Let’s invest Covid levy in HIV/Malaria/TB ‘fight’ – Cecilia Senoo

Madam Cecilia Senoo, the Executive Director, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a health focus non governmental organisation, has urged the Government to invest covid levy in HIV and TB campaign.

She said having declared officially that COVID-19 pandemic had ended in the country, it was only prudent that the levy was converted as domestic resources to end HIV, malaria and TB.

Madam Senoo said this at a day’s sensitisation for media practitioners on reporting on TB.

She said HIV, malaria and TB killed more than five million people a year globally and said ‘once Covid-19 is no more, let’s use these monies to save lives’.

Madam Senoo said for instance In 2021, incidence of tuberculosis for Ghana was 136 cases per 100,000 people and that it was time the country supported co-financing of the Global Fund and GAVI grants to ensure sustainability and ownership of their programmes.

Edward W. Scott, Jr., founder and Chairman of Friends of the Global Fight, which provides support, with the assistance of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for The Global Fund to Fight for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in an article, said progress in fighting those diseases had been facilitated by the dramatic increase in resources provided by international donors, including the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Madam Senoo said domestic funding of the campaign against the three diseases could strengthen the health system and build community systems to help find cases for treatment.

Dr Yaw Adusi-Poku, Programme Manager, National TB Control Programme, said two people died every hour from TB globally and advocated the use of town health committees to stop TB in Ghana.

Chief Austin Arinze Oblefuna, Vice Chair, Stop TB Partnership Board, said: ‘The pandemic we have now is TB. Covid is gone. Instead of preparing for any future pandemic, let’s deal with what we have now.’

The participants were taken through reporting on TB.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Desist from giving tips for public services, employment – Immigration Commander

Nii Ofoli Wilson, Municipal Immigration Commander, Ashaiman, has advised the public to desist from giving tips to access public services such as obtaining driver’s licenses, birth certificates, and passports.

Mr. Wilson was speaking at a community education forum in Ashaiman, organised by Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) to sensitize and inform residents of channels to report corrupt activities.

He indicated that the practice, which was coined to mean ‘protocol’ on many occasions, did not render the service for which the tipping or bribery was paid.

Mr. Wilson revealed that aside from tips and bribery, people also used their family or social contacts to skip lines or gain quicker and better access to schools and hospitals.

The Immigration Commander associated the bad act with the attitudes of some Ghanaians who willingly gave out money without request when seeking public service, with intentions to strengthen social bonds and in conjunction with advantageous service.

‘People should not encourage the practice so that it becomes normalized because everyone has an equal opportunity to be served. But in the minds of some, tipping is something that implies better service, which is very wrong.

‘There’s no reason to pay your way through if indeed you’re qualified for any position or service,’ he added.

Mr. Wilson said that as part of the solution to do away with the canker, the public must exercise patience and follow the due process even when the service providers deliberately delay them, which he indicated was better than trying to cut corners and having problems later.

He advised the public to avoid falling into traps where attitudes and beliefs about tipping lead to better service.

Mr. Wilson said it was important on the part of public institutions to have clear rules about the modalities of seeking services.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Abosso Goldfields Limited recycles nearly 777.3 tonnes of plastics

Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL) over the past five years have generated about 777.3 tonnes of recyclable plastics for processing.

The plastic waste was taken off the firm’s site by a contractor who processed same into plastic pellets for sale to plastic manufacturing companies in Accra.

Madam Sandra Essel, Senior Environment Officer, revealed this during the commemoration of this year’s World Environment Day (WED), with schools in its operational area.

‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ was the theme for this year’s celebration.

She said the initiative by the AGL has helped to cut down the amount of plastic waste transported to landfill sites, adding, the company hoped to increase the figure as they continued to improve on their waste management practices and pursue innovative ways of beating plastic pollution.

She emphasized that the AGL as a company was contributing to the fight by ensuring that its plastic waste generated on site was segregated, stored appropriately, and recycled.

