Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kumasi business district deserted, ahead of the official declaration of the election results

Brisk business at the central business district of Adum in the Kumasi metropolis on Tuesday came to an abrupt end in the afternoon ahead of the official declaration of results of the presidential run off by the Electoral Commission.
Traders and shoppers started deserting the business district at midday and by 4pm; almost all shops in the area had been closed.
This followed tensions which had characterised the declaration of the election results following projections on some radio stations that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had won the elections, which was later disputed by the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Some traders told the Daily Graphic that they had information that shop owners in Accra had closed their shops so they decided to do likewise.
Others said they feared for their lives since they were not sure of the outcome of the results and its subsequent reactions by supporters of the political parties, hence they decided to close their shops and go home.By 4pm when the Daily Graphic toured the business district, there were only snippets of traders hanging around.
Many people were spotted rushing to the various lorry stations to board vehicles to their homes.
Workers of the central business district traffic management project responsible for the issuance of tickets for the paid parking system had all closed from work and were going home.
Some of them who spoke to the Daily Graphic said that since everybody was deserting the business district, they also decided to close work and go home, fearing for their lives.
Hitherto, business in the area boosted even on Christmas Day, December 25, Boxing Day December 26 as well as on Election Day on December 28.

Ashanti Results

NPP 51,216
NDC 17,731
valid 68,947
rejected 227
total 69,174

NPP 50,502
NDC 11,796
valid 62,298
rejected 435
total 62,733

NPP 31,171
NDC 5,996
valid 37,167
rejected 183
total 37,350

NPP 25,214
NDC 15,391
valid 40,605
rejected 457
total 41,062

NPP 15,794
NDC 5,019
valid 20,813
rejected 215
total 21,028

NPP 40,788
NDC 9,641
valid 50,429
rejected 423
total 50,852

NPP 32,618
NDC 8,854
valid 41,472
rejected 218
total 41,690

NPP 26,896
NDC 3,613
valid 30,509
rejected 330
total 30,839

NPP 46,757
NDC 7,783
valid 54,540
rejected 539
total 55,079

NPP 44,586
NDC 14,824
valid 59,410
rejected 385
total 59,795

NPP 17,810
NDC 4,044
valid 21,854
rejected 178
total 22,032

NPP 43,539
NDC 5,862
valid 49,401
rejected 233
total 49,634

NPP 21,424
NDC 7,551
valid 28,975
rejected 410
total 29,385

NPP 52,019
NDC 26,243
valid 78,262
rejected 359
total 78,621

NPP 17,460
NDC 14,836
valid 32,296
rejected 259
total 32,555

NPP 9,635
NDC 5,354
valid 14,987
rejected 156
total 15,145

NPP 18,224
NDC 21,692
valid 39,916
rejected 344
total 40,260

NPP 31,105
NDC 7,181
valid 38,286
rejected 245
total 38,531

NPP 39,147
NDC 6,564
valid 45,711
rejected 261
total 45,972

NPP 10,644
NDC 16,775
valid 27,419
rejected 355
total 27,774

NPP 28,455
NDC 13,911
valid 42,366
rejected 346
total 42,712

NPP 63,272
NDC 16,514
valid 79,786
rejected 411
total 80,197

NPP 47,662
NDC 13,971
valid 61,633
rejected 264
total 61,897

NPP 45,866
NDC 25,212
valid 71,078
rejected 348
total 71,426

NPP 28,441
NDC 38,357
valid 66,798
rejected 334
total 67,132

NPP 62,110
NDC 8,876
valid 70,986
rejected 344
total 71,330

NPP 29,538
NDC 12,266
valid 41,804
rejected 385
total 42,189

NPP 17,431
NDC 11,805
rejected 548
total 29784

NPP 65187
NDC 13535
valid 78722
rejected 417
total 79139

NPP 23,400
NDC 7540
valid 30,904
rejected 278
total 31,192

NPP 20,377
NDC 5115
valid 25,492
rejected 206
total 25,698

NPP 54,545
NDC 11,861
valid 66,406
rejected 161
total 66,567

NPP 56,227
NDC 8,532
valid 64,759
rejected 169
total 64,928

NPP 14,670
NDC 10,634
valid 25,304
rejected 356
total 25,660

NPP 13,583
NDC 3,996
valid 17,579
rejected 185
total 17,764

NPP 30,960
NDC 17,086
valid 48,046
rejected 468
total 48,514

NPP 95,281
NDC 20,210
valid 115,491
rejected 319
total 115,882

NPP 47,476
NDC 13,416
valid 60,892
rejected 198
total 61,090

NPP 67,790
NDC 10,368
valid 78,158
rejected 238
total 78,396

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Presidential Run off

Voting in the Ashanti region got off to a peaceful start on Sunday with long winding queues seen at many polling stations for the second round of presidential elections when the polls opened in the morning.
However by midday, the police had arrested a total of 15 people for various electoral offences including malpractice, impersonation, violence, creation of confusion and preventing some eligible voters from casting their ballot.
A 72-year old man whose name was only given as Asare was arrested for allegedly placing a material on a stamp pad at one of the polling stations at Atimatim in the Kwabre West constituency.
The act was detected by one voter who saw that a material had been placed on the stamp pad which caused thumb prints on the ballot paper to appear faint.
