secured from the cashew development project and financial institutions because of the high operational cost.
Prices offered for the crop during the season fluctuate between GH¢0.20p to a low of GH¢0.60p per kilo.
Nana Siey, the Acting Regional Chairman of the Cashew Farmers Union, has on behalf of the farmers, called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to intervene to take realistic measures to address the problem to encourage them to increase production.
The cashew tree has a life span of 70 years and its fruits and nuts have high economic values.
“If the commodity is processed, it can produce oil, alcohol, juices, animal feed, among others, but the farmers expressed regret that they were making little or no profit for their livelihood,” Nana Siey said.
He appealed to the government to set up a cashew processing plant in the region to add more value to the commodity in order to attract higher prices.
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr Alexander Asum-Ahensan, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Jaman North, called on the cashew exporting companies to consider setting up cashew processing factories in the district and other cashew growing areas in the region to add value to the product to increase the price and also generate jobs for the youth.
He further urged the cashew exporting and buying companies to adjust the prices of cashew to reflect the present economic circumstances to encourage farmers to increase production and also encourage the youth to go into cashew cultivation.


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo has called on media practitioners in the region to use their reportage and programmes to project the region as a viable investment destination in the country.
According to him, the region was well endowed with both natural and human resources that could be tapped and harnessed for the rapid socio-economic development of the region.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo made the call in Sunyani when he interacted with media practitioners in the region.
He urged media personnel to see themselves as partners in development than to always put the region in the negative spotlight which had the potential to scare away investors.
“The Brong Ahafo Region has great potential for investment in agriculture, mining, small and medium scale industries as well as tourism which are yet to be fully exploited,” he stated.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, therefore, implored the media practitioners to lead the region’s investment drive through their reportage to woo investors to those sectors towards the promotion of the economic growth of the area.
He stated that instead of focusing on the negative sides of the region, the media must endeavour to portray or highlight the positive sides as well as the economic potentials of the region to attract investors.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said as part of his administration’s resolve to woo investors to the region, the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) would create a website, which would provide up-to-the-minute information on the key potential investment areas in the region.
“The region has a variety of tourist attractions including the Bui and Digya National Parks, the Buabeng/Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, the Kintampo/Fuller and Chridi Waterfalls and festivals such as Kwafie and Apoo, which are associated with colourful durbars of chiefs reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Brong Ahafo. All these areas, coupled with the warm hospitality of our people make them potential and favourable areas of investment”, Mr Nyamekye-Marfo added.
He called on all well-to-do citizens in the region both locally and abroad, to consider investing back home or be worthy ambassadors of the region to help market the region to both domestic and foreign investors.
The regional minister pledged that his administration would also continue to create a congenial and enabling environment for all to do their genuine businesses.
He, however, warned those who were bent on derailing efforts at promoting the region as a viable investment destination in the country, to mend their ways and join in to help create wealth for all irrespective of their political, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
    Mr Nyamekye-Marfo used the occasion to thank the chiefs and people in the region for the various roles they played during the 2008 general election and the peaceful manner voting was done in the area, stressing “Indeed, it was a victory for all of us and the country.”                                         


The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has given the assurance that his administration is open to constructive criticisms and suggestions that would promote the growth of the region.
He also pledged that as the ‘father’ of the region he would not discriminate in the award of contracts and that his administration would pursue equitable development of all areas in the region.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo gave the assurance when representatives of the various political parties in the region, namely the New Patriotic Party (NPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), Convention People’s Party (CPP), Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) met with him at his office to discuss issues concerning how they could contribute towards the development and sustenance of peace in the region.
The regional minister, who was highly elated about the visit of the various political parties, called for their cooperation to move the region forward, and called for such meetings to discuss the forward march of the region.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, however, urged supporters of the political parties in the region to watch their utterances and endeavour to speak on issues that would foster peaceful co-existence and not divisive ones.
“Now that the electioneering which generated a lot of debate and acrimony is over what we need to do as a people is to come together for the rapid socio-economic development of the region and the nation as a whole”, he emphasised.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo further urged the people in the region not to allow their political persuasions or ideologies to divide them since they were one people with a common goal to ensure the rapid development of the region.
He also called on the political parties to contribute their quota towards the successful celebration of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the region this year, which would be launched very soon, adding that they should not see the celebration as that for the NDC but for all people of the region.
In response to some of the issues raised by some of the political parties at the meeting, the Regional Minister gave the assurance that his administration would not embark on political witch-hunting and vengeance but would allow due process or the legal system to work since he believed in the rule of law.
The political parties at the meeting appealed to supporters of the ruling party to give the minister a free hand to operate and also allow him to interact with the other political parties regularly.
They also appealed to the government not to make the nomination of the various Municipal and District Chief Executives to the region partisan but rather ensure that individuals who were competent should be appointed.
The NPP representatives at the meeting appealed through the regional minister to the incoming Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, not to pursue those acts of vindictiveness and vendetta that took place in the Asunafo South Constituency, especially at Sankore, in the run-up to the general election, where he also lost.
The CPP and DFP expressed their appreciation to the President for appointing Mr Nyamekye-Marfo as the regional minister.
They expressed the hope that he would bring his rich experience to bear in his new appointment.
Mr Mohammed Seidu, the Regional Youth Organiser of the NDC, on behalf of the ruling party gave the assurance that the NDC in the region had opened its doors to all the political parties for the sharing of ideas that would enhance the development of the region, and would not do anything to intimidate anybody.


