Monday, June 28, 2010


THE government has made available GH¢5 million to support cotton farmers in northern Ghana to revamp the ailing cotton industry.
The package includes GH¢3.5 million direct support, which covers land preparation and provision of seeds and fertilisers, and GH¢1.5 million to be used as general subsidy.
The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, who made this known when he launched a cotton support programme in Tamale on Saturday, said the intervention would increase cotton yield to about 10,000 metric tonnes, with about 4,500 metric tonnes of lint.
By the end of this year, the industry is expected to generate more than $8 million in income.
Mr Mahama said the programme would cover a significant number of the 60,000 cotton farmers in the three northern regions, indicating that in the next four years all the beneficiary farmers would be covered.
The Vice-President said support would be extended to private cotton companies and other stakeholders, adding that “the success of the current support will determine how the government will progress”.
He urged farmers to take advantage of the intervention and start ploughing the land for cultivation, stressing that “the money is ready. Don’t wait for it, go ahead”.
Mr Mahama said the vision of the government was to ensure that Ghana became a net exporting country in all sub-sectors of agriculture, adding that it had made significant strides in that direction and was likely to achieve 100,000 metric tonnes of maize surplus this year.
The Vice-President said rice importation had reduced considerably from 500,000 metric tonnes to 400,000 metric tonnes this year and expressed the hope that more local rice production would drastically reduce the importation.
For his part, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, noted that the golden age of prosperity in the Northern Region occurred in the 1970s and since then no massive investment in the rice and cotton industries had taken place.
According to him, the dug-out dams built in the 1960s had never seen any rehabilitation, making them easily washed away or silted.
The regional minister stated that the north was struggling to produce sorghum to meet the demand of the breweries, which stood at about 6,000 metric tonnes.
Mr Mabengba expressed the hope that the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) would become the vehicle for transforming northern agriculture and the general environment of the area.
He called on the people of the region to turn the seven months of dry season which, hitherto, had been a season of “indolence, hunger and frustration which breed anger, intolerance and violence”, into seasons of productivity and plenty.
He lauded the launch of the cotton season and said it was in recognition of the pivotal role the private sector could play in fostering accelerated economic development and employment creation.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mahama Ayariga, lamented the inability of tomato farmers to produce enough to meet the needs of the Northern Star Tomato Factory at Pwalugu.
He said the government was working with all the stakeholders in the cotton industry to design a framework to address their problems.
He called for commitment, honesty and the zeal to direct the inputs for the purposes they were intended for.
The National Chairman of the Cotton Farmers Association of Ghana, Abdul-Rahman Mohammed, said low world market prices and high interest rates had been the bane of the industry.
He commended the government for the package and advised his colleague farmers against the diversion of farm inputs.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


THE acting Zonal Officer of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) in Tamale, Mr Gorden Akurugu, has cautioned the public against the use of uncertified Chinese drugs particularly those purported to boost libido in both men and women.
He noted that the proliferation of such fake drugs on the Ghanaian market had caused deaths among some users.
Mr Akurugu stated this at a meeting in Tamale to sensitise stakeholders and the public to the consumption of unwholesome and unregistered products that are on the Ghanaian market.
The officer cited an instance where a fake Chinese drug was sold to an unsuspecting couple that eventually resulted in the death of the man.
He, however, intimated that the FDB in collaboration with the security agencies had investigated the matter and those behind it were arrested and prosecuted.
Mr Akurugu explained for instance that the public must be vigilant and report to the FDB, individuals who went on air claiming they had medicines that could cure various illnesses.
“The Board is fully committed to its mandate of ensuring the safety, efficacy and quality of food, drugs, cosmetic, household chemical and medical device,” he said.
He further stressed that his outfit had expanded its activities, saying “key areas of great concern to the board are the number of unregistered products currently on the market”.
“Consumers should take the initiative to complain to the manufacturer and ask questions about their products; consumers must also exercise their ability to make a choice by refusing to purchase unwholesome food, counterfeit and substandard products,” Mr Akurugu stated.
He therefore stressed the need for concerted efforts to develop a safety risk-based approach that strengthens effective regulation in Ghana.
“Local manufacturers and importers must assist the Board in ensuring the safety of their products and re-establishing of consumer confidence by collaborating with the FDB to ensure the implementation of the appropriate safety and quality systems,” he pointed out.
The Head of Food Safety Unit of the FDB in Accra, Mr Sylvester Oteng Kyei, cautioned against putting out adverts that had not been approved by the Board.
He noted that handling of meat in the country was a major challenge as many people seemed to disregard the need for the maintenance of hygienic conditions.
“If you patronise an expired product and unwholesome product you do so at your own risk,” he warned.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


