Wednesday, September 29, 2010


FOUR schoolchildren from Kasana, a farming community near Wenchi, who were crossing River Tain to attend school on Tuesday got drowned when their canoe capsized in the middle of the river.
The deceased were among nine other pupils crossing the river from Kasana to Badu on the other side of the Tain river, where their school is located.
Their bodies have been retrieved and identified as Esther Ataa, 15; Mercy Ayiribo, 13; Martin, 9 and Nana Akwasi, 16, who was paddling the canoe at the time of the accident.
In a bizarre twist to the development, the Omanhene of Badu, Nana Boakye Yiadom II, is alleged to have asked the bereaved families to pay GH¢500 each for the performance of purification rituals before the bodies would be released for burial.
At the time of filing the story yesterday, the bodies were still lying on the banks of the river on the Badu side, as the chief was allegedly waiting for the families and their money.
The victims of the canoe accident were the second batch of pupils said to be crossing the river to school that day after a first batch had crossed to safety.
The others were rescued by a diver, Kwasi Boakye, who told the Daily Graphic that there was a heavy rain the previous day, which led to increase in the volume of water in the river.
One of the survivors who gave her name as Janet confirmed the story and added that the canoe was normally paddled by one of the male pupils to their final destination every day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


ONE thousand, three hundred and forty-two basic school pupils in 14 primary schools in deprived communities in the Sene District in the Brong Ahafo Region have benefited from the government’s free school uniform intervention.
The beneficiary pupils are from the Dwankrom Presbyterian, Akyeremade Battor District Assembly (D/A), Akyeremade Roman Catholic (R/C), Lassi D/A, Menkor D/A, Lemu Mantukwa D/A, Zambrama D/A and Chense Battor DA primary schools.
The rest are Dogondagyi DA, Adorkope D/A, Kulungugu D/A, Asempanaye D/A., Zigakope D/A, Tabus D/A, Abugame D/A, Abuoso D/A and Ayetsekope D/A primary schools.
The presentation was made on "My First Day at School” when the new entrants were presented with fruit drinks and cups.
Speaking at separate ceremonies at Dwankrom and Akyeremade Battor, the Sene District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Dominic Napare, said the gesture was in fulfilment of the campaign promise of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to provide free school uniforms and exercise books for basic school pupils.
He said it was also part of the government’s intervention to ensure that all schoolchildren had access to education and remain in school.
Mr Napare said pupils of 84 basic schools in deprived communities in the district were expected to benefit from the free school uniforms.
He said the 14 beneficiary schools were part of the 84, giving the assurance that the remaining pupils would receive theirs whenever they were ready.
The DCE added that schoolchildren in the district had already benefited from the free exercise books.
Mr Napare advised parents not to use the pro-poor intervention put in place by the government to lessen the burden of educational expenditure on them to shirk their responsibilities towards the education of their wards.
The District Director of Education, Mr William Yaw Xetor, said the free school uniforms and exercise books policy of the government was also aimed at sustaining the interest of pupils in school.
He, therefore, reiterated the call on parents to complement the efforts of the government by providing other educational needs of their children to ensure their retention in school.
The DCE later inspected the construction of a two-bedroom teachers’ accommodation at Kwame Danso which is at the roofing level and a three-unit classroom block at Lemu, which is also at the lintel, to accommodate the pupils as a result of increase in enrolment.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) has pledged its maximum support for all prospective women candidates contesting the forthcoming District Assembly election in the region to ensure that more women are elected as assembly members.
Subsequently, the RCC has directed all the 22 Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the region to give all female candidates the same level of support to ensure that women did not only participate in the district level election, but also win.
Mr Eric Opoku, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, made the pledge at the opening of a three-day trainer of trainers’ workshop for 50 selected women aspirants for the forthcoming District Level Election in the region at Fiapre in the Sunyani West District .
"I would like to use this platform to encourage as many women as possible to stand for the forthcoming local government election," he stressed.
The Government of Ghana, Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) sponsored the capacity-building workshop organised by the Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Department of Women under the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC).
Mr Opoku noted that the decision by the RCC and the subsequent call on the MDAs in the region to support women aspirants were part of efforts to sensitise and encourage many more women in the region to compete for public offices as a result of their low participation.
He added that the workshop was one of the efforts of the government, through the MOWAC, to sensitise women and create the enabling environment for them, not only to participate in the forthcoming assembly election, but also win.
Mr Opoku stated further that a balanced participation of both women and men in decision-making was bound to produce different shades of ideas, values and leadership styles leading to a fairer and more balanced country.
He, therefore, suggested that as a long-term measure, the necessary legislative framework should be initiated to provide quotas for and reserve seats for women as strategies for hastening women’s participation in politics and the public service.
Madam Patience Opoku, the National Director, Department of Women, in her remarks, lauded the Deputy Minister for being a gender advocate and gave the assurance that the department would come up with more capacity building programmes for women aspirants before and after the district level election.
She called for massive support for all women contesting the forthcoming elections, saying this could be further extended in the 2012 general elections to get more women elected as Parliamentarians.
She debunked the assertion that women cannot combine their traditional roles as managers of the home and that of decision-making, saying these attributes of women could be brought to bear at the decision-making and governance levels of the country, adding that women were compassionate in nature and this could also be brought to bear at those levels.
Madam Opoku also urged women, especially mothers, to share the household chores between their male and female children as a way of helping to change the perceived chauvinist nature of the Ghanaian society.
Ms Malonin Asibi, the acting Regional Director of Women and Children, stressed the importance of women’s participation in public decision making and said their increased participation at that level would ensure the sustainable development of the country.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


THE Brong Ahafo Regional Claims Manager of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr James Adu-Bona, has admonished service providers to submit claims that will leave no traces of doubt or suspicion to avoid the rejection and delay for payment of bills.
“Service providers must follow due diligence since the vetting process would not spare any one who might fail to conform to laid down rules,” he said.
Mr Adu-Bona, who is also the Nkoranza Scheme Manager, gave the admonition at a day’s workshop to update the skills of officers responsible for the preparation of claims in all Health Insurance Service providing facilities in the Dormaa Municipality at Dormaa Ahenkro.
The workshop, organised by the Dormaa Municipal Mutual Health Insurance Scheme in collaboration with the Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital, was on the theme: “Effective claims administration: A tool for efficient and credible transaction”.
The workshop was also designed to prepare the participants to adequately handle information on the NHIS forms with ease and to promote minimal rejection of their claims during vetting.
Topics treated at the workshop included features on the Health Insurance Membership Identity Cards, attendance of Health Insurance Card Bearers and medicines captured under the scheme and diagnosis.  
Mr Adu-Bona stated that one of the goals of the NHIS was to keep within the scope of the World Health Organisation (WHO) treatment guidelines and protocols by guiding the service providers to observe best practices.
He, therefore, appealed to billers to stick to prescriptions offered by doctors and use specific and generic names of drugs instead of lumping drugs under brand names and making them unacceptable in the approved NHIS drug list.
Mr Adu-Bona said clinical auditing had revealed that hospitals encouraged clients to go for scheduled mandatory visits even where they were not ready to do so, while clients also visited hospitals every week because the insurance covered them.
He also bemoaned the situation where clients jumped from one health facility to another even without exhausting their drugs at the previous visit.
The Dormaa Municipal Health Director, Madam Florence Iddrisah, appealed to the scheme to grant same bills for all categories of service providers to cut down on public discrimination and insinuation to staff of some of the facilities.
She urged the government to provide for recruitment of separate staff to work on claims as health workers had to spare part of their time, stressing that could make them to make mistakes.
The Municipal Health Insurance Manager, Mr Martin Amponsah, called on service providers to work hand-in-hand with the scheme to ensure its sustenance.
He advised billers to desist from engaging in any dubious practices since the vetting process was capable of identifying them with ease.                                                          


THE Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) is to construct a six-classroom block for the Islamic Basic School at Bechem in the Tano South District.
The gesture from the government to the Muslim community at Bechem is part of the efforts to eradicate schools under trees in the district.
The Tano South District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Bukari Zakari Anaba, made this known when he presented 400 mats to the Muslim community at the Bechem Central Mosque to mark this year’s Eid-Ul-Fitr celebration in the district.
He commended the Muslim community in the district for their co-operation and support for the government.
Mr Anaba said the site for the construction of the classroom block had been handed over to the contractor for work to commence.
He urged the Muslim community to continue to pray for President J.E.A. Mills and his team and also rally behind the government to succeed in its “Better Ghana” agenda while the government would also take proactive and pragmatic measures to improve the living standard of Ghanaians.
Mr Anaba said Islam, which is peaceful, meant total submission to the will of Allah. He, therefore, urged the youth to eschew violence and immoral activities to prove to the world that their fasting had instilled peace in them.
The Tano South District Chief Imam, Alhaji Ibrahim Gariba, on behalf of the Muslim community, thanked the government for its support during the Ramadan and all Islamic celebrations.
He asked for Allah’s blessings for the President, his vice, cabinet and all government functionaries to rule the country efficiently.