As soon as the act was detected, many voters came to complain that they realised that their thumbprints were faint on the ballot papers even though they pressed hard on the ink pad.
The 72-year old man, who was hanging around the polling station, was later identified as the person who caused the act and was arrested by the crowd who attempted to lynch him but for the timely intervention of the security personnel.
There was a resultant confusion at the polling station which caused voting to be halted for a while until calm prevailed at the place following a security re-enforcement.
When the 72-year-old man was arrested, it was detected that he had an observer’s card, which he told the police that it was given to him by regional officials of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The Electoral officials however detected that the observer’s card he was holding was a fake one.
Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko, Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Officer confirmed to the Daily Graphic that the man had been taken into custody for further investigations but declined to give his name.
In another incident, an electoral official at the Kodie Methodist Primary Polling Station also in the Kwabre West constituency was arrested for malpractice.
The official was said to have stamped a ballot paper on the position of the NDC candidate before giving it to a voter to cast the ballot.
When the voter saw the anomaly, he alerted other officials and the security personnel and the said official was arrested.
In other instances, persons who were said to be creating confusion and preventing some eligible voters to cast their vote were also arrested at various areas.
Among those arrested for creating confusion at polling stations included political party agents.
Inspector Tanko told the Daily Graphic that after such agents were arrested, they told the police that they were being vigilant in their supervisory roles and by doing so, some people caused the police to arrest them, alleging that they were creating confusion.
The Public Relations Officer said the police were investigating all those cases to find out how authentic the complaints were.
There had been reports of some arrests at Kofiase in the Mampong area, where persons who were said to have attempted to snatch ballot boxes were also arrested by the police by the time of filing this report.
Again there was a report of the arrest of another EC official at Kumawu for stamping ballot papers before giving it out to voters to cast their vote but the Police Public Relations officer was unable to confirm it as of the time of filing this report.
At Ashanti New Town, near the Abbey’s park a youngman was beaten up by the crowd. It was alleged that he was hanging around the area with intentions of wanting to snatch a ballot box. He was also handed over to the police.
Inspector Tanko said the Police were closely monitoring the situation.
Earlier in the morning queues started forming at various polling stations at dawn long before election officials arrived with the electoral materials.
In areas such as Santasi, Fankyenebra , Atasemanso, Adiembra, Patasi, South Suntreso and Kwadaso all in the Nhyiaeso constituency where the Daily Graphic visited around 4am the scene was no different as there were long queues at the polling stations.
The voters explained that they anticipated a higher turnout and that they wanted to be among the first people to cast their ballot so as to be able to go out and do other businesses for the day.
Jones Bosomtwe, a resident of Anyinam said he had to travel outside Kumasi hence he decided to wake up early to cast his ballot.
Like Jones many voters also said they were up early in other to avoid waiting in queue for longer hours before casting their ballot during the day.
In all the areas visited voters joined queues in calm atmosphere and waited for their turn when the polls opened at 7am.
Officials of the Electoral Commission arrived at the polling stations on time and all electoral materials were readily available for a smooth process.
Madam Georgina Nyantakyiwaa of Fankyenebra prayed for a free and fair exercise so as to enable the candidates accept the outcome of the verdict.
Mrs Ama Amofa of Santasi said that “God chooses a leader” and therefore called on the two candidates to accept the outcome of the verdict.
“We should be able to accept the outcome of the verdict provided it is free and fair”, she said.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Asantehemaa, Nana Afua Serwaa Kobi Ampem cast their ballot at the Manhyia Palace polling station at 11:45am.
Kumasi was generally calm as the voting got underway.
At the K.O. Osei Assibey Polling station, a total of 600 out of 691 persons on the electoral roll had cast their ballot by 1pm.
At Asokore Mampong, Asawase and Aboabo all in the Asawase constituency voters patiently waited in queue to cast their ballot peacefully as well as Ashanti New Town in the Manhyia constituency.
By 9am, the queue at the KTI polling station had diminished. 150 voters out of a total registered voter population of 722 had cast their ballot by then.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ohene Djan: radio man in wig