Traditional rulers and opinion leaders of Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region have commended President J.E.A. Mills for his wise decision to appoint Alhaji Asumah Banda, a business tycoon, philanthropist and a worthy son of Kintampo as a member of the Council of State.
“The President’s decision to appoint Alhaji Banda indeed goes to testify to the fact that President Mills believes in an all-inclusive government,” they stressed.
Addressing a press conference at Kintampo, Nana Effah Guakro 1V, Kyeremankumahene of Kintampo stated that his appointment had not only created pride in the indigenes of the area but would also go a long way to demonstrate to the people of the country that Kintampo has capable men and women who can contribute to the governance of this country.
“We believe that Alhaji Banda’s wise advice to the council and for that matter to the President, will move the nation forward to the attainment of its desired goals,” he said.
Nana Guakro on behalf of the chiefs and opinion leaders pledged their unflinching support for the government and Alhaji Banda and added that it was their prayers that God would continually endow him (Alhaji Banda) with Godly wisdom and strength to carry out his national mandate to the satisfaction of the people.
He added that this was the first time in the history of Kintampo that a native of the town had been appointed to serve the country at this highest level and expressed their appreciation to President Mills.
“As Oliver Twist asked for more so do the people of Kintampo and its environs ask for more appointments,” Nana Guakro stated.
The chiefs and opinion leaders also took the opportunity to thank President Mills for the appointment of another illustrious son of the area, Mr Yaw Effah Baafi as Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture designate.
Nana Minka Banawa II, representative of the Mo Traditional Area, Nana Baffoe Asare I, Damoamahene, Representative of Nana Fanyinama III, Wangara Chief, Representative of Mallam Usamatu, Hausa Chief, Nana Baffoe Kudom, Kronkohene and Mr Griffiths Owusu, a former Presiding Member of the then Kintampo district assembly now a municipal and an opinion leader also who took turns to address the press conference.
They expressed the hope that not only would he advise the President on national issues of importance but also use his influence to help bring massive infrastructure development to the area, especially in the area of the Kintampo township roads, upgrading of electricity from a single phase to double as well as the renovation of the Kintampo senior high school which for the past 38 years had not witnessed any infrastructure improvement.
The chiefs and opinion leaders also urged the people of Kintampo to continue to peacefully co-exist as they have done in the past in spite of their diverse ethnic, religious, cultural and political background.     

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Bechem Chelsea yesterday failed to secure the maximum three points at home when they drew goalless with Kumasi-based King Faisal in their Glo Premier League mid-week match at their adopted Sunyani Coronation Park.
The match did not live up to its pre-match billing as both teams failed to utilise the numerous chances they created till Accra-based class one referee, Selas Nii Okai, whistled for the end of the first half.
Immediately after recess both teams made some substitutions as Chelsea’s new Dutch coach, Peter Dlbessch, brought on Ernest Adoma and Richard Atika for Frank Nyarko and Wilson Andoh on the 49th and 62nd minutes respectively, while King Faisal also introduced Abedi Sarfo and Thomas Avorgbedor for Osei Bonsu and Aziz Ibrahim respectively on the 78th and 90th minutes.
The stadium was rocked by applause on the 74th minute when Chelsea goalie, Abubakar Iddrisu, saved a thunderbolt from Prince Arko some few metres outside the vital area to deny the visitors the opener, while substitute Richard Atika of Chelsea also shot wide from close range on the 66th minute.             