THE government has been urged to set a gross cocoa price of a bag and a net price of a bag if it wants the proposed pension scheme for cocoa farmers in the country to be realistic.
A concerned farmer, Mr Patrick Asiedu Tannor, who made the suggestion in an interview at Seikwa in the Tain District in the Brong Ahafo Region, said under the system, the net cocoa price should be the price that would be paid to the farmers.
He said the government should also set up a pension scheme and pay the excess of the gross cocoa price over the net cocoa price into the scheme.
To make this step very effective, Mr Tannor said the excess in a bag of cocoa should be deducted just like workers salaries before the money is given to the various societies who bought the cocoa.
Mr Tannor said if well implemented, the proposed cocoa farmers’ pension scheme the government could court the favour of the farmers.
He further suggested that proper records on farmers should be kept and made available to the Ghana Cocoa Board and other operators of the scheme at the end of every year.
Touching on the maturity date of the scheme, Mr Tannor said a date should be fixed for it; for instance, it could be 10 years.
“Under no condition or circumstances could one receive his or her pension benefits before the policy matures. After the maturity date, owners of farmlands that are 30, 35 or 40 years old may be eligible to receive their benefits, based on the amount they have accumulated,” he added.
To make the step effective, Mr Tannor said a map should be drawn to cover all farmlands, adding “This will prevent the situation where farmers would try to receive double benefits on the same farmland”.
He stated that surveyors should extend the map every year to cover new farmlands, adding that he was ready to clarify any ambiguity in those steps.


cocoa farmers have been commended for their contribution towards the sustenance of the Produce Buying Company Limited (PBC) over the years, which had culminated in its listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange more than 10 years ago.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Manager of the PBC, Mr Robert Kofi Ampomah, who made the commendation, however, urged them to continue to keep faith with the company while it also instituted incentive packages for them to increase their cocoa yields and improve their welfare.
Mr Ampomah was speaking at a farmers’ durbar at Goaso, the capital of the Asunafo North Municipality, to mark the 10th anniversary of the listing of PBC on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
The event was held on the theme: “Maintaining the leadership of Produce Buying Company Limited in the cocoa and shea nut business.”
The occasion was also used to honour nine workers at the regional office, 36 marketing clerks at the district level and 12 best district farmers who were presented with spraying machines and certificates.
Prominent among the awardees at the regional level was Mr Franklin Kamkam, who was adjudged the best accounting officer.
Mr Ampomah said the company had made strides since its listing on the stock exchange and expressed the hope of increasing its profitability on the stock market in the coming years, to the benefit of its shareholders who comprise Ghanaian farmers and workers.
He said the company had outlined a number of measures to be adopted for the next three years to maintain its leadership role in the cocoa and shea nut business.
Mr Ampomah said notable among the measures was the increase in cocoa purchases from the current 38 per cent to 43 per cent of the total market, construction of 69 sheds and depots and renovation of 63 out of the existing storage facilities. It had also ensured the prompt, efficient and cost-effective evacuation and handing over of cocoa purchased to promote good seed fund recycling rate.
He said the PBC would continue to deepen its social responsibility through the provision of electricity, potable water and other development projects to improve the living standards of the people, as well as provision of inputs like fertilisers, spraying machines and insecticides/pesticides to farmers to improve on cocoa production.
The Deputy Regional Chief Farmer, Nana Osei-Adusa, urged the management of the PBC to brief farmers who were shareholders on the company’s performance on the stock exchange as well as the payment of dividends.
He also called for an intensive education campaign to erase the erroneous impression by farmers that the price of cocoa was higher in La Cote d’ Ivoire than in Ghana, which was a contributory factor to smuggling.
The Regional Manager of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Division of the COCOBOD, Mr Enoch Y.T. Donkor, implored cocoa farmers to co-operate with officials of the division, who inspect cocoa farms and educate them on their maintenance.
The Asunafo North Municipal Quality Control Officer of the Quality Control Company Limited, Mr Bernard Adotey Brown, also urged the farmers to follow the right procedures for drying cocoa beans.
That, he said, would enable the country to maintain its status as one of the leading producers of quality cocoa beans in the world.
The Asunafo North Municipal Co-ordinating Director, Mr John Kofi Adomako, urged the PBC to pay bonuses promptly to farmers and ensure that children of cocoa farmers were the recipients of COCOBOD scholarships.
The Omanhene of Goaso Traditional Area, Nana Kwasi Bosompra I, who chaired the function, commended cocoa farmers for their contribution towards the socio-economic development of the country.
He, however, enjoined the PBC to institute an incentive scheme for its purchasing clerks to discourage them from exploiting farmers through the manipulation of their weighing scales.

Monday, September 20, 2010


By Samuel Duodu, Abesim.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, has given the assurance that the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) and the government would continue to support any healthcare initiative aimed at reducing under-five and maternal mortality rate to the barest minimum in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 & 5.
He stated further that the government would also not reneged on its pledge to implement the one-time payment under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) so as to improve and sustain healthcare financing, as well as increase the accessibility of healthcare services to the ordinary Ghanaian.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister therefore, appealed to health workers in general, and those in the region in particular, to let the impact of all initiatives aimed at promoting quality healthcare in the country to be felt by the ordinary Ghanaian.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo gave the assurance at the opening ceremony of the third Annual General Conference of the Ghana Association of Public Health Technical Officers (GAPHTO) at Abesim, near Sunyani, last Monday.
The five-day conference is on the theme “Achieving MDG 4&5, The Responsibility Of The Public Health Technical Officer”. MDG 4&5 seeks to reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate and also by three quarters over the same period the maternal mortality ratio.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo in his address said the Brong Ahafo Region was able to vaccinate 470,800 children during the third round of the National Immunization Days, that is, 102.4 per cent over the expected coverage.
He, however, expressed worry that available statistics in the region indicated that, in 2007, 88 maternal deaths were recorded. The figure dropped to 81 in 2008, but suddenly increased to 89 in 2009.
This, he said, represented a rate of 210 per 100,000 live births as compared to the National Institutional Maternal Mortality rate of 196 per 100,000 live births.
“This situation obviously calls for an immediate solution. This is because single maternal death is an unquantifiable loss to the immediate and extended families as well as the country as a whole and we must therefore, spare no effort in this region to reverse this adverse trend”.
Touching on the dreaded HIV/AIDS, Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said the deadly disease was also on the increase in the region and from the Sentinel Reports, the disease increased from 2.6 per cent in 2008 to 2.9 in 2009, adding that, last year, out of a total of 10,036 patients and blood donors screened for HIV/AIDS by the Ghana Health Service, 1,685 were found to be positive. This is something everybody has to worry about.
“As managers of healthcare delivery in the region, it is important that we put in the necessary programmes and strategies to educate the public on the need to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent these diseases”, he told the participants.
In a speech read for the President of the association, Mr Samuel Addo, by Mr Osei Kwakye, the General Secretary, he said the promotion of good maternal and child health was dear to the hearts of many nations including Ghana, hence the adoption of the theme, because the roles and contributions of the Public Health Technical Officer in the achievements of this goal was paramount.
Mr Addo said some childhood diseases such as measles, which used to be one of the contributory factors to the high infant mortality rate in the country was now a thing of the past and therefore, members deserved some commendation.
Disparities in salary
He said the existence of low salary packages and disparities continue to be a challenge for members of the association and cited an instance where the salaries of a State Registered Nurse and that of the Technical Officer, the Community Health Nurse and the Field Technician and Technical Officers who had been able to raise themselves to degree levels through further studies still received Technical Officers salary.
Mr Addo expressed the hope that the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) would address these disparities and added that lack of career development, delayed promotion and lack of placement after further training were some of the challenges faced by members of the association.
Notwithstanding these, The GAPHTO President pledged that they would not relent in their efforts to serve the country, intensify their collaboration with policy makers and other partners for the growth and development of the association.
Dr Aaron Offei, the Regional Director of Health Service, for his part, commended members of the association for their role in promoting maternal and child health in the country as well as diseases control.


