GNPC Foundation commissions Home Economics Block for Krobo Girls Presby SHS

Accra, The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has built and commissioned a seven-unit Home Economics Block for the Krobo Girls Presbyterian Senior High School (SHS).

The components of the Block include practical rooms, storerooms and washrooms.

Mr Freddy Blay, Board Chairman, GNPC, said the facility was one of the projects undertaken by GNPC to complement Government’s efforts in education.

He said the whole country must benefit from its natural resources such as oil, saying the Government had resolved that all communities in the country would benefit.

‘We are making more efforts to increase infrastructure, increase the roads and do everything that will help make life easier,’ the Board Chairman stated.

He said the school’s appeal for furniture would be duly considered ‘as soon as possible’.

Mr Blay advised the students to study and aim high for their future as well as to be positive influence on themselves.

‘It is what you learn and put your hands practically on that will help you in the future,’ he said.

Dr Dominic Kwesi Eduah, Executive Director, GNPC Foundation, said the Foundation was established to impact lives and its operations were driven by three thematic areas; Education and Training,Environment and Social Amenities, and Economic Empowerment.

He said since its inception, it had supported about 6,000 students with full scholarships to tertiary and would support another 1,500 students again in 2023.

The Executive Director said the Foundation was operating in all the 16 regions and had provided social amenities such as boreholes, markets and classroom blocks in some regions.

‘We are evenly and fairly distributing the oil proceeds.’ Dr Eduah stated.

Mrs Bernice Noel Mensah-Akutteh, Headmistress, Krobo Girls SHS, acknowledged that the new Home Economics Block was a huge relief to the school.

She said previously it was difficult for the Department to undertake practical lessons as their population increased.

Mrs Mensah-Akutteh expressed gratitude to the Foundation for the kind gesture and assured that the facility would be maintained

Mr Samuel Kwesi Tetteh, Municipal Director, Ghana Education Service (GES), commended the Foundation, adding that the facility would enhance effective teaching and learning performance.

The GNPC Foundation is the Corporate Social Investment arm of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation dedicated to impacting on the lives of people and communities through community and social intervention programmes.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Boat disasters: Let’s use fibreglass

Accra, Mr Benedict Lamptey, Managing Director, Fiberglass Ghana, has described fibreglass boats as the best technology to address incidents of boat disasters in the country.

He said with the advent of climate change where water bodies had become more turbulent for fishing and safe transport systems, what Ghana needed was fibreglass boats.

Yesterday, Saturday May 27, a boat disaster on the Black Volta in the Savannah Region killed one person, with about five others missing.

In March this year, five out of 100 persons were reported to have died after their dugout boat capsized while travelling from Azizanya to attend a funeral at Azizakpe in the Ada East District of the Greater Accra Region.

At Faana Bortianor, in the Greater Accra region, nine children died after the boat in, which they were being ferried capsized earlier in the year.

Mr Lamptey, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), bemoaned the use of dugout canoes for fishing and transportation, which he said was accounting for the rising cases of boat disasters along the Volta Lake and in coastal areas in the Eastern and Northern regions.

He explained that the wood materials used in constructing the dugout canoes had weaker composition when in contact with water.

Mr Lamptey said also, the rising temperature levels due to climate change caused the wood to rot within a short time resulting in imbalances in movements of the boats causing accidents.

He said through the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, Fibreglass Ghana had built 20 fishing boats for use along the coastal belts, with none involved in such accidents so far.

Also, with support from some philanthropists, Fibreglass Ghana had constructed boats for some communities in the Northern and Volta regions along the Volta Lake, promoting safer water transport, Mr Lamptey said.

He said apart from averting deadly boat accidents, phasing out dugout boats would protect the environment because their raw material was timber.

Captain Retired Kwame Osei, Chief Engineer of Fibre Glass Ghana, said: ‘It is sad to note that for decades now, no year had passed without one disaster or another occurring in communities along the Volta Lake like Dambai, Abotoase, Kpedzi, Tsevi and Agyatakope. ‘

He attributed the situation to structural design of dugout canoes, which he said had shortfalls in the construction of body parts covering the keel, hull, and beams of such boats affecting their buoyancy and stability, making them capsize easily when the weather was challenging.

He said locally constructed canoes and water boats by Fibre Glass Ghana had undergone vigorous trials under rough weather conditions on the Volta Lake and the sea without their stability and robustness affected.

There was also no case of collision with objects in water bodies.

Captain Rtd. Osei said Fibreglass Ghana with support from Professor Anthony Kwame Ardiabah of Final Vision Technology in Canada, had developed a local tracking system comprising a quantum server with the capacity to track and monitor all maritime activities of canoes at sea, lakes and rivers operating in the maritime and inland water space.

He said the tracker was a relevant technology for the marine industry to determine weather patterns as a warning sign and also security system to identify vessels and their contents within Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for prior information, especially fishing trawlers that operated illegally closer to the EEZ within Ghana’s territorial zone.

