Thursday, September 30, 2010


A former Presiding Member of the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly Madam Agnes Atayila, has announced her intention to contest the up-coming assembly election in the Soe-Yipala Electoral Area.
The aspirant, who is a nutrition officer, was first elected assemblywoman for the electoral area in the Bolgatanga Municipality in 2000-2006, and elected the Presiding Member of the assembly from 2004 to 2006.
From 2005-2006, she was the Regional Representative for the Upper East Region at the National Executive Council of the National Association of Local Authority, Ghana (NALAG).
Speaking to the Daily Graphic at Bolgatanga, Madam Atayila said her decision to seek re-election to the assembly was due to her desire to serve her people, especially the unfortunate illiterate women who look up to her for inspiration.
“I believe I have an unfinished agenda in terms of development for my community and I am seeking to re-enter the assembly to work for the interest of my people”, she said.
“As I speak to you today, I am no more an assemblywoman for the area, but I still attend to the needs of my electorate who call on me at home on a daily basis. They still see in me a leader who is always available to hear their concerns. That is my motivation for seeking re-election to lead my people”, she added.
Outlining her vision, Madam Atayila said if given the nod she would engage the youth and women in her electoral area in regular meetings to strategise and map out the development needs of the community.
Her major concern, however, is what she terms “attempts by political parties to thwart efforts of women contestants” by playing out the partisan cards during the election and appealed to political parties to desist from turning the district level elections into a platform for partisan politics.
Madam Atayila is currently the chairperson of the Upper East Regional Cultural Advisory Committee of the Centre for National Culture. In 1999, she was elected the Chairperson of the Board of Governors to the Bolgatanga Girls Secondary School.
She has special skills in community mobilisation, organising trainer of trainers programmes, counselling and inter personal communication, gender and development and rears livestock. In 1997, she was adjudged the Bolgatanga Best District Livestock Farmer.
Among other things, she has facilitated the formation of 126 women support groups in Builsa, Bolgatanga, Bongo and Talensi/Nabdam districts. She also acquired four grinding mills from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for women in the Builsa District to enhance their income generation activities.
She was a District Programme Officer for the World Food Programme (WFP) activities for supplementary feeding for children under 5 years and Breast Feeding Mothers whilst serving in the Bongo District Health Directorate. She was also the focal person for the Catholic Relief Service Food for Survival in the same Bongo District.

Ms Theresa Akosua Serwaah Tettey, a 39-year-old language teacher at the Anfoega Senior High School in the Kpando District, intends to contest the district assembly elections in the Dzigbe-Torkor Electoral Area in the Kpando District. She is optimistic of defeating the incumbent assemblyman for the area.
According to her she has demonstrated her competence and capabilities over the years which had made her a better candidate to be elected as their next representative in the assembly.
She said if given the nod, she would lobby for support to improve sanitation and facilities such as places of convenience and potable water for the community, under the Community Water and Sanitation Programme .
She said since women constituted more than 50 per cent of the country’s population, there was the need to increase their representation at the various levels of the decision-making process to enable them to make meaningful contribution to national development.
She said if given the nod, she would make meaningful contributions to discussions during assembly sittings to help design positive projects and programmes to benefit the community and society as a whole.

Madam Agnes Akusika Mireku is a 59-year-old businesswoman who intends to contest the district assembly elections in the Agudzi-Bame Electoral Area in the Kpando District of the Volta Region. She said her desire was to tackle the challenges facing the area in respect of youth unemployment, adding that with the help of non-governmental organisations and the Department of Women, she would assist the youth to explore opportunities to open up employment avenues for them to make them productive.
She said she would help women to access small loan facilities to undertake development projects and indicated that she would also lobby for a borehole to be drilled to facilitate the cultivation of okro and garden eggs to generate income to bring development to the area.
She also said she would dialogue with teachers and communicate their problems to the appropriate quarters and encourage teachers and pupils to take education seriously.