A nasty incident climaxed the Aduana Stars-Hearts of Oak Glo Premiership third week top liner at Dormaa-Ahenkro yesterday when Aduana's Accra Representative, Kofi Manu, verbally assaulted Coach Herbert Addo at the homesters' bench in apparent disapproval of the goalless draw result.
Coach Addo, who could not stand Manu's behaviour, replied him, resulting in some hot verbal exchanges which needed the timely intervention of the club's Operations Director, George Gyawu, to separate them.
In the process, an upset Coach Addo kicked a plastic chair to express his disgust.
Hearts entered the game with a defensive approach and succeeded in securing an away point as Aduana's attacking trio of Bernard Dong Bortey, Joseph Mugri and Richard Addae were held in check by the Hearts backline of Osei Bonsu, Karimu Alhassan, Owusu Seifa and Akwasi Bobie Ansah.


THE Mission of Hope for Society Foundation, (HSF) a non-governmental organisation working in the health sector in the Kintampo South District in the Brong Ahafo Region has added its voice to the call of some peasant farmers in the district demanding an improvement in the healthcare service delivery in the district.
The reaction by the NGO stemmed from a story published in the Daily Graphic of Tuesday, August 31, 2010 headlined “Pregnant women’s free delivery under threat: In Kintampo South”.
Some peasant farmers, who spoke to this writer, were not satisfied with the services provided by the District Directorate of Health Services, and therefore, called for a swift intervention to help arrest the situation.
The Executive Director of HSF, Mr Gabriel Bernarkuu, who is also the Brong Ahafo Regional Organiser for NGOs working in the health sector of the region, said the Kintampo South District Directorate of Health Services had failed in its mandate as the leading government organisation to bring healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the people.
He stated that the lack of co-operation from the district health directorate with its partners in healthcare delivery, especially civil society organisations had not been the best.
According to him, the activities of the district health directorate had denied the district of benefiting from health infrastructure facilities from the donor community, which had often been channelling those facilities through the NGOs working in the district.
Mr Bernarkuu cited an example in which his organisation through a donor, wanted to construct a maternity home at one of the farming communities in the district but was stalled by non-co-operation from the district health directorate and therefore, preventing the project from taking place.
He stated that if the trend of affairs was not reversed, the district would not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 & 5 aimed at reducing under-five and maternal mortality rate by 2015.   
Mr Bernarkuu said most of the NGOs working in the health sector which wanted to work in the district had been frustrated by the health directorate and therefore, had to pack their baggage and leave the district, a situation which was affecting healthcare delivery in the district.
He, therefore, called for a stronger collaboration and co-operation from all stakeholders, especially the district health directorate to help address the health challenges in the country
Mr Bernarkuu said a research conducted in eight communities in the district by his organisation revealed that private maternity homes in the area did not receive any support from the health directorate and the government hospital in line with the government’s policy of providing family planning services.
He said the research revealed further that traditional birth attendance guideline for community services delivery was becoming weaker in the district because the health directorate had neglected the vital role those local experts played.
Mr Bernarkuu said another challenge hampering healthcare delivery in the district was poor access roads,which was making life difficult for the people in accessing proper healthcare.
He, therefore, appealed to the district assembly to collaborate with the health directorate to eliminate barriers affecting health service delivery by improving the road network, building more health centres and training more health personnel with a view of achieving the MDGs 4&5.


Environment of Hope (EoHope), formerly QueenCare International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has organised a day’s workshop in Sunyani for queens and children in the Brong Ahafo Region to sensitise them to the need to protect the environment, especially water bodies, since they are the primary users of water in society.
The workshop, on the theme: “Gender Water and Sanitation: Building the case for sustainable use through transparent and accountable mechanism”, was also to educate participants on good hygiene and environmental practices and the judicious use of water.
The World Bank and the Centre for the Development of the People (CDP) were the sponsors of the workshop.
Addressing the workshop, Mr Divine Komla Adjei, Extension Services Specialist at the Brong Ahafo Directorate of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), said about 280,000 people in the region are to benefit from potable water and safe sanitation facilities under the Peri-Urban, Rural and Small Town Water Supply Project by 2012.
He said the project was a joint initiative by the Government of Ghana (GOG) and the French Development Agency (AFD) and it would cover 680 rural communities, 16 small towns, and a peri-urban area in the region.
Apart from providing access to potable water and safe sanitation facilities, it would also educate the people on good hygiene practices.
Mr Komla Adjei said the target of the government was to reach 100 per cent coverage in the provision of potable water and safe sanitation facilities nationwide or at least 85 per cent to enable the nation to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Aside this, he said the International Development Agency (IDA) and World Bank was also supporting the water and sanitation project in the region and the others in the country to ensure that the nation achieved 85 per cent coverage by 2015.
Mr Komla Adjei said the major concern now was the sustainability of the facilities and therefore called for the participation of all stakeholders to help sustain the facilities that would be provided under the various projects.
Mr Anthony Duah, Programme Officer at the Regional Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who presented a paper on “Gender and the Environment”, said since the start of human history, women had contributed essentially to the conservation, use and management of natural resources.
He urged the queens to use their traditional roles to impress on people to desist from farming along river banks.

Friday, September 17, 2010


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brong Ahafo (B.A) Stars Football Club, Mr Takyi-Arhin, has stated that the debutantes have come to stay in the elite division.
He has, therefore, called on skeptics to start re-writing their notes since the team had put in place the right structures to enable it to achieve that goal.
B.A. Stars won their first home match at their adopted Sunyani Coronation Park and drew 1-1 with Arsenal at the dreaded Berekum Golden City Park last Sunday.
Takyi-Arhin, also known as “Thunder” in football circles told Graphic Sports in Sunyani last Wednesday that the club was making every effort to win their subsequent matches.
“Our ultimate aim is to remain in the premiership, and if all goes well and we win the title then it will be an icing on the cake”, he stressed.
He expressed his gratitude to the founder and bankroller of the team, Mr Tony Bennett, the board and support the numerous fans of the club for their prayers and in cash and kind and urged them to continue in that manner to ensure that the club stayed in the top flight.
The CEO of B.A. Stars also lauded the head coach of the club, Abdul Karim Zito, for his dexterity, indicating that he was on top of his job, and also has a cordial relationship with his players.
Mr Takyi-Arhin said based on the chemistry between the coach and the players, morale in camp is high. ‘Certainly we are going to translate that into play in our subsequent matches’.
In terms of motivation, the CEO of B.A. Stars said all winning bonuses and salaries of the players had been paid and that had resulted in the high morale among the players.
Mr Takyi-Arhin stated that the club was also in consultation with traditional rulers in the region to secure a parcel of land and develop it into the team’s training ground and a club house.
He denied the perception that there was rivalry between supporters of B.A. Stars and B.A. United, a division one side also based in Sunyani, saying that both clubs were under the same board of directors.
“B.A. Stars and B.A United are one family and therefore supporters of B.A. Stars are the same supporters for B.A. United”, he stressed.


From Samuel Duodu, Kintampo.