Madam Essel further said even though the journey to beating plastic pollution was an arduous one, AGL would continue to show relentless efforts in educating and creating awareness on the need to manage plastic wastes and employ stern ways of waste management practices based on reduction, reuse and recycle.

The Senior Environment Officer stressed that: ‘The fight against plastic pollution requires an all-hands-on deck approach to reach desirable results. We only have one earth; let us protect it by beating plastic pollution.’

This year’s WED focuses on solutions to plastic pollution. It is also intended to display how countries, businesses and individuals are learning to use plastics more sustainably, offering hope that one day, plastic pollution will be history.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Coastal communities risk tidal invasion due to sand winning – EPA warns

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has cautioned that many coastal communities in the Central Region risked being washed away by sea waves due to increasing sand winning activities usually carried out at night with impunity.

It indicated that although the menace had persisted for many years, the trend in recent times was scary and posed a threat to coastal inhabitants and monumental structures.

‘The beautiful beachfront with undulating sandbars and sandy beaches on which many communities sit are fast vanishing as a result of sand winning among others,’ Mr. Shine Fiagome, the Central Regional Director of the Agency, said in an interview with the GNA.

Researchers have warned that coastal communities risk tidal invasions as the global coastline loses an average of 1.5 metres annually, he told the Ghana News Agency.

This was on the sidelines of a clean-up exercises held in Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipality to mark the World Environment Day celebration.

The Day, celebrated annually, was observed on the theme: ‘Solution to plastic solution’, with the campaign slogan: #BeatPlasticPollution, ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.

Supported by the Municipal Assembly, Hotels Association and Zoomlion Ghana, the team cleared the beaches and roadsides of weeds and desilted choked gutters, among others.

The celebration served as a reminder that people’s action on plastic matters, as the material was slowly seeping into the oceans, soil, and forest and causing irreparable damage.

Mr. Fiagome said despite the importance of the sea to tourism development, fishing and marine resources were being desecrated with open defecation, sand winning and plastic waste.

According to him, more than 400 million tons of plastics were produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications, with at least 14 million tons of plastic ending up in the ocean.

He also decried the practice where people took things for granted and treated water bodies anyhow as marine species ingested or were entangled by plastic debris, which caused severe injuries and death.

That, Fiagome said, threatened food safety and quality of human health, coastal tourism, and contributed to climate change.

Therefore, he rallied the unalloyed support of coastal communities to rid the beaches of all environmental breaches to serve their meaningful purposes.

The protection of the ocean, he said, must be seen as a collective responsibility by all but not limited to institutions as it remained an important resource for nation building.

Mr. Alvin Mensah Robertson, the Municipal Environmental Officer, called on Ghanaians to observe environmental cleanliness to enable them to stay healthy.

He noted that the attitude of some people throwing garbage into gutters and defecating in open places did not augur well for the environment and must be stopped.

Nana Kwamina Eku IV, the Chief of Mbofra Nkyinim, a suburb of Elmina, who participated in the exercise, pledged to collaborate with stakeholders to ride the coastal stretch of insanitary conditions.

He, however, appealed for refuse containers to be placed at vantage locations to stop people from indiscriminate waste disposable.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Atiwa West NCCE promotes civic responsibility in schools

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) office in the Atiwa West District has visited over 30 public schools to educate students and teachers on responsible citizenship.

The visit was part of activities of the NCCE to mark this year’s citizenship week celebration, which seeks to promote national development and cohesion.

Among the schools visited were A.M.E. Zion JHS, Presbyterian JHS, Methodist JHS, Roman Catholic JHS, Anglican JHS, Islamic JHS, Blue Star JHS, and Advent JHS.

During the visit, Mr. Joseph Owusu Koranteng, Atiwa West District Director of NCCE, spoke on the theme: ‘Thirty Years of Consolidating Constitutional Democracy and Building National Cohesion: The Role of the Youth.’