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


PERSONNEL of the security agencies stationed at the various frontiers and border posts in the country have been urged to exhibit a high sense of patriotism and dedication to duty to curb the upsurge in smuggling activities.
The country loses a chunk of its internally generated revenue to finance its development projects due to smuggling, a negative development that must be halted.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, said this when he paid a familiarisation visit to the various frontier stations and border posts in the region.
Among the areas he visited to access the security situation and the challenges of the personnel were Gonokrom, Nkrankwanta and Kofi Badukrom frontier stations, as well as the Yaakrom, Frimpongkrom and Ahimakrom border posts, all in the Dormaa West Municipality, which serve as the entry point to the country from Cote d’Ivoire.
The regional minister was accompanied by members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC).
According to Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, intelligence reports indicated that there had been an increase in the smuggling of cocoa, petroleum products and teak through the various frontiers in the region.
He, therefore, called for vigilance from personnel posted there to help halt the canker, which was depriving the nation of the needed revenue for development.
The regional minister said apart from donor inflows, the country relied on internally generated revenue to pursue its development agenda, and, therefore, urged the various agencies tasked with that responsibility to put in their best to generate the needed revenue for the nation.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said since the government spent so much money on the production of cocoa, which was among the nation’s leading foreign exchange earners, everything must be done to halt the activities of smugglers.
He also bemoaned the smuggling of petroleum products along those frontiers in the country, saying that the nation spent so much on the importation of those products for only a few ‘nation wreckers’ to smuggle them to the neighbouring countries.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo commended the personnel stationed at those frontiers and border posts in the region for their sacrifices, saying “most of you have left your families behind and all the comforts of life to serve the nation at these deprived areas”.
He, however, advised them to do more to help the nation generate enough revenue to implement its development programmes.
The regional minister also called on the communities along the borders to help check the smuggling activities by providing vital information to the security agencies for them to launch an onslaught on anti-social activities.
The security personnel at the various frontier stations and border posts appealed to the regional minister and his entourage for motorbikes to enable them to intensify their patrols on the numerous footpaths to check smuggling and tax evasion.
They also appealed for office and residential accommodation.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The Head Coach of Kessben Football Club, Bashir Hayford, his assistant, Thomas Duah, and the club’s Welfare Officer, Harrison Ganda, last Thursday survived a horrific accident at Techire on the Sunyani-Kumasi Highway when an Audi Four saloon car with registration number AS 3639Y on which they were travelling to Sunyani for their mid-week Premier League encounter with Bechem Chelsea somersaulted and landed on its roof.
Coach Hayford who was driving the car when the accident occurred sustained injuries on the chest and the shoulders while his assistant had cuts on the right hand with the welfare officer having some scratches on the hand.
The three were treated at the Regional Hospital in Sunyani and were later seen at the Sunyani Coronation Park directing affairs in the match which Kessben lost 1-0 to Bechem Chelsea.
The match was last Wednesday rained-off .
According to Coach Hayford who spoke to the Daily Graphic after the match a boy with epilepsy fell on their lane, and in a bid to save him the car somersaulted and landed on its roof.
He said they were removed from the wreckage of the vehicle by onlookers who rushed to the scene to rescue them to the Regional Hospital where they were given first aid treatment and were asked to report to the hospital after the match.

Friday, March 13, 2009


THE Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr Alexander Asum-Ahensan has inaugurated two mechanised boreholes valued at GH¢30,000 to supply potable water to Sampa, capital of the Jaman North District in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The boreholes were financed by Blossom Export Ghana Limited, a cashew exporting company based at Sampa, while the Sampa Water and Sanitation Board and the district assembly bore the cost of the laying of pipelines and the electricity connection to the water system.
With the construction of the boreholes, the perennial water shortage in the area has been solved.
The project would also prevent the people in the predominantly farming community from contracting water borne diseases such as guinea worm.
In his inaugural address at Sampa, Mr Asum-Ahesan, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, commended the company for the project.
He said the company had demonstrated what private-public partnership could achieve.
The minister, therefore, urged other companies operating in the district to emulate the example by providing communities within their catchment areas with social amenities to enhance the standard of living.
Mr Asum-Ahensan appealed to the people to take proper care of the facilities, adding that the Community Water and Sanitation Board, which would be operating them to observe maintenance culture in order to lengthen their lifespan.
The regent of Sampa, Nana Siey Kwame, on behalf of the chiefs and people thanked the company for proving the facilities.
He reiterated the call on other exporting companies operating in the town to follow the example of the company by using part of their profits to finance projects beneficial to the people since that formed part of their social responsibility.
The Managing Director of Blossom Export Ghana Limited, Mr Rasamy Karuppiah, said the company decided to provide the people of Sampa with the water system to solve the acute water shortage in the area.
He said apart from the water project, the company had plans to institute a scholarship scheme for brilliant, needy students as their contribution towards the human resource development of the area.
Mr Karuppiah disclosed that the company had acquired 16 acres of land at the Free Zones enclave at Techiman to set up a cashew processing factory.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


