Plane carrying Malawi’s vice president reported missing

An aeroplane carrying Malawian Vice President, Saulos Chilima, has been missing since Monday morning, the office of the president said late Monday.

The Malawian armed forces aircraft with Chilima and nine other people on board, had taken off on a domestic flight in the morning, but then disappeared from radar.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera, subsequently cancelled a planned trip abroad.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Moroccan Crown Prince El Hassan Launches Construction of Seawater Desalination Plant

Moroccan Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan has launched in the Lamharza Essahel Commune under the El Jadida Province, the construction works of the Casablanca seawater desalination plant, the largest plant of its kind in Africa.

The plant will have an annual production capacity of 300 million m3 and a beneficiary population estimated at 7.5 million inhabitants.

This project is in line with the interest and High Solicitude that His Majesty King Mohammed VI attaches to the strategic issue of water, particularly in the current context marked by a significant rainfall deficit and very strong pressure on conventional water resources in the various regions of the Kingdom.

It is an integral part of the ‘Improving water supply’ axis of the National Drinking Water Supply and Irrigation Program 2020-2027, launched in 2020 by His Majesty the King, at a total cost of 143 billion dirhams.

The future plant, which will meet the growing demand for water in Greater Casablanca, the cities of Settat, Berrechid, Bir Jdid and the
surrounding regions, will be built in two phases on a 50-hectare site and will require an overall investment of 6.5 billion dirhams, mobilized through a public-private partnership.

During the first phase, scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2026, the station should reach a capacity of 548,000 m3 of treated water per day (200 million m3 per year), expandable, in a second phase (planned for mid-2028) to 822,000 m3 per day, or an additional 100 million m3 per year, including 50 million for agricultural use.

This major project involves the construction of a reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant and the installation of a system to transport the drinking water produced, comprising three pumping stations, three storage tanks and a distribution network of almost 130 kilometers of supply pipes.

This drinking water transport system will require an investment of 3 billion dirhams financed by public funds.

The latest-generation Casablanca seawater desalination plant will comprise two 1,850-meter-long sea
water intake pipes, a 2,500-meter-long discharge outfall, reverse osmosis desalination facilities (pressure filters and microfilters), a sludge treatment unit, a control and management center and pumping stations, in addition to a storage reservoir for the drinking water produced.

With a drinking water production cost estimated at 4.48 DH/m3, the future plant will be 100% powered by renewable energy and its management will be fully automated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Truck pusher wrongfully detained: Family unable to visit due to distance and poverty’

In September 2023, Njo Ignatius, a truck pusher in Commercial Avenue, Bamenda, North West region, received a call from a friend about a job opportunity as a driver assistant to accompany a Truck driver to Mboppi, a commercial hub in the economic capital, Douala.

‘The original ‘motorboy’ for the cargo had fallen ill, and with an impending lockdown in Bamenda, Ignatius saw this as a chance to earn extra income. They loaded goods at Mboppi main market destined for Bamenda, but en route, they were halted in Bafoussam where military uniforms were discovered in the vehicle. Both were apprehended.’Someone who knows the case narrated to CNA.

CNA learned that Ignatius has been incarcerated since then, with no family members having visited him.

‘His mother, residing in a remote village, cannot travel from Nso to Bafoussam. He also left behind a girlfriend and a four-month-old baby in Bamenda. We urge the media to raise awareness about his situation in the hope of finding assistance.’ the source added.

Source: Came
roon News Agency

Unidentified persons disconnect WRCC, other offices from national grid

Some ‘unscrupulous’ individuals have disconnected the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) and other state offices from the national electricity grid at Sekondi.

The Incident affected power supply to institutions like the Passport Office, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and the St. Paul’s Anglican Church at Sekondi.

It had also left some residents across the sub-metro without power, affecting essential services like hospitals, schools, and offices among others.

Checks by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) revealed that the incident was believed to have been carried out by highly skilled cybercriminals, who stole key transmitter switches from critical infrastructure sites and drained the oil from the two transformer switches.

Mr Awal Boye, Western Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), confirming the incident to the GNA said the unidentifie
d persons vandalised a 200kVA ground-mounted transformer which served the area.

He said the individuals drained the oil from the two transformer switches resulting in the power outage at the WRCC.

He noted that: ‘The incident might be motivated by financial gain, as the theft of critical infrastructure equipment could be sold on the black market, but we have reported to the police and investigations are being carried out.’

Mr Boye advised the public to be vigilant and report any suspected unusual activity around ECG installations to the police or the ECG to avoid such occurrences.

Meanwhile, he urged the residents to remain calm while they worked tirelessly to restore power to the affected areas.