He narrated the history of the First to Fourth Republics and enumerated what led to the longevity and sustainability of the Fourth Republic.

He encouraged the pupils to be bold and report crimes to authorities at home and at school whenever they come across suspicious people or people who were engaging in unlawful activities.

He mentioned some things that the youth could do to protect Ghana’s democracy and ensure its sustainability, as well as advised schoolchildren to study hard to fulfil their dreams in life.

Police Superintendent Harold Yamoah of the Kwabeng District Police Office, who served as a resource person, also encouraged students to be responsible young citizens.

He advised them to desist from illegal mining (Galamsey) while urging them to uphold national values such as patriotism, honesty, discipline, hard work, respect, and tolerance for peaceful cohesion.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Organized Labour must protect interest of both workers and investors – Tema Workers

Scores of workers in Tema have called on the Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) to work in the interest of both workers and investors, saying that ‘without investors, there will not be any workforce for labour unions to protect their interests.’

Some of the workers in Tema expressed concern about the recent impasse between the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union and TUC and the management of Sunon Asogli Power Plant.

The Workers told the Ghana News Agency that the protracted differences between the TUC and management of Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited was unhealthy for both workers and investors and that ‘the formation of a union should not create a landmine at Sunon Asogli.’

‘Workers need a conducive environment to work, while investors also demand the same, as well as protection and security of their investment,’ Dr. William Mensah Ansah, an industrialist, told the GNA in an interview.

Dr. Ansah called on the TUC to adopt mediation instead of the antagonistic fighting strategy.

He described the attack on the management of Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited by Dr. Yaw Baah, TUC General Secretary, on the May Day commemoration and at the ongoing 11th International Labour Organization Annual Conference in Geneva as very unfortunate.

He said ironically that the ILO conference sought to address a wide range of issues, including a just transition towards sustainable and inclusive economies, quality apprenticeships, and labour protection; unfortunately, ‘our TUC used the occasion to attack a local company.’

Dr. Ansah noted that such pronouncements on international platforms would send wrong signals to the investor community about the antagonistic posture of Organized Labour against investors.

‘We are not protecting and endorsing bad labour practices by management, but we must be fair and sincere in the protection of workers without killing the chicken that produces the golden eggs,’ he said.

Ms. Juliet Okai, a banking consultant, also told the GNA that labour and management must coexist through peaceful means, stressing that modern labour engagement must ensure the relationship between workers, employing entities, trade unions, and the government.

Ms. Okai stressed the need for a strong relationship between labour unions, the government, and investors for a harmonious business environment, adding this is the ‘way to attract investors who we need to grow the economy for the future; labour cannot scare investors away through constant agitation against private companies.’

Ms. Ramatu Ayisha, a communication consultant, expressed concern about the posture of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (TUC), which had resulted in protracted hostilities with the management of Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited.

She said the wilful interferences, threats, and intimidating tactics adopted by the Ghana Mineworkers Union to force management at Sunon Asogli Power to accept the formation of the union were unfortunate.

‘The union cannot adopt intimidation as a means to force management to follow a process. We must engage through cordial means, not one party holding a gun to the head of the other,’ Ms. Ayisha stated.

The Tema Based Communication Consult reminded management and unions that whatever action ‘we embarked on collectively or individually, we must look at the general impact on the investor community, the Ghanaian workers’ interest, and the general work atmosphere in the country.’

Other workers also appealed to the Ghana Mineworkers Union, the Ghana Trade Union Congress, and the workers and management of Sunon Asogli to back out of their entrenched positions in the best interest of the country and the workers of Sunon Asogli.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Green Ghana Day: Johnnie Walker plants over 1,200 trees to support restoration of depleted Chipa Forest

Ms Sylvia Owusu-Ankomah, Corporate Relations Director for Guinness Ghana, has urged Ghanaians to be deliberate in tackling issues of climate change to reduce its impact on human life.

She said climate change was not a fuzz, and that it required deliberate efforts to address it.