A 23-YEAR-OLD supervisor at the Kintampo Health Research Centre who could not look on for his half-brother who forged his signature to withdraw money from his accounts to be sentenced to imprisonment has interceded on his behalf for the court to tamper justice with mercy.
Sulemana Moro, who is also the complainant in the case, therefore pleaded with the Kintampo Magistrate Court, presided over by Mr Albert Zoogah, to free his-half brother, 23, and a former teacher, who has been sentenced to a fine of 10 penalty units or in default serve five months imprisonment on three counts of stealing.
Christopher Dawuni, now unemployed, pleaded guilty to stealing and was convicted and sentenced accordingly.
Passing judgement, Mr Zoogah said he took into consideration the fact that the convict apologised to his half-brother who is also the complainant, which was accepted by the later and also the plea by the complainant for the court to free the convict who is related to him.
The presiding magistrate also said the court considered the fact that the convict was unemployed and the demeanour of the convict in passing the lean sentence.
The facts of the case as presented in court by Deputy Police Corporal (D/CPL) Mr S. Gbande were that the complainant is a supervisor at the Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC) while the convict is unemployed. He told the court that the parties involved in the case were also half-brothers.
D/CPL Gbande said the complainant had a savings account with the National Investment Bank (NIB). However, in August 2010, the complainant reported to his bankers that his savings account No. 3459 had been tampered with.
He said the complainant, therefore, alerted his bankers and on August 23, 2010, at about 11.25a.m., the convict entered the banking hall, picked a withdrawal form and forged the complainant’s signature on it and presented it to the cashier in an attempt to withdraw Gh¢5.00 from the brother’s account.
He said the convict was caught “red- handed” and handed over to the Police at Kintampo.
D/CPL Gbande said during investigation, the convict admitted the offence and further investigation led to the previous theft on August 8 and 12, 2010, of Gh¢20.00 and Gh¢10.00, respectively, withdrawn from the accounts to which the convict admitted responsibility.


THE acting Director General (DG) of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Ms Benedicta Naana Biney, has challenged internal auditors of the service to map out strategies that will completely eliminate fraud on the payroll system of the GES.
She said the payroll of the GES took between 80 to 90 per cent of the GES budget and urged the internal auditors to give it greater attention than just concentrating on pre-audit issues.
Ms Biney threw the challenge in an address read for her by Mr Victor Kofi Mantey, a Deputy Director General of the GES at the opening of the 7th annual national conference of the Association of Internal Auditors of the GES at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The four- day conference is on the theme “Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in the education delivery-the role of the Internal Auditor”.
Ms Biney noted that the hope to achieve success in the crusade against corruption and all forms of malfeasance in the service depended on the co-operation and support of internal auditors of the GES and, therefore, urged them to initiate steps at the conference to deal with the canker.
She said internal auditing was the singular management function that was designed and dedicated to providing assurance services to management as to whether organisational operations and systems were functioning as intended and, therefore, implored internal auditors of the service not to underestimate their role to help achieve these objectives.
Ms Biney said with the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), the challenges on the payroll will increase since other agencies that the GES did not have control over were involved in its operations and this, therefore, called for national and wholistic approach to uproot the canker associated with the payroll of the service.
“Anything short of this will undermine the Better Ghana Agenda of the government and reduce it to a mere slogan”.
Ms Biney gave the assurance that the GES was determined to ensure that the huge capital injected into the new Educational Reform by the government did not go waste and therefore, management would not accept anything, but the best practices from all staff of the GES that would lead this reform to a success.
Mr Charles Antwi Konadu, the outgoing chairman of the association, paid glowing tributes to all past directors general of the service for their contributions towards the development of the Internal Audit Unit of the service. Notable among them were Professor B.C.F. Lokko, Alhaji Rahimu Gbadamosi, Irene Boakye Boateng and J. M. Quao.
He, however, noted that the Internal Audit Unit had no succession plan in place in terms of a systematic plan that builds the capacity of staff, groom and give the right orientation to members to take up senior management positions without difficulty.
Mr Konadu, therefore, appealed to the GES management to draw up programmes to address these lapses of succession in the unit.
He noted that another challenge of the unit was the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to gather required evidence that would form the basis for their opinions and, therefore, appealed to the acting director general to support auditors to own laptop to enable them discharge their duties efficiently.
Agyewodin (Prof.) Adu Gyamfi Ampem, the Chairman of the GES Council and Omanhene of Acherensua Traditional Area, who chaired the function, also reiterated the call on the internal auditors of the GES to eliminate fraud on the payroll system of the service.
Mr Joseph Tang, the Sunyani Municipal Assembly Deputy Co-ordinating Director, who represented the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Kwasi Oppong Ababio in a welcoming address, said the establishment of the Internal Audit Agency was not for witch-hunting but to ensure transparency and value for money in government business.
The association, which was formed in May, 1995, sought to bring all internal auditors of the GES into a strong and unified association to assist all members to maintain high professional and ethical standards.


The Atebubu-Amantin District Assembly is to launch an education endowment fund by the close of September, this year to support needy but academically promising students from the district in senior high school (SHS) and tertiary institutions.
Mr Sanja Nanja, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atebubu-Amantin, disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic at Atebubu, the district capital in the Brong Ahafo Region, after an emergency meeting of the assembly.
He said the assembly saw education as the key and bedrock of the socio-economic development of the district and had, therefore, decided to use a greater portion of its internally generated fund (IGF) and external funds to promote and enhance quality teaching and learning in the district.
Mr Nanja stated that the assembly was also working assiduously to eradicate schools under trees and the use of stones as stools in the district.
Subsequently, he said, Fante New Town, English-Arabic, Gradima District Assembly (D/A) and Fanfour D/A Primary Schools would each benefit from the construction of a six-classroom block, which are being sponsored by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) as part of efforts to eradicate schools under trees in the district.
He stated further that in its bid to inculcate the habit of reading in schoolchildren and students in the area, the assembly had reopened the Atebubu Community Library which had been abandoned since 1996.
Mr Nanja said also the assembly had re-stocked the library and, therefore, appealed to benevolent associations to help in that direction to help develop the human resource of the district.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Atebubu-Amantin, Mr Emmanuel Owusu Mainoo, for his part, said he devotes about 70 per cent of his share of the MP’s Common Fund to education in the constituency.
He said he sponsored the construction of teacher’s quarters at Gradima, 60 students at tertiary level, mock examination for junior high school (JHS), books for the community library, the purchasing of a photocopier for the Atebubu and Amantin SHS and nurses quarters at Atebubu.


THE Fiapre Circuit Court has sentenced a 19-year-old man to five years imprisonment for stealing a metre-reading gadget belonging to the Ghana Water Company (GWC) worth G¢55.
Kwadwo Boakey was sentenced on two counts of stealing and causing unlawful damage by the court, presided over by Mr Justice Benjamin Osei Yaw.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Lydia Acheampong said on July 17, 2010 at about 4.30 am, the complainant in the case, a mason, went to his standpipe to fetch water, but found out that the tap was not flowing.
The prosecutor said around 5.00 am, the complainant heard some people shouting outside that the complainant’s standpipe metre-reading gadget had been damaged and water was flowing profusely.
C/Insp. Acheampong said the complainant, hearing that, rushed out quickly and found out that the metre-reading gadget, which was connected to the standpipe, had been cut and taken away.
She said upon his (complainant’s) own investigation it came to his notice that the convict was spotted by a witness in the case on the dawn July 17, 2010 at about 4.00 am.
She stated that the convict since then went into hiding until he was spotted on September 10, 2010 in town and was subsequently arrested and handed over to the police for further investigations.
C/Insp. Acheampong said during investigations, the convict admitted the offence in his caution statement and after further thorough investigations, he was charged with the offence.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