THE Brong Ahafo regional command of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) has pledged to intensify its cocoa anti-smuggling operation this year, especially in areas stretching from Nkrankwanta in the Dormaa west municipality in the Brong Ahafo region through Yawmatwa to Jato, Kukumso and Ahimakrom in the Western Region.
It said even though the exercise posed a lot of challenges, the officers and men of the command had resolved to work harder than before to achieve this objective.
“By so doing we shall be fulfilling our preventive functions of securing the borders of the country and rendering service to our dear country”, it said.
The CEPS Regional Commander, Mr Samuel Tetteh-Quarshie made the pledged at the end-of-year party and awards night in Sunyani over the weekend.
Mr Tetteh-Quarshie, who is also an Assistant Commissioner of CEPS, cautioned prospective buyers of vehicles, either new or used ones in the region to verify the documents covering them with any CEPS office for validity before buying them.
He stated that a lot of vehicles in the region were suspected to be uncustomed which have been smuggled into the country from neighbouring countries by land or by temporal importation facility.
The regional commander, therefore, advised persons in possession of such uncustomed vehicles to voluntary comply by reporting to any CEPS office to pay the relevant duties and tax.
He added that the service would continue to search for such vehicles and seize them in accordance with the law.
He announced that the command collected GH¢2.30 million in 2008, representing 91.55 per cent of the targeted revenue for the year, adding that it fell short of 8.45 per cent.
Mr Tetteh-Quarshie attributed the shortfall to the unstable political situation in La Cote d’ Ivoire giving rise to sporadic import flow, poor nature of roads leading to most of the frontier stations in the region, inadequate manpower and insufficient logistics and governments policy on zero rating of some specific cereals such as rice and yellow maize, which were incidentally the main imports through that corridor.
He called for co-operation from the general public to launch an onslaught on smugglers, adding that informants who would give reliable information on smuggling activities would be rewarded by the service.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo commended the officers and men of CEPS in the region for the marginal gains they had made in revenue collection for the state.
He, however, expressed the hope that they would maximise their efforts to ensure that the command exceeded its revenue collection target for this year.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo also appealed to all revenue agencies to work harder this year to enable them exceed their projected revenue collection for the year to help the country to break away from the over reliance on donor inflows.
He also called for co-operation from all the security agencies patrolling the various frontiers in the region, to help curb smuggling of petroleum products and cocoa to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.
In all, 18 officers and men of the CEPS regional command were honoured for their hard work and dedication to duty.
The overall best worker award (senior officers’ category) went to Mr Frederick A. Yankey, the Chief Collector while Mr Charles G. Lartey won the junior officers’ category award.


THE National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) owes the Brong Ahafo Regional Hospital to the tune of GH¢800,000 for services the facility provided for clients under the scheme from various parts of the country.
The huge debt by the NHIS has seriously affected the hospital’s operations.
The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Daniel Asare, made this known when the new Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo paid a working visit to the hospital to acquaint himself with its operations.
He further stated that the hospital authorities’ efforts to retrieve the money from the NHIS officials had proved adamant.
Dr Asare said since 80 per cent of the patients who patronised the hospital were clients of the NHIS, the facility had no any other alternative than to rely on its internally generated funds for its sustenance.
He stated that most of the equipment in the hospital were also obsolete and some of them could not be repaired because their manufacturers were no longer producing those brands.
The medical director also lamented over the recent frequent power outages that had damaged of some of the hospital’s vital equipment.
He said the Nursing Training College (NTC) attached to the hospital also lacked accommodation and lecture theatres.
He stated that the hospital also lacked accommodation for doctors, forcing the authorities to rely on private landlords in the municipality who charged exorbitant rent advances.
Dr Asare announced that the hospital was collaborating with other hospitals in Tamale and Bolgatanga to start a teaching hospital.
The medical director said even though it was constructed about 10 years ago, the hospital had not been inaugurated, and expressed the hope that this time around, it would be inaugurated.
In his response, Mr Nyamekye-Marfo commended the management and staff of the hospital for their hard work and culture of maintenance.
He stated that since the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government placed premium on health care delivery, it would ensure that every Ghanaian received quality health care.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, who was accompanied by the Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr Francis O. Boateng, assured the hospital authorities of his outfit’s support to enable them to provide improved health care for the sick.