Ms Owusu-Ankomah said this during a tree planting exercise organised by Guinness Ghana Brewery under its Johnnie Walker brand at Chipa Forest in Agomeda in the Greater Accra Region.

More than 1,200 trees, including Mahogany, Acacia and Rain Trees, were planted by the management members and staff of the Company to support the restoration of the depleted Chipa Forest Reserve.

The forest, located at Agomeda in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, has been depleted due to human activities over the years.

Ms Owusu-Ankomah said over the years, the Company had initiated a number of projects with the aim of protecting the environment and ensuring its sustainability.

She said in 2020, the Company launched what it called the ‘Spirit of Progress Society 2030,’ with the core objective of ensuring a sustainable planet for all.

Ms Owusu-Ankomah said embarking on the tree planting exercise, therefore, formed part of the Company’s effort to protect the environment and ensure its sustainable.

‘As an organisation, Guinness Ghana is focusing on ensuring that we have a business that is thriving, but more importantly, that our consumers, our customers and the communities in which we operate in are equally thriving,’ she added.

She also indicated that the team had put in place a plan to ensure that the exercise was annual.

‘It’s not a one off activity but also something that we will amplify within our organisation, to our partners, to our suppliers and all the people we work with to ensure that we continue doing this,’ she said.

The Government, in 2021, launched the Green Ghana Day project under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource and the Forestry Commission, as part of efforts to restore the country’s depleted forest reserves.

More than 25 million trees have been planted since, with 10 million more expected to be planted this year.

The theme for this year Green Ghana Day was: ‘Our Forests, Our Health’.

Ms Estella Muzito, Marketing and Innovation Director, Guinness Ghana Brewery, said conservation and sustainability were at the heart of everything the brand undertook.

As a result, she said, protection of forest reserves and the sustainability of the environment, remained important to the Company.

Last year, she said, the Company made a decision globally to start reducing some of its packaging with boxes, which were products of trees.

This forms part of the company’s ‘Step Out of the Box’ initiative.

‘You know very well that the boxes that we package some of our brands have to come from trees and we felt that, one of the first steps to really reducing our carbon footprint was to start rethinking our packaging.

‘And so, if you buy our product now, in a carton, it is without that outer box,’ Ms Muzito added.

Mr Kwame Agyei, Manager, Plantations Department, Forest Services Division, Forestry Commission, said one major causes of depletion of the Chipa Forest Reserve was wild fire, especially during the dry season.

He said to minimise that and ensure protection of the seedlings, the Commission had put in place a regular monitoring team.

He entreated Ghanaians to assist in the protection and care for the trees planted and the forests as a whole to ensure the realisation of the Green Ghana agenda.

Johnnie Walker is a Scotch Whisky brand (IWSR 2020) enjoyed in over 180 countries around the world.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Afrobeats sensation Cobbi Kay drops ‘Aboki Pandemic’ single

Ghanaian-born, Canada-based Afrobeats sensation Cobbi Kay has released his highly anticipated ‘Aboki Pandemic’ single.

The song has gained social media traction after a snippet was dropped a few weeks ago.

With its pulsating rhythm, infectious melodies, and fusion of a diverse range of sounds, the track is danceable and would thrill Afrobeats music lovers.

With inspiration from all over the continent, ‘Aboki Pandemic’ seamlessly blends traditional and contemporary musical elements to create a captivating sonic experience.

Not only does the lyrics of the song celebrate the joy of movement, but at its heart lies a unique baseline that drives the rhythm and sets the dance floor ablaze.

This distinctive groove, combined with the lively energy of the song, compels listeners to unleash their inner dancer and join in on the infectious new dance craze.

Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or someone who simply enjoys moving to the rhythm, ‘Aboki Pandemic’ is a song that will captivate your senses and ignite your desire to groove, and Cobbi, who is signed to the W1 label, demonstrated his vocal prowess on this song.

Source: Ghana News Agency