FARMERS at Yilonayili, a suburb of Tamale, have been provided with improved rice seeds, fertilisers and other farming inputs to enhance rice production in the area.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Famine Fund Rice Project provided funds for the seeds. The seeds were part of the 120 tonnes, valued at GH¢120,000, distributed earlier to farming communities in the three northern regions.
The USAID Project Co-ordinator, Dr Wilson Dogbe, made this known at a seed fair at Yilonayili to distribute the seeds to beneficiary farmers in the area.
He said the beneficiaries were being linked to agro-input dealers to access rice seed and fertilisers at subsidised prices.
The fair was aimed at boosting rice production through increased farmer access to rice seed, technology, fertiliser and market.
Dr Dogbe stated that the seed fair was a follow-up to the two-year Emergency Rice Initiative (ERI) project being implemented in four West African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal.
According to him, the ERI project started last year and was supposed to boost rice production in 10,000 farm households in each participating country.
“Domestic rice production is characterised by poor farmer access to production factors like improved seeds, technology for rice production, fertiliser and credit; domestic rice production is trailing far behind demand and stands at about 30 per cent of demand,” he observed.
Dr Dogbe further stated that plans were far advanced to reach out to 20,000 farmers with rice production videos by the end of 2010.
The Northern Regional Co-ordinator of the ERI, Dr Ibrahim Atokple, said the objectives of the ERI programme was to boost total domestic rice production in Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal by about 30,000 tonnes of paddy rice with a current market value of about $21 million.
He explained that the seed fair would enable farmers to source vital inputs at the right time during each production season.
“In terms of yield, over 90 per cent of the farmers realised more than 100 per cent increase, harvesting between 15 and 20 bags of paddy rice per half an acre plot of farmland," he stated.
Dr Atokple said this year, the ERI was targeting 6,000 farmers, including those from Yilonayili.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Story: Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale
PARTICIPANTS in a stakeholders meeting on unleashing the potentials of the shea nut industry have called for effective collaboration between research institutions, universities and farming groups to fully tap the potential of the crop.
They noted, for instance, that issues such as reducing the gestation period of the plant and enforcing bye-laws against indiscriminate bush burning in order to protect the shea nut trees were critical to the survival of the industry.
The participants were drawn from farming groups, research institutions and the Produce Buying Company (PBC).
The meeting was aimed at sharing findings of a report on “unleashing the shea potentials” with stakeholders. It was also to initiate a broad-base campaign on shea, as well as facilitate a platform for progressive discussions on the industry.
The Ghana Trade Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC) organised the event.
The Deputy Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana at Akyem Tafo in the Eastern Region, Dr Francis Kofi Oppong, emphasised the need for “domestication of the shea tree with the view to reducing its gestation period.”
According to him, one of the mandates of the Cocoa Research Institute was to help reduce the gestation period of the plant and commended the University for Development Studies (UDS) for making giant strides in that area.
Presenting key findings of the report, the Coordinator of the GTLC, Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, stated that the document revealed serious challenges in research for improved varieties, inconsistent policy for the sector, difficulties of picking and processing by women groups and inadequate shea value chain.
He said other problems that had bedevilled the industry included low and fluctuating pricing, decades of neglect by policy makers, especially government, widespread suspicion and mistrust among actors in the system, as well as inadequate information on the plant.
“The industry is a very vibrant one though little has been done in terms of policy, research and support to boost it. It could help eradicate poverty and improve the livelihoods of people in northern Ghana," Mr Akalbila further stated.
He suggested, among other things, the need to “domesticate the plant while ensuring that pickers and processors were provided with equipment.”
The co-ordinator further stressed the need for clearly defined educational campaigns and ensuring that adequate funding and transportation were provided for research purposes and conveying the nuts from farming centres to processing areas.