THE new Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has called for co-operation from the various transport unions in the region to help check indiscipline among commercial drivers on the roads.
He said the non-observance of maintenance culture and complete disregard for road signs and safety regulations had been the cause of avoidable road accidents in the region and other parts of the country.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo made the call when he paid a familiarisation visit to the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) Secretariat in Sunyani.
He appealed to the various motor unions to embark on intensive road safety campaigns for their members to help reduce the carnage on the roads, stressing that reckless drivers must be sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to other irresponsible motorists in society.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo noted that his administration would work with all stakeholders in the road transport sector in the region in line with the government’s agenda.
The new regional minister also bemoaned the indiscipline among taxi drivers in the Sunyani municipality, who disregarded road traffic regulations and posed danger to other road users.
He charged the various motor unions in the municipality to call those recalcitrant taxi drivers to order.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo expressed his gratitude to the Sunyani GPRTU for providing buses for some NDC supporters from Sunyani to Accra and back free of charge to witness the swearing-in ceremony of President J.E.A. Mills.
He assured the leadership of the various transport unions in the region that his doors were always open for frank discussions.
Messrs Edward Atta Buahin and Richard Yaw Amankwa, vice-chairman and secretary respectively of the Sunyani branch of the GPRTU, on behalf their members, pledged their support for the new regional minister and promised to help make his administration a success.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo also paid a visit to the Sunyani Magazine where he met with the leadership and members of the Ghana National Association of Garages and gave the assurance that the roads leading to the area would be tarred.
Portrait of Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, the new Brong Ahafo Regional Minister.


THE Brong Ahafo regional branch of the Blacksmiths Association has called for the withdrawal of licenses for the repair of guns granted to blacksmiths in the country to check the local manufacturing of guns and small arms.
According to the association, the call had become imperative to ensure that no blacksmith manufactured guns.
The association also pledged to set up a task force to monitor the activities of its members and handover deviants to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution since the association was aware of the ban on the manufacturing of guns and small arms.
It further pledged to operate within the confines of the law and therefore urged the government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to take a critical study of the industry in order to revive it and thus provide the needed incentives as well as support to move it in a positive direction to meet the industrial needs of the country within modern international standards.
A consultant for the association, Mr Michael Mensah made the call at a news conference in Sunyani.
The news conference was part of the association’s advocacy action to create an enabling environment for their business in view of the continuous harassment of their members by personnel of the various security agencies.
It coincided with an exhibition to showcase the huge potential of the industry and thereby seek the support, patronage of the public sector and other industries in their endeavours.
Mr Mensah said the major constraint facing the industry was that blacksmiths operated under constant fear of arrest by the security agencies because of the suspicion that they manufacture guns and small arms although most of them have licenses to repair guns.
He said due to that situation, the efforts by members of the association to produce agricultural implements and other metal products for industries, especially for the transport and health industries, had been hampered.
Mr Mensah, therefore, called on the law enforcement agencies and for that matter, the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms and other agencies to work hand-in-hand with the association in the region to ensure that other blacksmiths who were not members of the association, operated within the law.