The aspirant for the Nkonya -Wurupong Electoral Area in the Biakoye District, Madam Florence Leticia Mensah, is a 53 -year old businesswoman. Her aim is to contest the assembly elections to promote the interest of the people.
She said her area of concern was to improve on sanitation facilities in the community with the provision of public places of convenience, check the negative behaviour of some people who ease themselves on “free range” which posed a health hazard to the people.
She said if given the nod, she would collaborate with relevant organisations and individuals to rehabilitate school buildings in the electoral area and also improve on conditions at the local market to boost business activities.
Madam Mensah said she was also concerned about the bad nature of the road linking Tornu and would help extend electricity to more communities in the area, stressing that with the support of the assembly, members of the community and other organisations, she would find workable solutions to these problems.
The aspirant also indicated her intention to mount intensive public education campaign to encourage the youth to desist from social vices, some of which resulted in teenage pregnancy, child labour and truancy.

Monday, September 27, 2010


MEMBERS of the Karaga District Assembly have finally endorsed Mr Sulemana Husein as the new District Chief Executive for the area.
He polled 32 out of the 34 votes cast, representing 94 per cent of the total votes. A week ago, Mr Husein, 48, a teacher by profession, failed to get the nod from the assembly members when he got 24 out of the 34 votes cast, representing 58 per cent.
A few months ago, the President withdrew the appointments of the former Karaga DCE Alhaji Abdulai Sandow and two other DCEs, Hajia Mavis Bawa of the Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District Assembly and Mr Mahama Walvis of the Yendi Municipal Assembly.
The election was supervised by the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Sylvester Kanyi.
In his acceptance speech, the new DCE expressed gratitude to the assembly members and the President for the confidence reposed in him and assured them that he would not let them down.
According to him, his administration would focus on areas such as education, health, agriculture and infrastructure development.
“The reversal of the fallen standards in education will be my preoccupation; therefore, all necessary support will be given to achieve this objective” Mr Husein observed.
He explained that the Youth in Agriculture Programme would be strengthened to prevent the youth from being idle, which contributed to the various misunderstandings in the district.
The Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, for his part, advised the members to iron out their differences for the accelerated development of the area.
He pointed out that issues of conflict and divisive tendencies adversely affected socio-economic development of any society, hence concrete steps must be taken to nip them in the bud.


FOUR suspected accomplices of a gang of armed robbers have been arrested by the police in the Northern Region to assist in their investigations into a highway robbery attack on two commercial buses at Diare on the Tamale-Bolgatanga road.
The suspects, Abdulai Ali, 21, Charles Sarpong, 17, Musah Osman, 28, and Mohammed Sumaila, 20, were on board the buses and were believed to be accomplices who gave information to a gang of armed robbers who opened fire on the buses travelling from Bolgatanga in the Upper East region to Accra last Thursday.
Two persons who sustained injuries and have been identified as Kwesi Adjei, the driver of the Yutong bus, and Augustine Abonza, a passenger, are receiving medical attention.
According to the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Chief Inspector Ebenezer Tetteh, a Daewoo bus, with registration number AS 5546/09, and a Yutong bus, with registration number GC 5054 Z, were allegedly attacked at about 4p.m. on Thursday, September 23, 2010, by a group of suspected armed robbers.
The alleged robbers were said to have opened fire on the buses and fled upon sensing danger.
Mr Tetteh said before the incident, the four suspects were heard talking to a group of people on their mobile phones.
Some of the occupants of the buses alleged that they later saw a man coming out of the bush but he quickly ran back and within a short time they were attacked by five masked armed men, who allegedly fired at the buses, injuring the two persons in the process.
Mr Tetteh said the police had mounted a thorough search for the five armed men who escaped and that the four suspects would be arraigned when found culpable of the offence.
The PRO entreated residents of the region to be law-abiding and to volunteer information to the police.
He said the police would intensify its day and night patrols on the Tamale-Bolgatanga highway to help reduce armed robberies on the road and make commuters travel without entertaining fears.
Meanwhile, the Regional Police Command has given the two buses police escort to avert the recurrence of similar attacks.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