A resident who spoke with the GNA said, ‘This is a major breach of security, and we are taking this matter very seriously. The ECG must work with agencies and cybersecurity experts to investigate the attack and restore power to the affected areas as quickly as possible.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Fidelity Bank grabs two awards at GITTA

Fidelity Bank Ghana, the largest privately-owned Ghanaian bank, received two prestigious awards at the 13th Ghana Information Technology and TelcomAwards (GITTA).

Mr Julian Opuni, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, was recognised as the Financial Inclusion Leader, while the Bank’s innovative WhatsApp Banking Assistant, Kukua, secured the Digital Chatbot Platform of the Year award.

The award for Financial Inclusion Leadership recognises Mr Opuni’s dedication to bringing banking services to the unbanked population in Ghana, a press release issued to the Ghana News Agency, Tuesday, said

Commenting on the award, the Managing Director highlighted Fidelity Bank’s numerous initiatives aimed at expanding financial inclusion.

‘This award is a testament to our relentless pursuit of bringing banking to the unbanked in Ghana,’ he said, and pointed to the Bank’s pioneering Smart Account, launched in 2013.

It requires minimal documentation and facilitates a five-minute account opening process.

He also emphasised the s
uccess of Fidelity Bank’s industry-leading agency banking network, the largest in the country with more than 6,000 active agents.

Mr Opuni again highlighted the Bank’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) digital platform, which had reached over 500,000 individuals, and its digital reactivation programme that empowers remote-area customers to reactivate dormant accounts.

He announced the upcoming launch of a self-service digital loan product designed for the mass market, which further solidifies Fidelity Bank’s commitment to financial inclusion.

The recognition for Fidelity’s innovative WhatsApp Banking Assistant, Kukua, underscored the transformative power of chatbots in enhancing customer service within the financial services industry.

‘We’re delighted to receive this award for Kukua. Since launching in 2020, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in how our customers interact with the bank,’ Mr Opuni stated.

‘Over 200,000 users rely on Kukua as their trusted 24/7 customer care agent, offering them unparallele
d convenience and accessibility.

‘Kukua simplifies everyday banking tasks, allowing customers to open accounts instantly, pay bills, transfer funds between Fidelity accounts, and check current exchange rates, all through the familiar platform of WhatsApp…

‘We are constantly working to expand Kukua’s capabilities, ensuring it remains a valuable and trusted resource for our customers.’

Fidelity Bank’s impressive performance at the GITTA awards on Friday, June 7, adds to their leadership in both financial inclusion and customer service innovation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Heaven Investment Chapel International holds ‘Mega Missions’

Heaven Investment Chapel International (HIC) has held an outreach programme to reach out to the lost souls within the Akatsi South Municipality of the Volta Region.

The week-long event saw activities such as ‘Good-Works Camp’ that was aimed to prepare the missionaries for the task ahead in the various villages, Salvation Walk within the principal streets of Akatsi, free eye screening for the aged, and others.

Senior Servant Prosper Jomens Matsi, the Founder and Leader of the Church, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the event was targeted at bringing the lost souls to Christ for eternal life.

He said the activities which recorded over thousand souls, were characterised by Awarding some individuals for their hard work and excellence, and teaching of some vocational skills such as making soap, liquid soap, and washing powder.

Touching on the word of God to climax all activities at Wlitey-Matsikope, Senior Servant Jomens, urged participants to embrace Jesus in all their dealings.

‘Jesus came to rescue s
inners but not the righteous. Let’s remember that a sinful person must not be condemned because they are that Jesus loves most so they could repent from their sinful ways.’

He charged believers to desist from discriminating among themselves since there was no righteous person on earth.

Senior Servant Matsi also urged all new converts to have faith in their savior Jesus Christ.

Togbe Matsi V, the Chief of Wlitey-Matsikope who witnessed the occasion, commended HIC for the initiative and appealed to individuals and organisations to assist the Akatsi Branch of the Church in completing the ongoing mega chapel building project.

Togbe Matsi also pledged his support in diverse ways to ensure the growth of the Church.

There was a ‘Love Boutique’ for participants who were allowed to pick free items such as clothes, shoes, bags, and others.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Project to promote good nutrition and hygiene practices begins in Bongo

A project aimed at promoting good nutrition and hygiene practices among households in rural communities has begun in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region.

Dubbed, ‘WASH-Nutrition for Health Project’, the initiative is leveraging on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and programme in Healthcare Facilities to empower rural communities to have improved access to nutrition for improved health.

It is aimed at providing universal access to WASH services and empowering rural communities to engage in vegetable production to improve nutrition especially for pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls and children under five years among other vulnerable groups.