THE Sene District, the largest but the least developed in the Brong Ahafo Region in terms of infrastructure, recorded no case of guinea worm in the year 2008 as compared to 11 cases recorded in 2007.
The district, which was among the guinea worm endemic areas in the region, is now free from guinea worm as a result of the hard work of the health personnel and community volunteers in the area.
Communities such as Kufu, Nketiah Akura and Boforosu that were endemic are now happy that no resident contracted guinea worm last year.
The success was due to access to potable water, which was jointly provided by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), corporate institutions and the Sene District Assembly.
The District Directorate of Health Services adopted a number of measures including surveillance and vigorous community education on guinea worm, which helped to eradicate the disease gradually from the area, which had affected the economic lives of the people.
According to Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu, who doubles as the District Director of Health Services and Medical Director of the District Hospital, no community in the district recorded any guinea worm case last year.
He attributed the success story to intensive case searches and community awareness creation.
Some of the treated guinea worm victims who spoke to the Daily Graphic expressed their gratitude to the health workers and community volunteers in the district who came to their aid. They were also grateful to the NGOs and corporate bodies that provided them with potable water.
According to a 52-year-old farmer, who gave his name only as Kwaku, his wife and their four children were confined to their house for more than 21 days as a result of guinea worm infestation, adding that they could now go to farm.
“Thanks to the health workers, community volunteers who came to our aid when we were down with the guinea worm, we can now work to earn our daily bread,” he stressed.
Dr Ofosu stated further that one of the major difficulties hampering the achievement of zero tolerance for maternal deaths in the district was the poor road network in the area.
”During the year under review, the district recorded 13 maternal deaths as compared to six deaths in 2007. Three out of the 13 cases for last year were recorded at the health facility while 10 were at the community level,” he said.
Dr Ofosu explained that because of the bad nature of roads in the district, vehicles did not ply most of the communities.
He said for that reason, before pregnant women were brought to the hospital, they were in very critical condition while others died before they got means of transport to the hospital.
The only road that is accessible all year round is the Atebubu-Deifour-Battor trunk road. All the other roads — except the one linking Kwame Danso (the district capital) with Akyeremade Battor, Kyeamekrom with Tato Battor and Nyankontre with Asuosu — are tracks made by tractors to farm settlements to cart farm produce.
All these tracks are not motorable during the rainy season. Accessibility to most communities by health staff and clients from these communities to health facilities is difficult.
The District Director of Health Services, therefore, made a passionate appeal to the government and the various agencies to help in improving the road network in the district to help the people in the remote communities to access quality health care.
Residents in the districts also reiterated the appeal to the government to consider reshaping roads in the area to open up the district.
They said the improvement of the roads would not only enable them to cart their farm produce to the marketing centres, but would also help in conveying their sick relatives to the district hospital.
Dr Ofosu stated that last year, the Sene District Hospital performed 324 major surgical operations compared with 224 in 2007, saying most of the surgical cases were hernia, caesarian and excision (lumps) while 17 minor cases were done for the year under review as compared to 18 in 2007.
The District Hospital exists only in name but lacks the most basic infrastructure for even a health centre. There are three health centres in the district, which are located at Kojokrom, Bassa and Kajaji. There are five functional CHPS zones with three CHPS compounds at Nyankontre, Lassi and Tator Bator.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Youth in development, a non-political, non-profit youth group, has appealed to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muhammed Muntaka, to expand the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) to engage more youth to be useful to the country’s growth.
The group said it was looking forward to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to design programmes that would bring out the best in the Ghanaian youth, especially in the area of sports.
In a congratulatory message, the group appealed to the minister to lobby Parliament to help pass the Youth Policy bill into law.
The group expressed the hope that Alhaji Muntaka would use his youthful exuberance to help tap and harness the creative potential of the youth for the socio-economic advancement of the country.
“We know you are very passionate about the development of the youth. We therefore assure you of our maximum cooperation in any area to help the youth of Ghana to develop,” it stated.
The group also expressed its appreciation to President Mills for appointing a number of youthful Ministers such as Mr Haruna Iddrisu for the Communications Ministry, Mrs Zita Okaikoi for the Ministry of Information and Alhaji Muntaka, as well as many more youthful deputy ministers.