THE Real Democratic Patriot Party (RDPP), a new political party has been launched in Brong Ahafo Region.
The party has the camel as its symbol and its motto “Together we build, together we enjoy”.
The RDPP colours are red, white, green, black and blue, which represent anger, happiness, freshness, frustration, love and believed in the ideologies and principles of former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Speaking at a press conference attended by some of the supporters of the party from the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions to launch the party at Fiapre, near Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Reion on Monday, Mr Raphael Cubagee aka Shamo Quaye, the National Co-ordinator of the RDPP said the party’s headquarters would be in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital.
He said the RDPP which was a social democratic party also believed in equity for all and it was opened to all frustrated members within the NDC and other political parties in the country.
Mr Cubagee, also an Assembly member for Abonsuom electoral area in the Sunyani Municipality said that plans were afoot to get the party registered at the Electoral Commission and added that the founding members of the RDPP were people who believed in the ideologies of Former President Rawlings.
He said the RDPP had come to stay because its members were not only from the Brong Ahafo Region but also the Ashanti and the other regions in the country.
Mr Cubagee continued that the party had come to stay and it would not be like the National Reformed Party (NRP), formed by Mr Goosie Tandoh and the recent Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) formed by Mr Obed Asamoah.
“The RDPP has put in place several measures and strategies to remain attractive and vibrant and it would never be dormant like these two parties, the NRP and DFP which were formed out of the NDC as a result of similar circumstances”, the RDPP National Co-ordinator stressed.
Mr Cubagee, also a former Regional Executive of the NDC stated further that the RDPP had adopted a strategy he termed “a marine campaign” strategy and planned to win at least six parliamentary seats in the Brong Ahafo Region and two in Ashanti and a targeted vote of one million nationwide during the 2012 general election.
He said the RDPP was on the political landscape of the country to prove a point, saying anybody including the media who would underrate the strength of the RDPP would have the shock of their lives or would be laughing at the wrong side of their mouth.
Mr Cubagee said though the RDPP believed in the ideologies of Mr Rawlings, the former President had nothing to do with it, but observed that as former members of the NDC, they felt the current government of the NDC, led by President John Evans Atta Mills, had marginalised them.
He stated further that some people in the current NDC did not even want to hear the name of the founder, let alone promote his ideals, which he described as sad.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


The National Co-ordinator of the Real Democratic Patriot Party (RDPP), Mr Raphael Cubagee, a.k.a. Shamo Quaye, has insisted that the newly formed political movement will make an impact on the country’s political landscape.
He said plans were far advanced to get the party, whose founding members were people who believed in the ideologies of former President J. J. Rawlings, registered at the Electoral Commission.
He said that once the party crossed that hurdle, it would work extra hard to attract not only the members of the National Democratic Congress but floating voters as well.
The National Co-ordinator of the RDPP who recently told the media in Sunyani that he had filed a floating status in the NDC added that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had held on to its belief in the Dankwa-Busia-Domo tradition but instead of the National Democratic Congress doing the same with that of its founder, they claimed to believe in the ideology of Nkrumah.
According to Mr Cubagee, the RDPP was also made up of some disgruntled top gurus within the NDC in the Brong Ahafo Region.
“ The founding members of the RDPP were former members of the NDC who felt they had been sidelined in the affairs of the NDC in the region, and have therefore come together to form the RDPP,” he told the Daily Graphic.
It has as its motto “Together we build, together we enjoy”, and a camel as its emblem.
Mr Raphael Cubagee, an Assembly member for Abonsuom Electoral Area in the Sunyani Municipality and a former regional executive of the NDC, who said in media reports that he had been voted as the National Co-ordinator of the RDPP, when contacted insisted on the formation of the new party and disclosed that the RDPP would officially be launched yesterday in Sunyani.
He said though the RDPP believed in the ideologies of Mr Rawlings, the former President had nothing to do with it, but observed that as former members of the NDC, they felt the current government of the NDC, led by President John Evans Atta Mills, had marginalised them.

Monday, September 13, 2010


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani.

A 35-year-old foodstuff seller of Sunyani Area Four met her sudden death when she was brutally murdered by some unknown assailants in the morning of Tuesday July, 27, 2010 at Nwaso, a farming community near Atronie in the Sunyani Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The deceased, Patricia Donkor a.k.a, Abena Pat, who was said to be on her way to see Kwabena Darkwah, a farmer, who resides at Nwaso to purchase plantain from him was killed instantly by the assailants who inflicted deep cutlass wounds on her face, back of her neck and shoulders.
The body of the deceased, was discovered on a footpath leading to the Nwaso village by some schoolchildren of Nwaso Local Authority (L/A) Primary School who had been sent by their teachers to collect a bunch of plantain they had bought from the said farmer at his cottage at the same village.
The police were called in to come for the body when the schoolchildren raised an alarm that attracted a large crowd to the scene.
The body had since been deposited at the regional hospital morgue, but no arrests had been made as at the time of filing this report. According to the police in Sunyani, they had intensified their investigations to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book.
Atronie, a farming community in the Sunyani municipality, in recent times has been prone to ritual murders in the municipality and it was based on such occurrences that irate youth of Atronie about two years ago took the law into their own hands and lynched the former Goaso Government Hospital Administrator, Mr Anthony Yeboah Boateng, on suspicion of being a ritual murderer.
The youth, according to sources at that time, attacked the hospital administrator who was then in the company of two women conveying the dead body of her mother-in-law to the Regional Hospital mortuary in Sunyani in the boot of his private car.
The youth who had then mounted a roadblock in the town on seeing the body in the boot of the late Yeboah Boateng’s car without listening to his explanation, attacked him and killed him instantly and also vandalised his car in the process.
Chief Superintendent Charles Botwe, the Sunyani Municipal Police Commander who confirmed the story to the Graphic Nsempa said they received a phone call that a woman had been murdered at Nwaso two kilometers from Atronie and therefore, the police went for the body, which had been deposited at the Regional Hospital mortuary.
He added that the woman who hade been buying foodstuffs from farmers at Atronie and its surrounding villages on Tuesday morning called Kwabena Darkwah on his mobile phone to reserve some plantain for her to buy. Chief Supt. Botwe added that the deceased who was on her way to the cottage to collect the plantain was attacked by some unknown assailants who inflicted machete wounds on her killing her instantly.
The Chief Supt. added that the deceased was happily married to Mr Asamoah Boateng, a driver of the Metro Mass Transport (MMT) in Sunyani and according to their investigations, there had not been any misunderstanding whatsoever between the deceased and the husband.
He added that the police did not therefore, suspect any foul play since the husband of the deceased on that morning of the attack on his wife at Nwaso left the house with the three children. While loading at Kumasi to Sunyani, he received a call from his boss in Sunyani and was told to pick another vehicle to Sunyani where news of the death of his wife was broken to him.


The Brong Ahafo Regional Secretariat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has categorically dismissed reports of the formation of a party emerging from the ranks of the NDC in the region, led by one Mr Raphael Cubagee, an assembly member for Abosoum Electoral Area in the Sunyani Municipality.
“As far as the secretariat is concerned there has not been any defection let alone a group of people from NDC forming another party”, it said.
A statement issued to the press in Sunyani in reaction to the report over the weekend and signed by Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, the NDC Regional Secretary, said the party in the region was very formidable and intact, and was strategising towards winning the 2012 general elections.
It said the party, therefore, wanted to tell the rank and file to disregard Mr Raphael Cubbage and remain focussed.
It also appealed to all members, supporters and well-wishers of the party to contact the secretariat on any issue that agitated them.
At the weekend a new political grouping, Real Democratic Patriots Party (RDPP), reportedly emerged with its interim headquarters in the Brong Ahafo regional capital, Sunyani.
Members of the new party, reported to be mainly aggrieved supporters of the NDC, said they believed in the Rawlings ideology, though the Rawlingses were not linked to the formation of the party.
The National Coordinator of the yet to be launched RDPP, Raphael Cubagee, a former Brong Ahafo Regional Executive Member of the NDC who recently filed for a floating status to leave the NDC, following an alleged ill-treatment he had been subjected to by some high-profile members of the ruling party, said the RDPP had the support of the masses, especially the rank and file of the NDC whose hopes had been shattered by the Mills administration.
The RDPP’s motto is: “Together We Build; Together We Enjoy”, signifying that the party would create an equal and fair platform for all Ghanaians in acquiring and sharing of the national cake when it assumes power. Its symbol is the camel.
The National Coordinator explained that RDPP was poised to demonstrate “real and proper” democracy in Ghanaian politics.
The former outspoken NDC stalwart disclosed that the formation of the RDPP stemmed out of the current state of the NDC which had been divided and hijacked by a small group of self-centered people who did not want others to also operate to ensure the realisation of the ‘Better Ghana’ agenda.