Sing Lana Naa Sheri II, Chief of Sing in the Kumbungu District of Northern Region, who got a fibreglass boat for his community, said: ‘ Since we started using the fiberglass boats in September last year, these boats have been the safest means of transporting people in our area, especially when the Kumbungu Dam is opened, because they are very solid and stable without any records of disaster so far.’

He appealed to central and local governments, traditional rulers and philanthropists to help address the issue of perennial boat disasters by procuring fibreglass boats for communities in coastal areas.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2020 reports that flooding events, rainfall, and sea erosion will continue to increase in magnitude, frequency, durations and severity in Ghana and sub Saharan Africa in the 21st century due to climate change.

The systematic warming of the planet is directly causing global mean sea level along countries around the Atlantic Ocean, making water bodies more turbulent with rising temperature levels, the IPCC says.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana should improve Obstetric Fistula repair capabilities

Accra, Dr Charles Abani, the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator to Ghana, has called for the upgrading of the capacities of health facilities to do obstetric fistula repairs in the county.

He said there was also the need to scale up specialist surgeons, resource health facilities in areas where the condition was prevalent and improve monitoring to ensure effective identification and treatment.

The UN representative made the call at a commemorative event organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to mark the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula in Accra.

The Day, which is commemorated annually on May 23 to throw more light on Obstetric Fistula was on the theme: ’20 Years on – Progress but not Enough! Act Now to End Fistula by 2030.’

Obstetric Fistula (OBF) is a medical condition in which a hole develops between the vagina, rectum, and bladder as a result of prolonged delivery.

A total of 50, 000 to 100, 000 women suffer from the condition globally.

Research indicates that approximately 1,300 new cases of OBF occur in Ghana every year occurring in 1.6 and 1.8 per 1000 births.

Dr Abani said despite the progress made thus far in the fight to end OBF, there were lingering challenges that bedeviled the progress made.

The lingering challenges were the lack of recent data on OBF since the last research was conducted in 2015; the deficient number of facilities and specialists to conduct repair surgeries.

He said Ghana repaired between 50- 100 cases a year as against the 1,300 cases, an indication that a huge gap was left for more OBF repairs annually.

He said to expand the capacities of health facilities there was the need to strengthen partnerships among all stakeholders, mobilise to support interventions, repairs and prevention, investment in research, and social and economic integration of women and girls affected by obstetric fistula.

Ms Ingrid Mollestad, the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, speaking on the devastation the condition brings to sufferers, said more could be achieved through strengthened health systems and intensified efforts to encourage more women to seek treatment.

She called for partnerships to take stock and the urgent need to end OBF by 2030.

Dr Wilfred Ochan, the UNFPA Representative, commended the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ministry of Health, and the Norwegian Embassy for their support in making the 2023 edition of the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula a success.

He called for deeper partnerships to invest more in preventing, treating, repairing, and supporting integration survivors of OBF in Ghana.

”I wish to extend heartfelt gratitude to the Norwegian Ambassador, and I acknowledge the leadership of Ghana Health Service, and the Ministry of Health I thank all our partners for their commitment and support and all the organisations who have been working tirelessly in the field of obstetric fistula in Ghana.”

Dr Kofi Issah, the Director of the Family Health Division GHS, during a panel discussion, appealed to religious bodies to desist from attempting to ” heal” women who are suffering from the condition as treatment could only be achieved through medical processes.

He also appealed to the media to improve sensitization and awareness about obstetric fistula on all of their platforms.

Mrs Matilda Asante Asiedu, Group Head, Retail Banking, Access Bank, speaking on the support her firm had assisted persons with the condition so far, called for a national campaign to create the needed awareness on OBF.

The event was graced by dignitaries, health professionals, survivors of OBF, and a person living with the condition yet to undergo repair surgery. They shared their experiences.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ecowas Court Former Chief Registrar calls for redesign of Decisions Enforcement Mechanism to improve compliance

Accra, A former Chief Registrar of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, Mr. Tony Anene-Maidoh, has identified the non-involvement of the region’s political authorities in the enforcement mechanism of the judgments of the Court as a lacuna that requires a ‘redesign’ of the mechanism.

Records at the court showed that about 106 judgments agaisnt Member States have not been enforced with another 11 outstanding against the ECOWAS Commission and Community institutions.

Describing the current enforcement mechanism as ‘rudimentary’ and inconsistent with international best practice, the former official said in a paper at the 2023 international conference of the Court in Banjul said the mechanism needed to be ‘re-designed’ to align it with international best practice, ‘taking into account, the perceived shortcomings of Article 24 of the 2005 Supplementary Act on the Court relating to the enforcement of its decisions.’

The purpose of such a design, he said, is ‘to give ECOWAS political authorities, like the Council of Ministers and the Authority of Heads of State and Government and the Court a role in monitoring and supervising the implementation of its judgments.’