Among the fresh lawyers who were recently called to the bar, after graduating from the Ghana Law School was Ohene Djan, host of the “Democracy” programme on Kessben FM in Kumasi.
Djan’s foray into the heady world of radio started as far back as 1999 at Radio Universe in Legon where he hosted the talk show, “View Point”.
He has since been very instrumental in talk shows and current affairs programmes. He is currently a staunch panel member on Kessben FM’s morning show, “Maakye” and a host of Saturday evening’s programme, “Democracy”.
To add more laurels to his radio achievements, he decided to pursue a course in law and gracefully graduated this year from the law school amongst the likes of ACP Nathan Kofi Boakye, who was adjudged the best all round student.
Ohene Djan in a chat with Graphic Showbiz indicated that it had been his long standing vision to become a lawyer and though he ended up becoming a radio presenter after his first degree at the University of Ghana, Legon, he never relented on his oars and pursued his vision of becoming a lawyer.
So is Djan going to abandon radio for the courtroom? “No I hope to combine my radio work with my law practice”, he said.
He explained that he intends to introduce a programme on Kessben FM where matters relating to legal education and other national interest would be discussed to provide listeners with an insight in the law profession.
“I hope to do this in a manner that would not conflict with my legal practice”, he said.
Djan said he was hoping to start his pupillage for at least six months with a reputable law firm in Kumasi before going into independent practice.
Ohene Djan started as a radio talk show host at Radio Universe in Accra whilst pursuing a first degree in Political Science at the University of Ghana. He started as a producer of the programme, “View Point” before becoming the host in his final year in 2000.
From there he moved to Fox FM in Kumasi where he hosted the political talk shows “Hard Ball” and “Hit Back”. He was also a panel member on the morning show.
The Hard Ball programme won an award in 2002 as the Best Interactive talk show programme at the Radio and Television Awards (RTV).
He moved to Kessben FM in 2004 when the station was set up and had been working there since.
Djan hails from Brekum in the Brong Ahafo region where he attended the Brekum Secondary School for his ‘O’ level certificate in 1989. He continued at Technology Secondary in Kumasi for his ‘A’ level and the University of Ghana, Legon for a degree in Political Science.
After that he did his national service at St Louis Secondary in Kumasi before enrolling at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for a second degree, Bachelor of Law (LLB). From there he enrolled at the Ghana Law School.
Djan, the first radio presenter in Ashanti to have moved into the law profession said he wants to serve as a motivation for his work colleagues to pursue further education and expressed appreciation to his mother, Madam Adwoa Serwaa of Brekum.
Asked when he was going to get married, he said “God’s time is the best”.Ohene Djan (right) receiving his certificate from the Chief Justice Mrs Georgina T. Wood

Thursday, September 25, 2008

ICT revolution at Suame Magazine

Picture shows Ms Natalie Schell, an intern from Columbia University in New York assisting the artisans in their training.