THE former Chairman of the Berekum Zongo Community of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alhaji A. Salifu aka Alhaji Frafra, has cautioned supporters of the party, especially the youth, not to take the laws of the country into their own hands since Ghana adheres to the rule of law.
He urged them to desist from all acts that could tarnish the image of the party and work towards the unity and the common good of the country.
Alhaji Salifu, who gave the caution at a victory meeting of members of the party in the Berekum municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region over the weekend, also congratulated President J.E.A. Mills on his assumption of the highest office of the land.
He said President Mills’s victory in eight out of the 10 regions of Ghana was a great achievement.
Alhaji Salifu called for unity to move the party and the country forward and pledged the community’s commitment to support President Mills to achieve growth and development in the country.
Alhaji Salifu, who is also one of the founding fathers of the party in the Berekum Constituency, noted that the days when the government of the day alone carried the burden and responsibility of the people were over, saying it was the moral obligation and constitutional responsibility of all to assist in nation building.
He therefore called on supporters of the party and the people of Berekum to rally behind the NDC government.
The former chairman further called on Ghanaians to exercise restraint while the government took the necessary measures to fulfil its electoral promises.
Alhaji Salifu praised the zongo community of the party and the executive members for withstanding all forms of extreme provocations when the party was in opposition and assured them that their long suffering and sacrifices would never be in vain.
Alhaji Salifu also congratulated Mr J.H. Owusu Acheampong on his election as the region’s representative to the Council of State.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The Electoral Commission (EC) member responsible for the Brong Ahafo Region, Nana Amba Eyiaba I, has called for a closer collaboration between the EC and all stakeholders, especially political parties, to help transform the country’s electoral processes and procedures to enable the system to be respected and accepted by all.
She has, therefore, advised political parties to channel all their concerns to the EC as a way of helping to improve on the electoral system rather than to go on the airwaves to discredit the system which was collectively owned by all stakeholders.
She also pledged that the EC would be proactive in addressing issues raised by the various political parties and also embarked on a vigorous educational campaign to enhance the system and ensure that most of the hitches encountered in the 2008 polls were reduced or eliminated before the 2012 general election.
Nana Eyiaba , who is also the Krontihemaa of the Oguaa Traditional Area in the Central Region and a former Board Member of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), made the call at a day’s expanded Regional Inter-Party Advisory Committee (RIPAC) meeting held at Fiapre in the Sunyani West District to review the December 2008 Elections with regard to activities carried out under the “Safeguarding the Integrity of the Ballot Project”.
It was organised by the EC in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and KAB Governance Consult.
Nana Eyiaba, who was responding to concerns raised by five out of the seven political parties that contested the 2008 polls namely, the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the meeting also called on political parties not to politicise the recruitment of temporally staff by the EC for the conduct of elections since it was done in a transparent manner.
Conspicuously missing at the meeting were representatives from the Democratic Freedom Party (DPP) and Reformed Patriotic Democrat (RPD) which also participated in the last elections.
Among some of the concerns raised by the parties at the meeting were that the EC should not wait when there were tensions before it came out with procedures to enhance the electoral system, the need for vigorous public education on the voting system to reduce or eliminate spoilt and rejected ballots in future elections, measures to prevent double registration and electoral malpractices as well as how to help the smaller parties to grow.
Nana Eyiaba stated that to further improve the electoral system to ensure that elections held were transparent, free and fair, political parties should abide by the rules and regulations that governed the conduct of elections.
She bemoaned the last minute withdrawal of selected political party’s agents who were trained by the EC with scarce resources and donor funds which were experienced in 2008 election.
The electoral commission member therefore called on the executive of the various political parties to consult with their candidates to select their agents who they can trust in order to forestall a future occurrence of such ‘last minute’ replacement of trained party agents with untrained one’s which does not help the system.
Nana Eyiaba also announced that plans were underway to adopt the Bio-data electronic system for the registration exercise of the EC to eliminate the issue of double registration and other hitches before the 2012 elections.
She disclosed further that a committee had been set up by the EC to help plan for that.
She further advised all political parties to let their activities be felt in all the 230 constituencies in the country and pledged that the EC would also do its part to ensure a level playing field for all parties to grow.
Nana Eyiaba called on Returning Officers to catalogue all the electoral malpractices and offences they recorded in their various districts during the 2008 elections to ensure that the perpetrators were dealt with according to the laws to serve as a deterrent to others as well as to ensure sanity in the system.
Mr James Arthur-Yeboah, the Brong Ahafo Regional Deputy Director of the EC, commended the various security agencies for the manner they handled the security situation during the December 7 general election and the December 28 presidential run-off in 2008, and the Tain Constituency decider on January 3, 2009 in the region.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


A SWARM of bees last Tuesday invaded the Pentecost Preparatory School at Nsawkaw in the Tain District in the Brong Ahafo Region, stinging staff and pupils of the school.
Thirty-one of the pupils were admitted at the Nsawkaw Health Centre.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the nurse in charge of the health centre, Madam Cecilia Owusu, said although the situation was serious, her outfit did all it could to treat the children.
“We treated and discharged all of them” she said, adding that majority of the affected pupils were those at the crèche.
According to eyewitnesses, it took many volunteers who defied the terrible sting of the bees to rescue the victims.
They said one of the victims who sought refuge in a nearby kitchen but did not close the door was the worst affected.
It was believed that the strayed insects were a colony that was flying above the school while the pupils were on break and they suddenly descended on them.
Another information gathered by the Daily Graphic was that the bees emanated from their hive in a tree around the school after one of the pupils allegedly threw a stone at it.
The Headmaster of the school, Rev. Kwakye Ansah, said although he was not present at the time of the incident, a case of that nature had never been recorded in the area.
She described the incident as unfortunate and expressed his sympathy to the children.
Around 11.30 a.m. that fateful day, many people mostly parents, guardians, friends and other relations of the pupils rushed to the premises of Nsawkaw Health Centre to see the victims.
Most of the teachers spotted at the health centre also had bruised or swollen faces.
Fortunately for the victims, none of their bruises and swells were critical enough to be referred to a bigger hospital for treatment.
Among the departmental heads who visited the affected pupils and their families at the health centre was the Tain District Director of Education, Mr Francis Dongbetigr.
He gave the assurance that investigations would be conducted to ascertain the true source of the bees in order to prevent future occurrence.
He stated that the GES valued the lives of the pupils and therefore expressed his sympathy to the little children who were attacked by the bees.
Mr Dongbetigr thanked God that no fatality was recorded during the incident.