Story: Vincent Amenuveve, Savelugu
THE Savelugu-Nanton District is to become one of the industrial hubs of northern Ghana by 2025. The district, which is located along the Tamale-Bolgatanga road, is about 15 minutes drive from the Northern Regional capital, Tamale.
The strategic location of the district and its nearness to the Tamale Airport requires that the area be face-lifted to contribute to the industrial growth of the region.
To that effect, the district has been selected as one of the six pilot areas for the implementation of the new planning system for Ghana. Under the 15-year Spatial Development Framework (SDF) of the district, the area would become the spatial planning element of Medium Term Development Plans (MTDPs) aligned with regional and national planning policies.
Under the programme, stakeholders including developers, government, utility companies, communities and individuals will help create a congenial atmosphere for accelerated development of the district.
The present policy of concentrating support on existing villages, diversifying agriculture from traditional methods in order to provide food security and providing basic village levels of infrastructure, health and education, is the basis for the initial period of the plan which covers five years.
Efforts will be concentrated on better road access to villages rather than regional connectivity or urban infrastructure.
In the next five years, the district’s development will be focused on making the area attractive to large-scale investors by ensuring that large tracts of land are available for investment. Already, Integrated Tamale Fruit Company (ITFC) has invested huge resources in mango cultivation in the district.
there are plans to establish food processing, packaging and distribution facilities at Savelugu.
Additionally, higher education and research for this type of agriculture will be expanded at Pong-Tamale.
Under the SDF, settlements such as Gushie, Diare and Pong-Tamale will be supported to grow to accommodate the increasing wage-based and more job-secured population.
At a recent workshop at Savelugu to inaugurate a draft paper on the SDF, the International Planning Expert, Dr Christopher Cripps said 90 per cent of the working population in Savelugu is engaged in agriculture with about 70 per cent being subsistence farmers.
According to him, commercial farmers constituted the remaining 30 per cent of the farmers with farm sizes between 20 and 120 acres per farm.
Dr Cripps further stated that agro-processing constituted the main industrial activity in the district and includes sheanut processing, groundnuts processing, cotton ginnery and rice processing. Others are carpentry, blacksmithing, dressmaking and fish processing.
He stated that trading and service activities employed only three per cent of the economically active population. This includes public servants and petty traders.
The expert mentioned a number of challenges that the SDF was expected to address.
They are low household incomes and food insecurity, high illiteracy rate and lack of education generally among the working population.
Emerging urban settlements such as Savelugu and Pong-Tamale are unplanned with little or no infrastructure. Other development challenges include high youth unemployment, high level of unskilled labour, unhealthy environmental conditions, lack of coverage of electricity in half of the communities in the district and dilapidated school and health facilities.
Dr Cripps further stated that such issues as reducing the percentage of households that run out of food by the second quarter of the year needed to be critically examined during the implementation of the SDF.
“There is the need to increase electricity coverage to 80 per cent of the district as well as improve feeder roads and extend fixed line services to the district,” he said.
According to him, access to potable water and sanitation facilities needed to be increased while making sure that all the six Area Councils were operational.
The Project Manager, Mr Alistair Blunt stated that there were major problems facing land use and spatial planning in the country.
He said the Land Use Planning Law was out-of-date based on the Town Planning Ordinance of 1945( Cap 84).
He said planning authorities were under-resourced, saying 69 out of 170 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) had professional land use and spatial planners.
Other challenges include poor linkage between planning and registration of plots, lack of a linkage between social and economic development policies and spatial plans, lack of adequate and up-to-date base maps.
Mr Blunt said the overall objective of the Land Use Planning and Management Project was to help the growth of the Ghanaian economy through the revival and modernisation of an effective land use planning and management system that facilitates the implementation of spatial and land use plans.