There is a sudden upsurge of interest among the otherwise low literate artisans of Suame Magazine for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) education.
What inspired this new spirit of ICT enterprise among the artisans appears a complete mystery to those familiar with the Suame Magazine environment where computer is largely considered the preserve of the formal sector.
The interesting point about these massive developments in the ICT at Suame Magazine is the exclusive private initiative of the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO).
The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO), the development unit and umbrella organisation of Suame Magazine has unleashed a revolution unprecedented in the informal sector industry of the country in Suame Magazine.
According to SMIDO, this new development is emerging as a response to findings from a survey in 2007 that indicated that less than one percent of the over 200,000 artisans at the suame magazine have email addresses and uses the Internet.
This was said to be at odds with the global orientation of their industrial operations requiring transactions with stakeholders across the world.
It was an exciting sight when the Daily Graphic visited the training centre last week to witness at first hand, how the artisans were acquiring computer knowledge.
The artisans in their usual fitting costumes were spotted busily going through lessons in ICT in a typical school-styled fashion.
I was confronted with a reality I never thought would happen at Suame Magazine’s largely independent artisanal population.
Artisans who have never sat behind the computer in their lifetime are now manipulating the computer for various designs that would leave the average visitor to the resource center pondering over whether he or she was really at Suame Magazine.
The center has four instructors with two expatriates from the Columbia University in New York.
Records at the resource center indicated that high profiled personalities like Dr Kwabena Duffour, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, the KMA Chief Executive, Ms Patricia Appiagyei, Ms Dorothy Gordon of the Ghana Indian Centre of Excellence in ICT, Professor Vasco of the Institute of Advanced ICT Studies and a host of other dignitaries have visited the resource center to acquaint themselves with this new revelation at Suame Magazine being spearheaded by SMIDO.
The President of SMIDO described this as not necessarily an ICT revolution but a mindset to embrace the modern world of technology, which is threatening the survival of Suame Magazine and the artisanal engineering industry in Ghana.
In an interview, Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, consultant to SMIDO revealed that plans were underway to establish an Internet café to introduce the artisans to the use of the Internet given the advances they have made at the basic stages of computing
According to Mr Azongo, the Ghana-Indian Kofi Annan ICT Center is rolling out a programme with SMIDO to introduce an artisanal engineering model of International Computer Driving License (ICDL) to offer international certification to artisans upon graduation at the resource centre.
He contended that the ICT breakthrough is an important milestone towards graduating the artisans of Suame Magazine towards the modern industrial village to be established by SMIDO on a 1000acre land at Asenemaso in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of Ashanti.
According to him, the full potential of ICT to economic development is seen as the creative sectors of the economy and said that these are the sectors that have been left behind in the nation’s planning process.
He said the formal sector was not a force to reckon with in the creative industry where ICT could introduce the magic wand for economic development.
In his elaboration, the main determinant of the creative economy is the proportion of the employment and entrepreneurial seeking ratios of the labour population.
He contended that the formal sector has a preponderance of employment seeking attitudes as against the entrepreneurial seeking behaviours of the average workforce in the artisanal or the informal Sector.
In this direction the entrepreneurial creative industrial sectors incorporation of ICT is a key instrument towards wealth creation and sustainable development.
For his part, the President of SMIDO, Mr George Asamoah Amankwa expressed the hope that the government would extend a vehicular support to SMIDO project, which was a major undertaking worthy of national commitment and support.
In another development, a team of experts from IBM, the global computer giants would be arriving in Ghana by the end of September 2008 for a one month assignment with SMIDO to support the review and curricula development of the Suame Tech Automatics Engineering Institute for ICT in vehicular diagnosis and repairs.
This is to set the basis for a formal training center for artisans in Suame Magazine and the rest of the country.
Picture shows Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, consultant to SMIDO admiring the learning skills of the artisans

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

50-year Jail term for 'Kumasi Ataa Ayi'

Eric Alfred Zieme, described by the police as Kumasi’s most notorious armed robber, was yesterday sentenced to 50 years’ imprisonment with hard labour by the High Court in Kumasi.

“You are the devil incarnate,” Justice Kwame Ansu-Gyeabour, the presiding judge, told Zieme before handing him the sentence.

Zieme, 26, also known as Kumasi Ataa Ayi, was found guilty of raiding the B5 Plus Company at Buoho, a Kumasi suburb, at gunpoint on October 11, 2007 and robbing Gocrest Limited of GH¢40,504 which it had collected from the B5 Plus to be deposited at the bank.

The convict, who has nine other armed robbery and murder cases yet to be tried, had no lawyer and so he represented himself in court throughout the trial.

He was always in clutches when he appeared in court because of gunshot wounds he sustained when the police fired at his legs when he attempted to escape arrest.

The court held that the convict stood out as a person who was prepared to reap where he had not sown and build his life through foul means.