The one-year project is being implemented by WaterAid Ghana, a WASH focused organisation with funding support from the Latter-day Saints Charities.

It is being rolled at Adaboya and Atampintin, two farming communities in the Bongo District and it is supporting five women groups in each community.

Ing. Joshua Taiwo Adefila, Pr
oject Lead for the WASH-Nutrition for Health Project, said the project aimed to bridge the nutrition gap among rural communities particular for the vulnerable through strategic inclusive and climate resilient WASH related interventions.

According to Ing. Adefila who is also a Project Officer at WaterAid Ghana, two gardens under the sub-district dubbed, ‘Harvest her Garden’ had been established at the Community based Health Planning Services (CHPS) of the two beneficiary communities.

The aim is to support the vulnerable communities to engage in all year-round vegetable production as part of efforts to improve nutritional security at the household level and serve as a model for future scale up.

He said already, WaterAid had provided a limited solar mechanized water system with storage capacity of 10,000 litres for the Adaboya CHPS which would provide sustainable water for all year gardening.

He added that construction of another limited solar mechanized water system with storage capacity of 10,000 litres fo
r the CHPS and another 10,000 litres for the community was ongoing at the Atampintin community.

Apart from that, he said, the project was also constructing gender and disability friendly water-closet toilet facilities at the Atampintin CHPS to help improve sanitation and hygiene practices at the healthcare facility level.

He added that the project is working with the Bongo District Assembly, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Bongo District and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to ensure sustainability, continuity, and maximum impact.

‘We have also trained the beneficiary communities on agriculture best practices, GHS Nutrition manual and linkages with WASH, Infection Prevention and Control, Hygiene Behavioral Changes, Facility Improvement Tools, as well as support the women groups in creating ready markets for excess produce from the garden.’ he said.

Mr Nicholas Atubiga, Bongo District Crop Officer, who sensitised the women groups on best farming practices as part of the project, said the project was
complementing the efforts of the government in ensuring food and nutritional security.

He charged the beneficiaries to embrace the project to improve their livelihoods and encouraged households to adopt backyard gardening to improve nutrition.

The beneficiaries thanked WaterAid Ghana and its partners for the project and noted that it would not only help to improve nutrition at the household level but would help them engage in income generating activities through the garden project.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GNA story makes impact, as NGO adopts two visually impaired siblings

WENSAH International Foundation, a Sunyani-based Non-Governmental Orgainsation has adopted two visually impaired siblings in the area, pledging to cater for their educational and social needs.

Touched by their predicament, following a Ghana News Agency (GNA) report on the vulnerable children, the Foundation, that commits to promoting sustainable development, fosters culture of compassion, promised to do everything possible for the children to live meaningful lives.

The parents of Gloria Pomaa Peprah, 18 years, and her younger brother Ransford Acheampong Yeboah, eight years, confirmed that their children were not born blind, but lost their sight while growing up.

They said the two had gained admission at the Blind Unit of the Bechem School for the Deaf.

Their elder sister, Sandra Aniniwaa, 25 years, also a visually impaired had completed and pursued vocational training at the Akropong School for the Blind, however, she remained indoors, because of lack of seed capital to start her business.

Mr Isaac Osei
Amponsah, the Chief Executive Officer, WENSAH International Foundation, made the promise when he donated some items and educational materials to the children at their residence at GreenField, near Abesim in the Sunyani Municipality.

The items covered the prospectus of the children and comprised of two student mattresses, tins of milo, detergent, medicated soaps, boxes of milk, sugar, washing powders, sponges and towels, pomades, toothpaste and brushes, buckets, chop boxes, toiletries, books, and pens, among others.

‘Life is extremely unfair if you look at the predicaments of this family. Putting smiles on the faces of vulnerable children like these is what we stand for people.

‘Acheampong told me he wants to be a lawyer and we are determined to ensure that his dreams become a reality,’ Mr Amponsah stated.

Ms Naomi Pomaa, the mother of the three siblings thanked the foundation for the gesture and appealed for more support towards the proper upbringing and development of the children.

‘We have visited seve
ral hospitals and eye clinics; however, their condition keeps worsening,’ she stated. Mrs Pomaa, a petty trader, also appealed to the government and other NGOs, philanthropic individuals, and organisations to come to their aid.

Aniniwaa, the elder sister, also appealed for support, saying she required a ‘container’ shop to begin her business and to assist in the upkeep of the family.

She told the GNA with a start-up capital, she would be able to produce and sell local soap, washing powder, as well as pastries and sachet water.

Source: Ghana News Agency