Story & picture: Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale
THE Volta River Authority (VRA) has donated 700 Mahogany seedlings to the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) for planting along river banks in three districts in the region.
The gesture is part of the VRA’s efforts to support the presidential special awareness of sanitation in the region.
The seedlings are to be planted in the Central Gonja, Yendi and Saboba Districts to check erosion along water bodies.
Presenting the seedlings, the Principal Natural Resources Officer of the VRA, Mr George Bamfour Morris, stated that unless something urgent was done to prevent indiscriminate felling of trees along river banks, the Akosombo Dam might face crisis in the near future.
He stated that sand particles and filth which engulfed water bodies due to human activity was not good enough for the turbines that turn to generate power.
Mr Morris therefore stressed the need for rigid enforcement of bye-laws to protect the country’s water bodies, saying: “Communities must also be educated to plant more trees to protect our water resources.”
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Magbengba, who received the seedlings, called for intensive education campaign against indiscriminate tree felling and sand winning along river banks.
The Regional Co-ordinator of the President’s sanitation campaign, Mr Justice Joshua Dawuni, thanked the VRA for the support.
He bemoaned the rapid depletion of forest cover along river banks as a result of farming activities and appealed to other public-spirited organisations to support the campaign to protect water bodies.

* Picture: Mr Justice Dawuni (in smock), Mr George Morris (in black suit, middle) and Mr Moses Magbenba (left), jointly inspecting the 700 seedlings donated by the VRA.

Friday, June 18, 2010


SOLAR-POWERED and electro-mechanised water supply systems have been inaugurated for three deprived communities in the Central Gonja District in the Northern Region.
The facilities valued at GH¢280,000 are fitted with transmission and distribution pipelines and located at Buipe, Kegbripe and Mpaha.
They were provided jointly by the European Union (EU) and the United Nation’s Education Fund (UNICEF) under the UNICEF’s Integrated Approach to Guinea Worm Eradication Through Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in the Northern Region (I-WASH) programme.
The Central Gonja District Assembly, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and New Energy,a Tamale-based non-governmental organisation are the other partners of the project.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the Regional I-WASH Project Management Team Leader, Mr Gilbert Dery, stated that the facilities would ultimately help to prevent the outbreak of water borne diseases, particularly guinea worm.
He said last year,the Central Gonja District alone recorded 62 per cent of incidence of the guinea worm as against zero this year, and it was envisaged that the provision of such facilities would help forestall the recurrence of the disease.
He further explained that rehabilitation of the electro-mechanised Buipe Small Town Water Supply System was completed in 2006 with support from Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) under the management of a seven-member Water and Sanitation Development Board.
According to him, the remaining two facilities at Kegbripe and Mpaha were solar powered.
The facilities will provide potable water to a total of 22,667 people with 6,700 of them being children in the three beneficiary communities.
“Prior to the installation of the water systems, the communities were relying on water from such unsafe sources as dams and dug dugouts,”Mr Dery stated.
The Head of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Mr Claude Maerten commended the district assembly and health authorities in the district for their efforts in eradicating guinea worm in the area.
“This is a real great achievement and I hope all partners involved in disease prevention and eradication would strengthen their ties towards achieving greater things in the area of disease management in the district,” Mr Maerten stressed.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Elias Sory commended residents of the district for embracing and accepting the education programmes carried out by health authorities.
He, however, stressed the need for them to focus on sending their children to school, saying that was a big challenge in the area.
Dr Sory entreated residents of the beneficiary communities to maintain the facilities to enable them to derive maximum benefits from them.
The Central Gonja District Chief Executive, Mr Salisu Be-Awuribe, expressed gratitude to the EU and UNICEF for the intervention.
According to him, the district’s water coverage was about 36 per cent due to the low water table in the area.
Mr Be-Awuribe explained that although the district was endowed with the Black and White Volta that passed through the area, access to potable water had been the greatest challenge due to the huge capital investment required to provide potable water using such sources.
The EU head accompanied by his entourage, including Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, the UNICEF Country Representative, visited the Guinea worm case containment centre at Fufulso and also inspected a household water filtration and treatment plant.
The District Co-ordinator of guinea worm eradication programme, Mr Sulemana Ibrahim, stated that between January and December, last year, Fufulso recorded 148 cases of guinea worm as against zero this year.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