THE Yendi Municipal Assembly has confirmed Mr Issah Zakariah as the new Municipal Chief Executive (MCE).
Mr Zakariah, a former Circuit Supervisor of the Ghana Education Service (GES), polled 45 votes out of 61, representing 73.8 per cent of the total votes cast. Sixteen members voted against his nomination.
He thus gained two-thirds of the majority of the votes by the 61-member house. The election, supervised by the Northern Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Mr Sylvester Kanyi, was held under tight security.
A few months ago, the President revoked the appointments of the Yendi Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Mahama Welvis, together with two other DCEs at Karaga and Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo, Alhaji Abdulai Sandow and Hajia Mavis Bawa respectively.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Zakariah expressed gratitude to the President and members of the assembly for the confidence reposed in him.
“I equally see my position as an honour and a challenging one that requires the support of all stakeholders to enable me to achieve the desired results”, he noted.
According to him, the municipality had been sharply divided along “various lines over the years”.
The new MCE, therefore, pledged his commitment towards uniting the people for the accelerated development of the area.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr San Nasamu Asabigi, thanked the assembly members for approving the President’s nominee and urged the people, particularly the youth to support him to accelerate development in the municipality.
The Presiding Member, Mr Iddrisu Hussein, said there was no doubt that the absence of a substantive MCE had slowed down development in the area.

Monday, September 20, 2010


FORTY women aspirants from the three northern regions have completed a four-day training workshop on women’s participation in the political decision-making process in Tamale.
The workshop was aimed, among other objectives, to increase women’s participation in political decision-making as a prerequisite for good governance and accelerated national development.
The participants discussed such issues as gender perspectives on active politics in Ghana, gender mainstreaming and good governance, voting as a civic responsibility, the art of public speaking and simulation of the campaign platform among others.
It was organised by the Christian Mothers’ Association (CMA) in collaboration with the German Development Co-operation (GTZ) under its support for Decentralisation Reforms Programme.
The Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, observed that increasing women’s participation in politics would ultimately enhance the country’s democracy and good governance.
He, therefore, urged politicians and policy makers to help evolve effective strategies that would create a congenial atmosphere for more women to take part in the decision-making process.
Alhaji Haruna further explained that increasing the numbers of women in positions of trust would equally help promote peace in the north.
The Executive Secretary of the CMA, Madam Elizabeth Addai-Boateng encouraged women to be assertive and not leave the political decision making process in the hands of men alone.
The Junior Advisor of the GTZ, Mr Hamza Bukari,advised women aspirants not to withdraw from contesting the forthcoming district level elections.
One of the aspirants at Jirapa in the Upper West Region, Madam Nathalia Debuo, pledged on behalf of her colleagues to work hard to take up political appointments at any level to enable them contribute meaningfully to the development of their respective communities.
“For us educating our children is critical and we ask our men to support, guide and direct us to achieve the desired results” she stressed.


THE Northern Regional Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Mohammed Abew, has stated that recent media reports to the effect that 10,000 youth in Tamale had defected from the NDC to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) were unfounded.
He told the Daily Graphic in Tamale that the move was a strategy by a few aggrieved youth in the area to compel the leadership of the NDC to provide jobs for them.
According to Mr Abew he had met with some aggrieved youth in Tamale and asked them to write down their names for consideration in future recruitment exercises under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).
“As far as I am concerned I heard 87 group of youths on a Tamale based FM station claiming they had defected from the NDC to the NPP”.
According to Mr Abew some of the youths making such claims did not have the requisite qualification that could earn them jobs under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).
“In fact as I speak to you now none have been able to provide a certificate to warrant their job placement under the NYEP”, he stated.
Mr Abew,who is also the regional co-ordinator of the NYEP, observed that the challenge of providing the youth in Tamale with jobs was huge.
He expressed optimism that when the road maintenance module of the NYEP rolls out by next week, some of them would be considered and recruited but advised them to develop themselves to enable them to fit into the job market.
The organiser noted that the rehabilitation of the Tamale Teaching hospital was likely to provide more jobs for the unemployed youth in Tamale and entreated them to exercise restraint.
“Those who think that they can use such tactics to discredit the NDC government are not being sincere to themselves; some perceive the government to be slow which is not true because the economy for the first 20 months had been stabilised with more capital injected into it.” he contended.
Mr Abew further intimated that it was not possible for every youth to get a job at the same time, adding that some would get theirs today while others would get theirs later.
According to him the Changli Electoral Area where the aggrieved youth were coming from had benefited immensely from the NYEP programme compared to other suburbs of the metropolis and described their action as uncalled for.
In a related development, the NDC, has noted with grave concern the continuous attempt by the NPP and their collaborators in the media to create the erroneous impression that the NDC is becoming unpopular, by orchestrating defection stories.
The latest the party noted, was a story aired by an Accra FM station alleging that 10,000 NDC supporters in the Northern Region have defected to the NPP.
“We wish to state unequivocally that the story is not only false, fallacious and mischievous but is also a demonstration of shoddy, faulty and irresponsible journalism”, it said.
A statement signed by Mr Richard Quashigah, NDC National Propaganda Secretary, pointed out that the FM radio station reporter who put out the story had admitted that his story was only based on what an executive member of the Northern Region branch of the NPP told him.
In the said news report, the reporter sought to create the impression that the NDC Northern Regional Secretary, Imoro Yussifu Alhassan, justified the reasons for the defection, a move Mr Quashigah pointed out was not true.