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), in collaboration with the Regional House of Chiefs, is to set up a committee to plan for the 50th anniversary of the creation of the region which falls on April 4, 2009.
The committee, which will have representations from the Regional House of Chiefs and other stakeholders, is to come out with an elaborate programme of activities to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the region, which is often referred to as “the food basket of the nation”.
The Brong Ahafo Region was created on April 4, 1959 by the first President of Ghana, the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The new Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, gave the hint when he met with the Standing Committee of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs in Sunyani.
Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi, the President of the House of Chiefs and the Omanhene of Kukuom Traditional Area in the Asunafo South District, wanted to know the plans that had been put in place to ensure a grand golden jubilee on the creation of the region since the time was so close.
Mr Marfo replied that he would set up a committee and tasked it to plan for a great celebration.
He, therefore, appealed to the House to assist when the time is due since they were the custodians of the land and the embodiment of the region’s rich culture and history.
The regional minister commended the chiefs and people of the region for their prayers and support, which brought the new government to power and his subsequent nomination by President J.E.A. Mills and approval by Parliament to serve as the regional minister.
Mr Marfo also lauded the traditional rulers for the role they played in ensuring peace before, during and after the 2008 general election in the country, which had further deepened the country’s democratic culture and made the country a shining example to other African countries that had adopted multi-party democracy.
He pledged to engage the chiefs in his administration by seeking their wise counsel and opinions to speed up the development process and bring good governance to the people of the region.
Mr Marfo further promised to abide by the constitutional provision that debarred government functionaries and public office holders from dabbling in chieftaincy matters.
He, however, called on the Judicial Committee of the House to ensure the amicable settlement of about 54 chieftaincy cases pending before it to ensure the speedy development of the region.
Mr Marfo bemoaned the drug menace among the youth in the region and called on the Chiefs to lead the campaign against substance abuse by a section of the youth in their various traditional areas.
Earlier, Nana Aterkyi, in his response to the numerous chieftaincy cases pending before the House, said 10 out of the 54 cases had been resolved amicably, and gave the assurance that the rest of the cases would be dealt with accordingly for peace to prevail in the region.
Meanwhile, the Regional House of Chiefs has expressed gratitude to President Mills for appointing three sons of the region as Ministers of State, namely Messrs Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Alexander Asum-Ahensan and Alhaji Collins Dauda.

Monday, March 2, 2009


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE new Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has started work earnestly.
Within the last week, the regional minister paid working visits to the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, the Regional Hospital, the Regional branch of the Ghana Garages Association, the Sunyani Magazine and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) offices in Sunyani to acquaint himself with developments there.
Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo called for cooperation from all to ensure the speedy development of the region.
The Regional Minister had earlier in the previous week received a rousing welcome from a cross section of the people and supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who met him on arrival after being approved by parliament and sworn in as the Regional Minister.
At Bechem, Duayaw Nkwanta and Sunyani, many people joined in the welcoming activities.
A section of the crowd that mobbed the minister described his arrival as a triumphant entry as they said they were witnesses to the good work he did as District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sunyani and District Secretary for Jaman in the past.
They described the minister as affable, respectful, hardworking and down to earth.
Mr. Nyamekye Marfo who was in a short sleeves white linen shirt and a black trousers looked very calm when he arrived on board a black Land Cruiser vehicle in the company of his wife, Mrs. Margaret Nyamekye- Marfo and Mr. Maxwell Oti Yeboah, Managing Director of Oti Yeboah Complex Limited.
Among the dignitaries who met the regional minister on arrival were some elders from the Bechem Traditional Council, Messrs. John Owusu Agyeman, Justice Samuel Adjei and Nana Nimpong, NDC Regional Chairman, Secretary and a leading member of the party respectively.
The Regional Minister acknowledged the cheers from the large crowd that welcomed him and expressed appreciation on behalf of the President to the chiefs and people of the region for rallying behind the party to ensure its victory at the polls.
He pledged that he would serve the people of the region in humility and to the best of his capabilities and called for cooperation from all to ensure the rapid development of the region.
The Regional Minister called on the Bechem, Sunyani, Duayaw Nkwanta Traditional Councils and the Abesim chief.
At the Sunyanihene’s palace, Nana Asor Bosoma Nkrawiri 11, thanked President Mills for appointing, Mr. Nyamekye Marfo as the Regional Minister and expressed the hope that the region would experience massive infrastructural development under his administration.