He suggested that the 2012 Supplementary Act on Sanctions?should be amended to include a provision empowering the Court not only to set time limits for compliance?with its judgments but prescribe the details of the judicial sanctions for non-compliance in the form of day to day or lump sum monetary penalty.

He also added successful parties in actions before the Court should be empowered to trigger the sanctions mechanism.

In the 41-paged presentation titled ‘An appraisal of the judgment enforcement mechanism of the ECOWAS Court of Justice,’ the retired official proposed 11 other measures for improving on the level of enforcement, including the domestication of the Revised Treaty, Protocols and other regional texts and their incorporation into the domestic laws?of Member States in accordance with Article 5(2) of the Revised Treaty,

Moreover, Member States should enact the implementing legislation for the enforcement of the Court’s decisions to enable national courts recognize and enforce such judgments in addition to assigning the ECOWAS Commission a role in the enforcement mechanism while a committee of Ministers should be constituted to monitor and supervise the enforcement.

He added: ‘The Court should be empowered to send its own annual report to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and /or the Authority of Heads of State and Government on the status of compliance with its judgments by Member States like in the African Human Rights system and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights enforcement mechanism.’?

He told the 150 participants, comprising jurists, academics and legal practitioners that the revised mechanism should provide that upon delivery of a judgment by the Court, a copy should be sent to the President of the ECOWAS Commission and Member States notifying them of the decision in order to ensure that steps are taken towards its enforcement.

Mr Anene-Maidoh, who retired effectively from the Court on 30th September 2022 after about 18 years’ service as its Chief Registrar, suggested the creation of a dedicated unit in the ECOWAS Commission, with the mandate to follow up, investigate and verify compliance in collaboration with the relevant unit of the Court responsible for appeals, arbitration and enforcement.

The four-day 2023 international conference of the Court was held on the theme ECOWAS Zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government.

Source: Ghana News Agency

WR Health Directorate receives help for emergency responses

Elubo (WR), The Western Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service has received four health facilities to the Port Health Unit at Elubo Point of Entry to augment emergency response management in the country.

The facilities donated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are made up of, a six-seater WASH facility, an ambulance and an isolation and quarantine unit and mobile laboratory.

Dr Gifty Amugi, the Deputy Director of Public Health, Western Region described disease outbreaks as an albatross around the necks globally and stressed the need for effective emergency preparedness and response packages.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic among other new and emerging emergencies had revealed the need to prioritize such health needs.

Dr Amugi noted that the Western Region had the second largest ground crossing in the country, which is Elubo, a domestic Airport and the second largest harbour in Ghana.

She expressed gratitude to the donors for the facilities and added that the goal of the Regional Health Directorate was to build a resilient emergency preparedness and response system.

Dr Amugi commended the Port Health Unit at the Elubo border and the entire Elubo community for their hard work and commitment to protect the borders of Ghana.

The Deputy Director pledged the Service’s commitment to operationalize the facilities and sustain efficient utilization for maximum benefit.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Jomoro, Ms Iris Arde , underscored how helpful the facilities would be in responding to public health threats and other emergencies.

Dr Lawrence Lartey, the Port Health Coordinator of the Ghana Health Service said the entry points across the country served as policing points to control influx of infectious diseases in and out of the country as per International Health Regulations.

He lauded the significant contributions of health partners to improve upon the health care system in the country.

Mr Tetsnya Imaoko, the Officer for Economic Cooperation at the Embassy of Japan said he was gladdened by the enormous support by JICA in the area of health across the West African space.

That, he said, was a huge step in disease control to achieve human security in the health sector.

He said it was only through quality health systems that human movement and trade could be maximized.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Sanaga Maritime: Creeping electric cable electrocutes man to death

A man called Mbe Jean Claude Fils was electrocuted to death on May 26, 2023, in Malimba in Edea II, Sanaga Maritime Division of the Littoral region.

He reportedly stepped on an electric cable abandoned on the ground following a fallen electric pole.

Locals were gripped by shock when they learned of the incident.

“He was passing around the creeping electric cable with a plate. He got electrocuted and died on the spot,” a local narrated.

According to information, before the incident occurred, they had repeatedly informed Eneo officials of the fallen electric pole but they took no action.

“I can’t count the number of times we complained to the powers that be about the fallen electric pole and creeping cables. They ignored our complaints and today this regrettable incident has happened. I don’t know how to qualify this,” another local said.

The Malimba locals say the situation is more regrettable since naked and life cables are lying on the ground in several quarters of Malimba village.

” People live in a death trap. Even administrative authorities see this and are doing nothing. How many people do they want to see, die of electrocution before intervention?” Asked a local.

Saddened by the death of the man, the population of Malimba, again, sent a distress call to Eneo officials in the area for quick action and replacement of the decayed poles.

Source: Cameroon News Agency