RESIDENTS, particularly traders who commute between Garu in the Upper East Region and Nakpanduri in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District of the Northern Region on a daily basis to transact business, still live in fear of the nefarious activities of a gang of armed robbers, led by one Johnson Soloma Kombien.
Kombien, described as a notorious jail-breaker, has been on the police wanted list for some years now.
According to the District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Abdulai Mumuni, who made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic at Bunkpurugu, robbery, particularly the stealing of motorbikes, was rampant.
He explained that although a highway patrol team had been constituted to check the nefarious activities of the gang, they usually escaped before the team got to the scene of robbery.
ASP Mumuni attributed the situation to the inability of residents to volunteer information, for fear that they might be victimised by the armed robbers, particularly Kombien.
The commander further intimated that the “poor nature of roads, coupled with inadequate logistics, make it difficult for us to clamp down on the activities of armed robbers”.
He said investigations show that Kombien had been recruiting the youth in the area for robbery.
ASP Mumuni said the police would soon embark on an exercise to check and impound unregistered motorbikes in the district, as a strategy to end the stealing of motorbikes.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr San Nasamu Asabigi, who is also acting as the District Chief Executive for Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo, expressed concern about the spate of armed robberies in the area and urged the District Security Committee to map out effective strategies to check such criminal activities in the area.
“I have also directed the district assembly to assist the police to ensure effective security in the area” he stressed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


MEMBERS of the Karaga District Assembly have failed to endorse the President’s nominee for the position of a District Chief Executive (DCE).
Sulemana Issah, 48, a teacher got 58 per cent of the votes when he polled 20 out of the 34 votes cast. Thirteen out of the 34 members present did not approve of his nomination, while there was one spoilt ballot paper.
The election, supervised by the Northern Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Mr Sylvester Kanyi, was held under tight security.
A couple of months ago, the President revoked the position of the former Karaga DCE, Alhaji Abdulai Sandow together with two other DCEs, Hajia Mavis Bawa of the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District Assembly and Mahama Walvis of the Yendi Municipal Assembly.
The Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, appealed to members of the house to bury their differences for the accelerated development of the area.
He stressed the need for them to forge ahead in unity, saying divisive tendencies had serious repercussions on the future development of the district.
Mr Mabengba noted that the delay in approving nominees for the position of a DCE had its own problems and hoped the members would confirm the nominee at their next election.
He pointed out that development challenges of the district were enormous including creating a peaceful atmosphere, as well as job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the district.