MORE than 11,000 farmers in 27 districts in the three northern regions are to benefit from 120 tonnes of improved rice seed to enhance its production in the area by the close of the year.
The seeds, valued at GH¢120,000, are being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Famine Fund Rice Project.
The USAID Project Co-ordinator, Dr Wilson Dogbe, made this known at a Seed Fair at Yilonayili, a suburb of Tamale, to distribute the seeds to beneficiary farmers in the area.
He said the beneficiaries were being linked to agro input dealers to access rice seed and fertiliser at subsidised prices.
The fair was aimed among other objectives at boosting rice production through increased farmer access to rice seed, technology, fertiliser and market.
Dr Dogbe stated that the seed fair was a follow-up to the two-year Emergency Rice Initiative (ERI) project being implemented in four West African countries — Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal.
According to him, the ERI project started last year and was supposed to boost rice production in 10,000 farm households in each participating country.
“Domestic rice production is characterised by poor farmer access to production factors such as improved seed, technology for rice production, fertiliser and credit. Domestic rice production is trailing far behind demand and stands at about 30 per cent of demand,” he observed.
Dr Dogbe further said plans were far advanced to reach out to 20,000 farmers with rice production videos by the end of 2010.
The Northern Regional Co-ordinator of the ERI, Dr Ibrahim Atokple, said the objectives of the ERI programme was to boost total domestic rice production in Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal by about 30,000 tonnes of paddy rice with a current market value of about $21 million.
He said the seed fair would among other objectives help the farmers source vital inputs at the right time during each production season.
“In terms of yield, over 90 per cent of the farmers realised more than 100 per cent increase, obtaining between 15 and 20 bags of paddy rice per half acre plots of farmland,” he stated.
Dr Atokple said this year, the ERI was targeting 6,000 farmers including those from Yilonayili.

Friday, June 11, 2010


From Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale

THE Tamale High Court has sentenced Abdulai Haruna, an unemployed teenager, to death by hanging for murdering a student, Sisu Seidu in Yendi, over a girl.
A seven-member jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder. Haruna had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Presenting the facts of the case at the court presided over by a Supervising High Court Judge, Mr Justice Lawrence Ladzagla Mensah, a Senior State Attorney, Mr Salia Abdul-Quddus, told the court that the 18-year-old convict and the deceased both lived in Yendi.
According to Mr Abdul-Quddus, on June, 15, 2009, there was a football match at the Yendi football park which both the convict and the deceased attended.
The prosecutor further stated that the deceased saw the convict in the company of a lady, Kande Mohammed and advised him (the convict) to stop any relationship he had with the lady because she (the lady) was married.
The convict did not take kindly to the advice and that resulted in a confrontation in the course of which the convict was beaten up but they were separated and they went to their respective homes.
Mr Abdul-Quddus said on June 22, 2009, between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00p.m., the deceased was in his house with his colleagues when the convict went there accompanied by the lady (Kande) and another gentleman.
The convict invited the deceased out under the pretext of settling their misunderstanding.
According to the prosecution, as soon as the deceased followed the convict out, he (the convict) drew a jack knife out of his pocket and stabbed the deceased in the chest.
The deceased fell unconscious as he lost a lot of blood and was subsequently rushed to the Yendi Government Hospital, where he died on arrival.
Mr Abdul-Quddus stated that the convict fled the scene after the act but was later arrested and after further investigations, he was charged with one count of murder.