The National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Yaw Boateng-Gyan, and the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, have bemoaned the resort to violence in the country in recent times.
They noted that the culture of violence and impunity in politics did not augur well for the growth of multi-party democracy and, therefore, appealed to supporters of their respective parties to eschew such acts.
Messrs Boateng- Gyan and Asomah-Cheremeh expressed the concerns at the Eid-Ul-Fitr celebration to mark the end of this year’s Ramadan at the Sunyani Coronation Park last Friday, which attracted hundreds of Muslims in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The festive but solemn occasion also saw for the first time, leading members of the NDC and NPP in the region exchanging pleasantries in the full glare of the public.
From the NDC were the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Kwasi Oppong Ababio; the NDC Regional Organiser, Alhaji Baba Awudu Gausu; NDC Regional Youth Organiser, Mohammed Seidu a.k.a Maha and NDC Women Organiser, Florence Ennin .
The NPP members included Messrs Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh and Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Members of Parliament for Sunyani East and West respectively, and Mr Alfred Anye, NPP Regional Secretary.
Mr Boateng-Gyan cited the ‘Azoka Boys’ of the NDC and the ‘Bamba Boys’ of the NPP, as well as other youth claiming to be supporters of the two leading political parties, who were mostly Muslim youth and who threatened mayhem and used violence to settle political scores, and added that those deeds did not help the democratic development.
He, therefore, called on Muslim clerics and opinion leaders to impress on their youth not to allow themselves to be used to foment violence, saying Islam stands for peace and, therefore, urged the youth to use peaceful means to settle whatever differences they might encounter.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh, for his part, condemned the recent violence and called for peace since it was the pre-requisite for the growth of multi-party democracy in the country.
Nana Takyi Abiam, the Dwantoahene of Sunyani Traditional Area who represented the Sunyanihene, Nana Asor Nkrawerie 11, called on Muslims to see themselves as one people and not to allow politics to divide them.
Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, in his remarks urged all to be mindful of their utterances and ensure that any time they spoke, their speech promoted peace and unity in the country.
He called on opponents of the government to desist from peddling falsehood and always speak the truth, adding that the fact that ‘you do not like somebody or the way they do things should not influence you to peddle lies about them.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo stated that the NDC government had the Islamic religion at heart and would continue helping their leadership for their mutual benefit.
The Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Umar Abdul Kadir who led the prayers, in his message said Ghana was one of the peaceful countries in Africa, despite its multi-religious and ethnic considerations, but of late, the selfishness of the perpetrators of chaos had created conflict in the three northern regions in the country.
He noted that since Islam preached nothing but peace, Muslims should not stop practising what they had learnt during the Ramadan to coexist peacefully with others.
He thanked the NDC government for the manner in which it organised the Hajj saying that for the first time in the history of Ghana, pilgrims’ luggage arrived in the country before they did, unlike the past when pilgrims arrived and had to wait for their luggage.
Alhaji Kadir thanked the government for its support during the Ramadan and all Islamic celebrations.


THE Tano South District Assembly, in conjunction with the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) and the Bechem Traditional Council, has established an industrial site at Bechem, the district capital, to help promote the activities of Small and Medium Scale-Enterprises (SMSE), in the district.
The GH¢130,038,000 industrial site would also have a rural technology facility equipped with state-of-the-art machines to train artisans in modern trends of automobile engineering, among others.
The Rural Enterprise Project (REP) is funding the training centre.
The district assembly provided GH¢38,000 towards the project with the traditional council donating the parcel of land for its establishment, while the GTZ contributed GH¢130 million for the connection of electricity from the national grid, as well as water and other basic facilities.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Tano South District, Mr Bukari Zakari Anaba, made this known while addressing one of the capacity-building training workshops for hairdressers in the district at Bechem.
He said the project formed part of the assembly’s efforts to promote SMSEs in the district and help them to build their capacities and expand their businesses to create employment avenues for the youth towards the growth of the local economy.
Mr Anaba stated that hairdressers, tailors and dressmakers in the district had so far benefited from the capacity-building programme for SMSEs estimated at GH¢8,000.
He said it was the desire of the government to support SMSEs at the district level to build their capacities to enable them to expand their businesses.
Mr Anaba said the government had decided to increase its funding to the Business Advisory Centre (BAC) under the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) to provide training for SMSEs.
He added that the decision by the government to support the growth of SMSEs at the district level was one of its campaign promises to invest in the people.
Touching on some development projects, the DCE said the assembly was opening up the district capital by upgrading 16.5 kilometres in the town.
Mr Anaba said the assembly was also benefiting from the construction of a six-classroom block for Derma Roman Catholic Primary School financed by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).
He added that the assembly, through the District Assembly Common Fund (DAFC), was also constructing a six-classroom block for the Bechem  Nkwanta Local Authority Primary School, while the Bechem Presbyterian Senior High School (SHS) was a beneficiary of an additional six–classroom block for the beginning of the three-year SHS programme.  


THE Ghanaian electorate has been called upon to vote massively for women candidates in the forthcoming District Assembly elections.
This will go a long way to get more women to participate in the local level of decision-making and governance to ensure sustainable development for all.
The Executive Secretary of the Christian Mothers’ Association (CMA), Mrs Elizabeth Addai Boateng, said women, who had been at the periphery of the society managing homes and being responsible for the upbringing of children, had demonstrated over the years that they were important in the socio-economic development the country.
She said this at a four-day capacity-building workshop held at Abesim, near Sunyani, for 40 women and 10 men contesting the forthcoming district assembly election in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The workshop, organised by the CMA in collaboration with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), was on the theme “Increased Numbers of Women in Political Decision-Making – A Pre-requisite for Good Governance and National Development.”
Among the topics treated at the four-day workshop were Gender Perspectives on Active Politics in Ghana, Women in Political Decision Making, a Pre-requisite for Development of Ghana, Gender Mainstreaming, Good Governance, Art of Public Speaking, and Simulation of the Campaign Platform.
Mrs. Boateng called on men contesting in areas where there are women candidates to step down as a means of getting more women to the local level of decision-making to ensure sustainable development.
She also called on their males contesting the assembly election to support the female contestants in their campaign efforts in order for them to be elected.
Mr Michael Amponsah, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), who presented a paper on “Gender Perspectives on Active Politics in Ghana”, said women occupied very few political positions in the country and this inequality should be addressed to ensure development.
He mentioned some of the factors that had created this inequality between men and women at the decision-making level as low level of education and confidence, coupled with the societal perception that the Ghanaian society was a male-dominated one, which makes participation of women difficult.
Mr Amponsah noted that it was time that certain interventions were put in place to reserve these trends and urged the media to lead the campaign to get more women at the decision-making level of the country.
Mr Ebo Barkers, the Sunyani East Constituency Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Mr Michael Nsiah Agyepong, former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Asutifi, called on women to be confident and courageous in all their endeavours.
They further urged women who had the ambition to go into public life to eschew all negative tendencies that cast a slur on their image and their efforts.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


THE government has through the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) presented 400 cartons of solar torches worth GH¢2,400 to the Ghana Cocoa Coffee and Sheanut Farmers’ Association for distribution to its members.
The solar lights are to assist them in their daily activities at night such as to prevent being bitten by snakes and other poisonous reptiles and insects on their farms.
The ceremony was held during the swearing-in of Nana Kwaku Amoako as the new Tano South District Chief Farmer in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Deputy National Chief Farmer, Nana Adjei Damoah, who made the presentation on behalf of the government at a brief ceremony in Sunyani, said the government recognised the contribution of cocoa to the socio-economic development of the nation and would continue to assist farmers to increase production.
He thanked the government for the gesture and said the donation was an indication that the government had the welfare of farmers at heart.
Nana Damoah said apart from the solar torches the government had provided solar lighting system in many remote cocoa growing areas, scholarships for children of cocoa farmers, free mass spraying and the rehabilitation of cocoa roads.
He also spoke about the government’s intention to introduce a pension scheme for cocoa farmers.
Nana Damoah appealed to cocoa farmers who lived along the country’s borders to desist from smuggling cocoa to neighbouring La Cote d’Iviore.
He further appealed to members of the security agencies at the various border posts who connived with smugglers to send cocoa, fertilisers and other cocoa inputs to La Cote d’Iviore to desist from such unpatriotic acts.