A former Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Philip Laari, has been unanimously endorsed as the new District Chief Executive for the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District Assembly.
He polled 100 per cent of the votes after all the 37 assembly members voted for him.
The election, supervised by the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Mr Sylvester Kanyi, was held in a peaceful atmosphere as residents resolved to help change the bad image the district had gained in recent times.
A couple of months ago, the President revoked the position of the former DCE, Hajia Mavis Bawa, together with two of her colleagues Alhaji Abdulai Sandow of Karaga and Mahama Walvis of the Yendi Municipality.
The new DCE will be sworn into office next week.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Laari expressed gratitude to President John Evans Atta Mills and the assembly members for the confidence reposed in him and pledged not to disappoint them.
He observed that the district had numerous challenges spanning from unemployment among the youth, land and chieftaincy disputes, as well as inadequate educational facilities.
He, however, noted that those challenges were surmountable and promised to help find lasting solutions to them.
“It is a known fact that ignorance and unemployment often serve as agents for conflict and the assembly’s attention will focus on eliminating these two agents of conflict” Mr Laari further observed.
He explained that the assembly under his administration would encourage the youth and women to form co-operatives to be able to attract some form of assistance to enable them pursue their respective businesses.
The newly elected DCE also mentioned sectors such as road network, school infrastructure, health facilities, potable water, rural electrification, new methods of farming and security as areas that would be given priority under his administration.
“It is time to put our ugly past behind us and to use our share of the national cake for development but not to feed security personnel working to end avoidable conflicts; we can do it because others have done it, even Liberia has done it” he pointed out.
The Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, thanked the people for the peaceful manner in which they elected the new DCE.
He entreated the media to portray the positive issues about the area, saying “this district has been in the news for the wrong reasons and this must change for the accelerated development of the area”.

Monday, September 13, 2010


THE Police at Bunkpurugu in the Northern Region have arrested three suspected armed robbers for snatching two motorbikes, mobile phones and other valuable items from their victims.
Those arrested are Samson Bawa, Duut Jekper and Kombien Kantam.
They are believed to be between the ages of 26 and 30 and are suspected to be members of a gang of robbers trained by a notorious jail-breaker, Johnson Soloma Kombien, and believed to be responsible for most of the robbery incidents in the area.
The acting Northern Regional Crime Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Stephen Tetteh, told the Daily Graphic in Tamale that the victims of the robbery were returning from Sankase in the Upper East Region to Nankpanduri when they were attacked by four men armed with G3 rifles and locally manufactured pistols.
The robbers snatched two motorbikes, Video Compact Disc (VCD) players and mobile phones belonging to the victims.
ASP Tetteh said fortunately the robbers did not take along the remote controls meant for the motorbikes.
He said when the victims got to their destination, they decided to use the remote controls within Nankpanduri to trace the motorbikes.
He said the motorbikes responded to the remote gadgets in Kombien’s room, from where the victims could hear the responses.
He stated that the victims reported the matter to the police but before the team got to the scene, the gang had allegedly taken the motorbikes to another location for hiding.
ASP Tetteh said when the police conducted a search in Kombien’s room they found a locally manufactured gun and a bayonet and subsequently arrested him.
In the evening, he said, upon a tip-off, the police went in search of the remaining two suspects and arrested them. The stolen items were retrieved from them.
Meanwhile, the suspects have been brought to the Tamale office of the Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to assist the police in investigations.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


A FOUR-DAY Annual Girls Education Clinic on the theme, “empowering girls for effective leadership,” has taken place in Tamale in the Northern Region with 113 junior high school (JHS) girls from eight districts of the Northern and Brong Ahafo regions participating.
The programme was aimed, among other things, to increase school survival and achievement rates among girls by offering them the opportunity to develop the virtues of self-confidence and assertiveness through socialisation and interaction with their respective peers.
The girls made a passionate appeal to parents, guardians and traditional authorities to find ways of halting the alarming rate of early marriages among girls in the districts.
They equally stressed the need for stakeholders in the education of girls to draw up effective education campaign programmes to help change the attitudes and mindsets of parents who force their girls into early marriages, preventing them from continuing their education.
The girls, who were from JHSs in the Asunafo South and Tano South districts of the Brong Ahafo region, East Gonja, Kpandai, Sawla-Kalba-Tuna, Gushiegu, Karaga and Bole, made the appeal through the Daily Graphic in Tamale.
The education clinic was organised by Ibis Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with support from the Ghana Education Service (GES).
One of the girls, Mavis Alhassan, 14, who is currently in JHS 1at the Sawla Girls Model School, noted that the issue of forced marriages was rampant in the Sawla-Kalba-Tuna District.
According to her, some girls in the district had dropped out of school because they were allegedly forced into early marriages through no fault of theirs.
“If I am introduced to such forced marriage, I would resist because if I marry at this stage, it is bad and it would ruin my future; infact how can a girl at my age marry an old man”, she questioned.
The Ibis Programme Director of Education, Mr Zakaria Sulemana, stated that “we have countless examples of very brilliant boys and girls who unfortunately had to abandon school because they did not have the necessary skills and attitudes to enable them to fight the bad influences of life”.
The director further indicated that his outfit cherished education of girls because they know an educated woman was an asset to her family, community and to the whole country and that was why they always looked for innovative strategies for making girls go to school and remain there and endeavour to complete the programme.
The Regional Desk Officer for NGOs at the GES, Mr Dramani Dari, noted that it was important for NGOs to support the GES in its girls’ education clinic programme since the GES was constrained by lack of funding.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