Monday, June 7, 2010


A former first Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has stated that “those who do not believe in June 4 do not also believe in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) because the party and what the country has today was built on the foundations of the revolution”.
“It took a lot of effort, commitment and sacrifice to put the NDC where it is today; it is important to know that the NDC constitution talks about the June 4 and other important days that must be celebrated” Nana Konadu pointed out.
She made this statement when an 11-member executive of the Nurses Training College (NTC) branch of the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was inaugurated in Tamale at the weekend with a call on executives to help educate student nurses on the ideals of the June 4 celebration.
She observed that the revolution came to cleanse the system that was fraught with corruption, bad governance and economic policies by successive governments that crippled the nation before 1979.
The former first Lady who is also the Vice Chairperson of the NDC, noted that it was important to form political groups on various campuses of tertiary institutions because there was the need to pass on the “the baton to the younger generation”.
She said that the NDC believed in the concept of power to the people and the only way to do this was to empower the citizens of the country.
She entreated the executives of TEIN to unite the members and other student nurses on campus.
“Do not treat members with disdain and avoid being rude to them by showing them respect; members must also support and collaborate with the leadership for the well being of the group” Nana Konadu pointed out.
Touching on some challenges in the health sector, the former first lady called for urgent steps to provide maternity hospitals in all districts of the country as a strategy to curb the high maternal and infant mortality rates.
She equally advised student nurses to be compassionate towards their patients because they were vulnerable.
The new President of the NTC-TEIN, Mr Abdul Hamid Tawfiq said the June 4 celebration had come to stay.
According to him, the ideals of June 4 should be held in high esteem and paid a glowing tribute to the founder of the NDC, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings.
Mr Tawfiq thanked the TEIN members for the confidence reposed in him and his colleagues and called for effective collaboration and trust to enhance the fortunes of the group.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


THE General Manager of Communications of Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL), Mr Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, has called for stiffer punishment to be meted out to those who engage in illegal water connections in the Tamale Metropolis.
He said imposing “stringent sanctions” on recalcitrant consumers of water would serve as a deterrent to others and enhance the revenue base of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the area.
Mr Sakyi-Addo was interacting with newsmen in Tamale during a stakeholders meeting which was organised by the AVRL/GWCL on addressing the challenges that militate against ample supply of water to the metropolis.
In attendance were traditional rulers, representatives of public agencies and institutions, officials of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC)..
He said that the situation where persons who had been arrested for engaging in illegal connection were fined paltry sums and went back to commit the same illegal act must be stopped.
The General Manager further intimated that the challenges in the water sector needed to be solved collectively.
“It is, however, clear that water supply has over the years significantly improved but the issue is that the improved supply is not commensurate with the revenue being generated”, he pointed out.
Mr Sakyi-Addo, stressed the need for intensive public education to ensure that consumers pay for the water they used.
According to him, the company would need $1.8 billion to increase urban water coverage from 59 to 80 per cent nationwide.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, observed that the shortage of potable water had the potential of eroding the gains made in eliminating guinea worm.
“Although massive investment in the water sector had been made in the past, more needs to be done to match the increasing population of the region, especially the rural communities and the Tamale Metropolis”, he stated.
Mr Mabengba said in spite of the successful execution of the Tamale Water Expansion Project, many communities still complained of not having potable water and indicated that the RCC would support the various district assemblies to pull down illegal structures situated on the pipelines of the AVRL/GWCL.
“The public wants value for money to justify calls for prompt payment of bills and tariff increases; the public fails to understand why losses emanating from lack of supervision on the part of the operator should be pushed down the throats of consumers”, he stressed.
The Regional Customer Care Manager, Mr Kwabena Tabiri, mentioned hostilities and threats from some customers, interference by some opinion leaders and tampering of water installations as some of challenges facing the sector.
He said high water demand during dry season, construction of structures on pipelines,thereby causing leakages, unstable power supply in the production system, illegal water connections and meter bypasses were some of the problems that the company faced.