THE Berekum Municipal Health Insurance Scheme (BMHIS) has begun on-the-spot registration and a house-to-house programme to register more clients under the scheme in the municipality.
The Scheme Manager, Mr Ben Bukari, made this known at a community outreach programme of the scheme at Mpatapo in the Berekum municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region to educate members of the public on the need to register with the scheme to enable them to reap its benefits.
Mr Bukari said the scheme had been able to capture about 68 per cent of the population in the municipality, adding that the nine-month old programme was a contributory factor to the increase in clients.
He said it was the policy of the government to cater for the health needs of Ghanaians to provide affordable healthcare to both the rich and poor in the country.
Mr Bukari, therefore, urged the people to embrace the scheme since the development of every nation largely depended on the good health of the people.
He stressed that issues on the National Health Insurance Scheme should not be politicised since the vulnerable and the majority poor became victims of the situation.
Mr Bukari appealed to those who were still sitting on the fence and had not registered with the scheme to do so immediately, as that was the only surety against ill health.
The scheme manager further advised the clients to frequently check their renewal dates in order to keep their Identity Cards (ID cards) always active.
He assured the people of Berekum that there had been an improvement in the registration and payment of money to service providers.
He, therefore, implored the people to maintain the confidence they had reposed in the scheme.
Mr Bukari advised the staff to continue the good work that they were doing and to double their efforts to build the scheme to become a vibrant one for better human development index in the municipality.
He assured the public that his doors were opened for good advice and contributions to improve the scheme.


THE Tano South District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Bukari Zakaria Anaba, has observed that stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAS) continue to be a major setback against the prevention of the spread of the disease in the district.
He has, therefore, called on all stakeholders in the campaign against the spread of the disease to step-up their efforts to reduce the level of misconception about the disease, stigma and discrimination to help combat the pandemic in the district.
Mr Anaba made the observation at a two-day orientation workshop for district stakeholders on HIV/AIDS at Bechem in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The workshop was to update stakeholders’ knowledge on current trends in HIV/AIDS infections, sensitise participants on management systems of HIV/AIDS in the district and to develop appropriate strategies to contain the spread of the disease.
Mr Anaba stated that although awareness of HIV/AIDS epidemic was widespread in Ghana, knowledge of how to prevent the disease remained inadequate in majority of men and women in both the urban and rural areas of the country.
He said misconception about the disease contributed to stigma and discrimination which constituted the major challenges for people living with the disease, preventing them from disclosing their status, seek preventive healthcare and lead productive lives.
Mr Anaba, therefore, called for concerted efforts from all, especially, the participants at the workshop, to use the knowledge they had acquired to assist in addressing the HIV/AIDS challenges in the district.
He further urged the participants to educate the youth in the district to abstain from casual sex to avoid being infected since they constituted the future labour force and leaders of the district and the country.
The Tano South District HIV/AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person, who also addressed the participants, spoke on the topic: “Understanding stigma and discrimination”.
The Medical Superintendent of the Tano South District Government Hospital at Bechem, Dr Kwabena Twum Nuamah, gave a brief lecture on HIV/AIDS, mode of transmission, method of risk reduction, among others.


THE Minister of the Interior, Mr Martin Amidu, has urged security personnel at the various border posts to devise new strategies to combat smuggling and other anti-social activities, which threaten the economic growth, peace and security of the nation.
Mr Amidu was responding to concerns raised at separate meetings with security personnel from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) at Kofibadukrom and Gonokrom, both border posts between Ghana and La Cote d’ Iviore in the Dormaa West Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region as part of his working visit to the region.
The concerns were that the government should consider sealing all the unapproved routes at the Kofibadukrom and Gonokrom borders that had made patrolling and surveillance difficult for personnel and the need for the government to address logistical, office and residential accommodation challenges of security personnel at the border posts to enable them to discharge their work efficiently.
Mr Amidu further urged the security personnel to set up snap barriers on the unapproved routes from time to time to discourage residents and non-resident citizens entering or leaving the country from using them.
He sated that keeping the frontiers of the country safe was a shared responsibility between the security agencies and residents living along the borders.
Mr Amidu, therefore, urged the security personnel to engage both Ghanaian residents and their non-resident counterpart in a dialogue to help in the maintenance of law and order at the borders.
He gave the assurance that the government was committed to address the logistics constraint, office and accommodation problems of the security personnel at the various border posts.
The minister, therefore, implored the various municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) to complement the efforts of the government by providing such facilities to promote the maintenance of law and order in their various areas of jurisdiction at the borders.
He commended security personnel working at the various border posts in the country for their commitment and dedication to duty in spite of the challenges and urged them to sustain the spirit as the government was taking proactive steps in addressing their welfare.
Mr Amidu, who was accompanied on his visit by the acting Chief Director of the ministry, Alhaji Salifu Osuman, senior officials at the ministry and a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative to Ghana, had earlier paid separate courtesy calls on the Dormaa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Vincent Oppong Asamoah and the Dormaa Traditional Council.
At the palace of the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyeman Badu II, Mr Amidu said he was in the region to visit the various agencies under his ministry to know at first-hand the conditions under which they worked, and to formulate policies to address them.
He thanked the Dormaa Traditional Council for donating 50 acres of land to the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and pledged that the land would be put to good use.
Mr Amidu was also grateful to the traditional council for its decision to construct a municipal police command for the police service which was about 80 per cent complete.
He gave the assurance that the ministry would liaise with the Police Administration to assist the council to complete the project to facilitate the posting of more police personnel to the area.
Mr Amidu further gave the assurance that the government had secured loans from the India and the United States of America (USA) Exim banks to procure fire equipment and engines for the GNFS, while a deal with the Belgium government for the same purpose had been sealed.
Mr Amidu added that when the new fire engines arrived in the country, priority would be given to fire stations which did not have some, including the Dormaa Municipal Fire Station.
He called on all traditional councils to support the ministry in the maintenance of law and order, as well as the promotion of peace in their various traditional areas by providing security facilities such as police posts to make it possible to post police personnel there.
The Aduanahene of the Dormaa Traditional Area, Barima Yeboah Kodie, who deputised for the Dormaahene, appealed for the construction of police barracks and the opening of more fire stations in the traditional area, as well as the establishment of the proposed Immigration Training School by the government at Dormaa Ahenkro.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Takoradi-based referee S.B. Bortey's indecisions marred the beauty of the match between Bechem Chelsea and visiting Ashantigold in the opening match of the 2010/2011 Glo Premier League match which ended barren at the Berekum Golden City Park yesterday.
The match which attracted a large crowd saw visiting Ashantigold dominating a greater part of the second half with 10 men as Daniel Djamba was sent off in the 60th minute by referee Bortey for kicking former Kessben striker, Bismark Aidan.
Ashantigold, determined to avenge their 1-0 defeat which cost them the Premier League last season, went into the game with all seriousness and good interpersonal play but were kept at bay by the homesters.


THE Western Regional Best Cocoa Farmer for 1994, Nana Adjei-Mensah, has appealed to the government to increase the producer price of cocoa to GH¢200 this year.
He said that measure would help combat smuggling of cocoa from Ghana to La Cote d’Iviore by farmers, since the price of cocoa in Cote d’ Ivoire was higher by GH¢50 than the price in Ghana.
Nana Adjei Mensah made the appeal at a meeting with a cross-section of cocoa farmers at Ayimom, near Jinijini in the Berekum Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region.
According to Nana Mensah, if the government increased the producer price of the commodity, it would encourage farmers to maximise their output and also reduce their economic hardships.
Nana Mensah urged the government to pay special attention to the control of capsid disease which had been affecting cocoa pods, especially in the Western Region.
He stated that as the capsid and black-pod diseases had reduced cocoa production, there was the need for the government to provide more insecticides and inputs to protect cocoa beans to ensure increased production.
Nana Mensah warned farmers and security agencies along the boarder areas to be very vigilant of unpatriotic people who were smuggling cocoa to neighbour, La Cote d’Iviore.
He said if such bad practice persisted, the government’s “Better Ghana” agenda could not be achieved.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Chief Farmer, Nana Adjei Damoa, advised the farmers to channel their Akuafo cheques through the banks to save them from fake currency and armed robbers.
The former Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Chief Farmer, Nana Yaa Badu, also urged the farmers to repay the loans granted them to enable them to benefit from other interventions.
She also appealed to the government to grant more loans to farmers to expand their cocoa farms since cocoa is the bedrock of the nation.
Nana Badu advised the farmers to embrace the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by registering with it in their numbers in order to receive affordable and quality health care.