A CHARITY organisation, the Right to Dream, in collaboration with Vodafone Ghana has embarked on a tour to identify sports talents among underprivileged children in the Tamale metropolis.
The tour is part of a three-year sponsorship package signed between the two organisations in March this year, with the aim to identify and support up to 20 children between the ages of 11 and 14 to realise their full potentials in soccer and education.
Briefing media practitioners in Tamale, the Media Relations Officer of Vodafone, Mr Gordon Wellu, said the package included the provision of Vodafone souvenirs, media awareness, decoration of football pitches with Vodafone paraphernalia and provision of items such as mobile phones, SIM cards and T-shirts for awards.
According to him, Vodafone shared the same vision with the organisation, hence, his outfit’s decision to support that good course.
The Head of Recruitment of the Academy, Mr Joe Mulberry, said the beneficiary children would be offered opportunities to develop their football talents and offered a five-year education scholarship.
According to Mr Mulberry the academy was established in 1999 and had so far produced 88 children who were pursuing higher education as well as playing their professional football in Europe and the United States of America.
He disclosed that five of the second generation of players were from Tamale, while two players from the Metropolis were among the fourth generation of players trained by the academy.
Mr Mulberry acknowledged that Tamale was very “strong in Ghanaian football and we are pleased with the products from the Metropolis so far”.
As part of the tour, awards were given to both players and teams who excelled following a football match played at one of the training pitches at the Tamale Sports Stadium.
For the under 12,the Republicans and the Young Goldfields were given 200 Ghana cedis cash each for emerging winners at the finals of the competition. Each player of the two teams also took home a Vodafone SIM card, five Ghana cedis worth of credit and Vodafone T-shirt.
The runners-up took home 100 Ghana cedis cash, and each player took home one SIM card, 2 Ghana cedis worth of Vodafone credit and a T-shirt.
The best players for the under 12 and under 14 teams received mobile phones, SIM cards and 5 Ghana cedis worth of credit.