THE Catholic Archbishop of Tamale, the Most Reverend Philip Naameh, has expressed concern over the immoral acts and social vices that are practised in secondary and tertiary institutions in the country.
He pointed out that deviant acts like lesbianism, homosexuality, pervasive sexual immorality and occultism which are alien to the Ghanaian culture had gained notoriety among students and must be nipped in the bud.
The Most Rev. Naameh stated this during the inauguration of the Second Ghana Version of the World Youth Day celebration (WYD) of the Catholic Archdioceses in Tamale.
It was organised by the Ghana National Catholic Youth Council (GHANCYC).
It had the theme “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” and aimed at complementing government and civil society ‘s efforts to bring lasting peace to the north.
The conference was also to help encourage the youth to avoid such social vices such as indecent dressing, drug abuse, alcoholism and disrespect for the elderly.,
More than 3,000 Catholic youth from all over the country attended the five-day programme.
The Archbishop further pointed out that “these anti-Gospel practices in our secondary and tertiary institutions are through the influx of foreign cultures and these negative practices inhibit the youth from practising sound moral values”.
He entreated religious bodies, educational authorities, parents, traditional rulers and elders in the society to help address these issues in order to secure a good future for the youth.
The Most Rev. Naameh equally observed that the celebration would enable the youth to “destroy those prejudices and stereotyping of some ethnic groups in the country”.
“The youth are being commissioned to go out and evangelise, particularly among their peers because some people do not acknowledge the need for sound moral values”, he stated.
The Archbishop observed that bringing Catholic youth together on such occasions was necessary as it would afford them the opportunity of living together and accepting each other, in spite of their tribes.
He urged Catholics to support the youth and exhibit a certain level of sacrifice to make the celebration successful.
The Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Mr Peter Tanga, entreated the youth not to allow themselves to be used by “selfish and greedy adults to perpetuate crime”.
According to him, the time had come for the youth to change their attitude and “surrender themselves totally to the Living God; we must see ourselves as agents of change”.
Mr Tanga condemned the recent ‘shit-bombing’ of the Martyrs of Uganda Parish by unidentified members .
He, therefore, called on parents and the church leaders to take a second look at the upbringing of children and youth of the Catholic Church.
“Parents no longer encourage their children to attend youth programmes where Catholic values are taught and exhibited and the church also no longer provides enough funding for the continuous formulation of youth programme,” he stated.


ENCROACHMENT of lands is one phenomenon in the Tamale metropolis that has bedevilled its development agenda.
Concerns have been raised on many platforms about this issue by developers, school authorities and other development partners, but it seemed not to get the needed attention.
In some cases, the issue degenerates into legal tussles by interested parties.
The latest institution to complain about encroachment is the Tamale Polytechnic.
At its recent 4th Congregation, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Alhaji Dr Yakubu Seidu Peligah, made a special appeal to the government to help construct a fence wall round the Polytechnic.
He stressed that “in recent times, the Tamale Polytechnic has had to engage in land litigations due mainly to encroachment on our land”.
Dr Peligah therefore, entreated traditional rulers in the metropolis to help fight encroachment on the polytechnic’s land.
Indeed, a similar concern was raised by the Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr Seidu Mohammed Mustapha.
“One other serious difficulty confronting the polytechnic is encroachment on its lands, especially on its eastern borders; council is very much concerned about this phenomenon and as such, our ultimate goal is to fence the boundaries of the polytechnic” he pointed out.
Dr Mustapha however, expressed regret that the issue of fencing the Polytechnic required “heavy capital investment” and hoped the donor community and non-governmental organisations would support it in that direction.
He pleaded with traditional authorities who are the real custodians of the land for their assistance in protecting the polytechnic’s land from encroachers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


THE Regent of Kukuo in the Nanumba South District of the Northern Region, Mahami Iddrisu, has called on human rights activists and the government to ensure that the alleged witches confined at a camp in the area benefit from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
He explained that the health needs of the witches were in jeopardy due to poverty, and the failure to grant them the NHIS services was undermining their fundamental human rights as citizens of the country.
The regent made the call when the Co-ordinator of the Southern Sector Youth and Women Empowerment Network (SOSYWEN), Madam Zenabu Sakibu, called on him at his palace as part of her visit to the witches camp.
The SOSYWEN, a non-governmental organisation, has been instrumental in supporting efforts at providing the needs of the 123 alleged witches and their 171 grandchildren at the camp.
Regent Iddrisu said of the 123 witches, only 11 were on the scheme, with 64 out of their 171 grandchildren having been registered.
He contended that it was unacceptable for the witches to be denied access to the scheme just because they were poor.
According to him, the witches were only being accused of engaging in suspected witchcraft and that was not enough proof to deny them of their health needs, which was their right.
According to the regent, because of stigmatisation most of the witches and their grandchildren could not be integrated into their respective communities although the purification rites had been performed.
“Whether witches can be integrated into their community or not depends so much on the will of the community and their respective families; whereas a man (wizard) can go back to his community a woman accused of witchcraft cannot because of cultural and traditional values,” the regent stated.
He, therefore, appealed to benevolent and public-spirited individuals and organisations to come to the aid of the alleged witches.