Friday, September 3, 2010


From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

Six institutions including the Rotary Clubs of Sunyani Central and Rocky Mount, United States of America ( USA ) and the Rotary Foundation have initiated a project to help reduce to the barest minimum Buruli Ulcer, a tropical flesh eating disease, in six endemic regions in the country.
The institutions are the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Georg Fisher Jubilee Clean Water Foundation based in Switzerland and the Carter Centre, Ghana.
 The partnership to fight this debilitating and painful disease will be through the provision of clean water at the cost of $103,000 in the endemic areas of the country.
The regions are the Brong Ahafo, Western, Eastern , Ashanti , Central and the Greater Accra.
According to statistics available at the Ghana Buruli Ulcer Eradication Project (GBUEP) the country records at least 1,000 new cases of the disease annually which affects mostly children under 15 years.
Buruli Ulcer is also said to be one of the tropical diseases in the country that has been neglected according to the GBUEP.
 Currently, the project has received a grant of $72,000 for the drilling of boreholes in the Brong Ahafo and Western regions, while the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, USA, Georg Fisher Foundation and other partners of the project have also contributed $100,000 and $70,000 respectively to ensure the success of the project.
An additional $275,000 is expected by the close of this year under the project for the drilling of more wells and boreholes, the repairing of 13 existing wells, the construction of 179 sanitation facilities, and education on water-borne diseases and basic medical care for the endemic areas in the country.
Interacting with the media at a ceremony organised by the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central to throw more light on the project in Sunyani, Dr Edwin Ampadu, Director of the Ghana Buruli Ulcer Eradication Project, lauded the initiative and said the project which sought to give attention to Buruli Ulcer in the same manner as the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme would help deal with the disease in the country.
He stated that the government had made the treatment of buruli ulcer free of charge in the country.
Rotarian Samuel Ankama Obour, the President of the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, said the partnership was to help provide clean and safe drinking water to fight buruli ulcer and other water-borne diseases in the endemic areas of the country.
Apart from the Buruli Ulcer Project, Mr Obour said the club with the support of the Rotary Clubs of Nanaimo, Lantzville, in Canada and the Rotary Foundation had purchased computers, textbooks, cupboards, teaching aids, basic health and sanitation materials worth $20,765.00 for the pupils of the Sunyani Municipal Primary School.
He said the club through its partners had also constructed one mechanised borehole, purchased a computer and accessories and mosquito nets for Korkor’s Charity Orphanage at Techiman at a cost of $11,735.00.
Mr. Obour said the club with support from Rotary Clubs of Rocky Mount, Crossville and Rotary Foundation was undertaking another project to provide clean and safe water in the Brong Ahafo and Western Regions at the cost of $51,926.00 to eliminate guinea worm disease and reduce water-borne illnesses and the provision of boreholes for five rural communities in Kassena-Nankana District in the Upper East Region at the cost of $38,000.00 with support from Rotary Club of Vorden, Netherlands.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


THE District Chief Executive (DCE) for Tano South, Mr Zakari Anaba, has on behalf of President J.E.A. Mills presented 45 bags of rice and 45 bags of sugar worth GH¢6,000 to the Muslim community in the district.
The items are for the Muslims, especially the old men, women and children, to be used during the month of Ramadan, a period of fasting and prayers on the Muslim calendar.
Some of the beneficiary communities include Derma, Brosankro, Bechem, Mansin, Dwomo, Techimantia, Ankasi, Subriso and Derma Nkwankyire.
Presenting the items at a short ceremony at the Bechem mosque, Mr Anaba said the gesture was a demonstration of the President’s commitment to the welfare of Muslims.
He said the government would continue to support Muslims by ensuring that they got their fair share of the national cake in terms of development projects.
Mr Anaba urged Muslims to use the Ramadan period to continue to pray for Allah’s strength and wisdom for the President and his team to enable them to continue to pursue policies and programmes that would lead to a remarkable improvement in the standard of living of Ghanaians and also the achievement of the “Better Ghana” agenda.
The Tano South District Chief Imam, Alhaji Ibrahim Gariba, who received the items on behalf of the communities, thanked the President for the gesture.
He said Muslims would use the period to continue to pray for the President, Ministers of state and all government appointees and also for the peace, prosperity and stability of the nation.


THE government’s policy of making delivery free-of-charge for pregnant women in the country is under threat in the Kintampo South District in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Most pregnant women in the district, especially, those from remote and deprived communities who are due for delivery, have to do so at home since they do not have access to the health facilities in the district.
The reason is that pregnant women, who are to access Antenatal Care (ANC) at the community level, have been asked to pay GH¢2 each before they could receive such treatment.
Majority of the victims are peasant farmers who cannot afford the hospital fees, a situation that compels most of them to deliver at home instead of visiting the health facilities.
Information available to the Daily Graphic indicated that deliveries at home in the district is about 75 per cent, according to the Public Health office in the district.
Primary health education, which was also supposed to be at the core of healthcare delivery in the district is also not in existence as health workers who are supposed to carry out this basic function at the community level, have been denied the needed logistics, especially a vehicle for the district directorate of health services to embark on health education in remote and deprived communities in the district.
Another problem that is hampering healthcare delivery in the district is the poor human and working relations between the health directorate and health workers.
The development is grinding healthcare delivery to a halt in the district, according to some health personnel who pleaded anonymity for fear of being victimised by authorities at the health directorate.
This came to light when this writer visited the district to investigate reports made by some concerned peasant farmers from the district.
Among the communities visited were Nomsuano, Agyegyekuma, Anyima, Ampoma, Apesika, Ntakro, Boadi Number One and Boadi Number Two, Boase, Komkomba, Erata, Jerusalem.
In all the communities visited by this writer, the people complained bitterly about the poor healthcare delivery, especially in the areas of antenatal care, family-planning ,child welfare service and public health education.
Some of the people who spoke to this writer, said even though they were told sometime ago that antenatal care was free, they were being made to pay GH¢2 so most of the pregnant women have decided to give birth at home instead of going to the health facilities.
They added that the visits by community health nurses to their communities to give them health education at the community level had also ceased.
The people, therefore, appealed to the district chief executive (DCE) to help address the situation since most of them were resorting to unorthodox means to meet their health needs.
A visit by this writer to the district government hospital at Jema, the district capital, revealed the same problem.
Some staff at the hospital who pleaded anonymity for fear of being victimised, said supervised delivery had gone down as many women preferred to deliver at home instead of going to the hospital.
They added that morale had also gone down as a result of the poor human and working relations between the facility and the health directorate.
The concerned hospital staff, therefore, called for immediate intervention to create a peaceful and congenial atmosphere for them to work to ensure quality healthcare delivery in the district.
When this writer contacted the DCE, Mr Nyame Kojo Datiakwa, he confirmed the story and said his outfit was investigating why pregnant women were being charged to pay GH¢2 for antenatal care which had been made free by the government.
He said his outfit was also taking realistic measures to enhance primary healthcare delivery at the community level but those efforts were being thwarted by the authorities at the district health directorate who were not being co-operative.
Mr Datiakwa added that the concern of the people had been made known to the district health directorate but nothing was being done about it.
He stressed that as the political head of the district, he was taking steps in consultation with the relevant authorities at the regional and national levels to get the problems addressed to ensure access to quality health care in the district since the district health directorate was not co-operating.
Staff of the district health directorate who spoke to this writer on condition of anonymity also confirmed the story.
They, therefore, called for intervention at the top level to help restore morale of staff and health workers which was at the lowest ebb due to the poor human and working relations.
Efforts to get the District Director of Health Services, Madam Grace Kafui Anyaidi, for her part on the allegations proved futile as this writer was told that she had travelled outside the town.
Several attempts to speak to her on her mobile phone proved futile as the calls did not go through and when it went through eventually, she cut the call.