RESIDENTS of Sagnarigu-Dungu, a peri-urban community in the Tamale metropolism say they can no longer bear the negative impact of lack of potable water and sanitation facilities in the area.
The non-availability of the two facilities, according to the residents, is creating serious marital problems, health and economic challenges in the community.
A spokesperson for the area, Mr Dahaman Nayi, told the Daily Graphic for instance, that due to the fact that women walk long distances in the night in search of water at a nearby dam, some of their husbands had been suspecting them of infidelity and engaging in prostitution.
He explained that the situation most often resulted in petty squabbles among married couples and indicated that most men were not comfortable with the situation no matter the explanation the women gave to their respective husbands.
At a forum dubbed “Poverty Hearing”, organised by WaterAid and New Energy, both non-governmental organisations under the End Water Poverty Campaign, Mr Nayi together with some residents, who attended the function, complained about a myriad of problems in the community.
The area has a population of about 2,114 with farming and trading as the predominant occupation of the people.
The women mostly engage in sheabutter production and trading, while the men cultivate rice.
“Every day we quarrel with our wives when they return from fetching water; in fact there is no trust among married couples and this is happening because our wives go for water in the night and they do not come back in time to sleep.”Mr Nayi pointed out.
According to some residents, some of the women because they carry big and heavy basins filled with water on their heads daily, are allegedly contracting a strange disease that seem to be similar to mental illness.
“Our women are usually bitten by snakes when they go to fetch water and this untreated water is affecting the health of our community members” they stressed.
A pregnant woman narrated her harrowing experience, claiming that she walked at least four kilometers everyday to fetch water and had to defecate anywhere she deemed fit because there was no toilet facility in the area.
Some old women in the community also complained of joining the younger women to look for water although they claimed they were too old for that.
“The issue is that, we want pipe borne water since it has been difficult for us to get boreholes that are high-yielding”Mr Nayi further emphasised.
The overall objective of poverty eradication is to empower the communities to advocate improvement in their socio-economic lives.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) report for 2006,open defecation is prevalent in all the ten regions. The report further indicated that while the national average is 24 per cent, the practice is most widespread in the Upper East Region with about 82 per cent of the people without any form of latrine, followed by the Upper West Region with about 79 per cent and the Northern Region 73 per cent.
Although Tamale is a metropolis, it is still vulnerable in terms of adequate potable water supply, particularly to some of the peri-urban communities. During the dry season, most of the water bodies dry up while the already poor underground water level falls, making boreholes and wells to dry up.
The Communications and Campaigns Officer, Madam Janet Dabire, observed that the complaints from residents of the area were “advocacy tools for us which we will use for high level meeting, like the Millennium Development Goal plus 10 Summit in New York this month”.
She said that her outfit and New Energy intended to provide a pipe water system to the community in the near future but stressed that the government and the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly should put the necessary structures in place to facilitate the provision of potable water and sanitation facilities in the community.


SIXTY-FIVE communities in the West Gonja District of the Northern Region have been submerged by floods due to the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso and torrential rains in the region.
No casualty has so far been recorded but 339 houses have been destroyed leading to the displacement of more than 175 people.
Additionally, 6,000 acres of farmland and some livestock have been washed away by the floods.
The West Gonja District Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Madam Habiba Alhassan, expressed shock at the level of destruction caused by the floods after touring the affected areas.
Communities like Mankaragu and Lukula have been completely cut off from the rest of the region and the people now use canoes to reach the nearest health facility at Sandema, which is about five kilometres from the two towns.
During the district co-ordinator’s tour, 11 cattle, nine goats and some guinea fowls were found drowned in the floods and about 2,000 acres of farmland at Mankaragu alone, containing maize, millet groundnut and guinea corn, were washed away.
The situation is very critical in the district, which is usually referred to as “overseas” and surrounded by a lot of streams.
Madam Alhassan took the opportunity to entreat the government, development partners and non-governmental organisations to help normalise the situation by donating relief items to the people.
The West Mamprusi District NADMO Co-ordinator, Mr James Braimah, also had his share of the trouble as Kabori community in his district had also been submerged following the floods but he could not readily disclose the number of people affected and properties destroyed.
According to him, a couple in that community was made homeless as their house collapsed.
Mr Braimah indicated that the couple are currently being housed at the community’s Area Council.
He stated that a number of farm produce that were recently harvested by the people had been washed away by the floods.
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Co-ordinator of NADMO, Alhaji Abdulai Silimboma, accompanied by some officials from his outfit, is currently touring the affected communities in the region.
Last week, two farmers who failed to heed the advice of the NADMO not to visit their farms got drowned in the White Volta when they were returning from their farms in a small boat.

Monday, September 6, 2010


THE Police at Buipe in the Central Gonja District in the Northern Region have mounted a thorough search for 10 suspected armed robbers who allegedly ambushed three vehicles on the Tamale-Buipe highway early yesterday and robbed the passengers after shooting and wounding six of them.
The robbers took away various sums of money from passengers and bolted with the booty.
The Buipe District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Filbert Zubaviel, who confirmed the story, told the Daily Graphic that the victims were currently receiving treatment at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
According to the Commander, the patrol team had just entered Buipe at the time of the robbery when they heard a loud sound like the blast of a vehicle tyre.
He explained that the team decided to check on it and before they could get to the scene, the robbers, sensing danger, fled into a nearby bush.
ASP Zubaviel said the robbers stopped and robbed passengers on board a KIA cargo truck, and two other commercial vehicles, including a bus.
The robbers, the commander noted, fired shots to deflate the tyres of the KIA truck before robbing its passengers.
They also fired into a commercial bus, injuring six passengers on board before robbing them of their monies.
ASP Zubaviel said the victims were first rushed to the Buipe Clinic but there were no medical personnel to attend to them and so the police quickly organised for them to be transferred to the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


THE Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba has charged the Ghana Coalition of non-governmantal organisations (NGOs) engaged in health activities to embark on intensive education campaigns in the region to disabuse the minds of people with negative beliefs that hinder effective health care delivery.
He said efforts should be made to change the mindset of some people in the area who held certain beliefs about the potency of the national immunisation programmes.
Mr Mabengba said this at the 2010 annual general meeting of the coalition in Tamale. It was on the theme: “Tackling childhood immunisation and unsafe abortions —towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals 4&5.”
The participants discussed issues such as district level engagement with the public health sector, abortion law, sustainability of the coalition and strategic plan for 2011 and 2015.
The minister stressed, “I am aware that certain beliefs held about the potency of immunisation of our children is a major setback to our eradication efforts of some childhood diseases such as polio”.
According to him, such a situation posed a serious challenge to all partners in ensuring that the target of achieving the MDG 4 by the year 2015 was guaranteed.
Mr Mabengba entreated the coalition to complement the efforts of the Ghana Health Service to ensure effective health care delivery in the region.
The National Co-ordinator of the coalition, Mr Samuel Boakye, briefed the participants on the activities of the organisation.
He announced that the coalition received financial support from the United Nations AIDS to promote the integration of stigma reduction into member organisations’ HIV and AIDS activities.
According to him, the management of the coalition would ensure that it stayed focus and worked towards achieving its set targets.
The Northern Regional Director of the National Population Council (NPC), Chief Issahaku Amadu, said prevention and management of unsafe abortion included sexuality education at all levels, young people making conscious efforts to abstain from premarital sex or unprotected sex.
“Prevention of unintended pregnancy is far better than engaging in abortion whether safe or unsafe” he stressed.
Chief Amadu observed that women and girls resorted to unsafe abortion to prevent significant persons from detecting the pregnancy, as well as inadequate resources to maintain and effectively manage full term pregnancy.


THE President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Mr Mohammed Nashiru has suggested the setting up of an Agricultural Credit Fund to address the challenges of agribusiness in the country, especially in northern Ghana.
He stated that when the fund was established, it would help address such problems as limited access to reliable and cheap credit facilities, high interest rates on credit facilities, cumbersome procedure on loan acquisition and little attention on financial institutions on credit provision to the agricultural sector, among other challenges.
Mr Nashiru made the suggestion in Tamale at a forum on promoting agribusiness development in Ghana.
The National Agribusiness Development Programme (NADEP) at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness of the University of Ghana, Legon, organised the event in collaboration with the Departments of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics and Extension of the University for Development Studies (UDS).
Mr Nashiru stressed the need for the strengthening of the institutional framework for access to credit for agriculture.
He advocated that the government should avoid being signatories to treaties that adversely affected agriculture.
“Flexible procedure in loan acquisition is critical to agribusiness development; the need to reduce interest rates is equally important,” Mr Nashiru stated.
Touching on other challenges to agribusiness development, he stated that erratic weather patterns and inadequate resourced weather related institutions to predict weather patterns must be effectively addressed.
Mr Nashiru further explained that high illiteracy rate on the part of producers and international treaties that hindered agribusiness growth in Ghana were other challenges hindering the growth of the agribusiness sector.
The Head of the Department of Agribusiness Management and Finance of the UDS, Dr Richard Yeboah, mentioned loan recovery, political interference and the failure of loan applicants to give the right information about their business transactions, had discouraged many financial institutions from giving out loans.
He stated that as a way of addressing such challenges, the institutions had introduced a number of measures like credit with education, more field monitoring of credit facilities and the dependence on more organised groups introduced by non-governmental organisations.