The judge said the court took into consideration the prevalence of armed robbery in the country, the evidence adduced against the convict by the prosecution, the character and antecedents of the convict, among other things, before imposing the sentence.

He said although the convict told the court that he was in Wa to attend an uncle’s funeral on the day the incident happened, he was, however, unable to prove his claim when offered the opportunity to do so.

Besides, Justice Ansu-Gyeabour said the convict’s mother, Bridget Zumbele, who was in court and had promised to furnish the court with witnesses for the convict, failed to do so and even declined to testify herself as the sister of the convict’s uncle whose funeral he claimed to have attended at Wa.

He stated that the convict admitted the offence in his caution statement to the police but denied on oath that he had given that statement to the police and also failed to prove an alibi.

He said it was abundantly clear that the evidence on oath had been a deliberate ploy and an after- thought.

The judge said the convict was unable to prove how he earned the money used to acquire his property, including the restaurant building project he had embarked on at the race course area in Kumasi.

Justice Ansu-Gyeabour also held that three witnesses, namely, Benedict Kofi Adombre, a driver whom the convict shot in the thigh, Alice Akpo and Victoria Asare, both cashiers of Gocrest Limited, from whom the convict stole the money, all came out to identify the convict during an identification parade.

The court ordered that the two cars seized from the convict on his arrest — an unregistered Toyota Corolla saloon car and an old Tico taxi — be handed over to the Ghana Police Service to assist the service in its patrol duties.

It further ordered that the remaining items seized from the convict, including a Honda motorbike, five travelling bags containing clothing, a Samsung DVD player, a Sony TV set, home theatre with speakers, two deep freezers, two satellite dishes, 35 bags of cement, 17 pieces of plywood, five packets of floor tiles and two ceiling fans, be auctioned and the proceeds paid to offset the amount stolen from B5 Plus, with the remaining paid to government chest.

The court also ordered that the restaurant project started by the convict, should be handed over to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) for it to remodel and construct for public use.

The prosecution was led by Mr Emmanuel Otoo-Boison, a State Attorney.

Zieme has a month to appeal against the sentence.

The facts of the case were that on October 11, 2007, Benedict Kofi Adombre, a driver, Alice Akpo and Victoria Asare, both cashiers of Gocrest Limited at Adum, went round to collect money from the company’s customers.

After the three had collected money from the B5 Plus Company around 1.30 p.m., the convict, with an AK 47 assault rifle, attacked them in front of the company’s premises and shot the right thigh of the driver and robbed them of cash totalling GH¢40,504.

A report was made to the police and a medical form was issued to the driver to attend hospital.

On November 2, 2007, the police, upon a tip-off, arrested the convict from his hideout at the race course and the witnesses involved identified him as the one who had committed the offence.

The police later retrieved three guns, comprising two AK 47 assault rifles and a pump action gun, which he had hidden at various areas in the bush on the Barekese road, the Buoho area and at Brofoyedru.

The police also seized various items from him and charged him with the offence.

Ministry concludes tilapia pond feeding trials

The Ministry of Fisheries has successfully concluded a 10month pond feeding trials with all male tilapia at the Aquaculture Adaptive Trials Centre at Nkawie in the Ashanti region, and has subsequently identified pelletized feed as most suitable for commercial aquaculture production.
The objective of the trial was to demonstrate tilapia growth and economic performance from fingerling to market stages.
The all male tilapia exhibited excellent growth from five grammes to an average of 500 grammes over the 10month period when they were fed on Raanan pelletized fish feed imported from Israel by Dizengoff Ghana Limited.
The feed maintained good water quality, and no pond water flushing was required. Additionally the fish growth with the feed yielded a high economic return in the trial.
A total of 4400 fingerlings were stocked in the pond which was equipped with stand-by aeration at the latter stages of the trials.
At a field demonstration on the production of the all male tilapia using the pelletized feed at Nkawie last week, Mr Emmanuel Nii Aryee, Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Fisheries said the move was a major success in the Ministry’s quest in promoting aquaculture.
This is because, hitherto, most fish farmers were not feeding their stock very well with the right feed thus the produce did not gain the weight they were supposed to before harvest.
Additionally, many of them mixed the males and females together which was also not good for commercial fish production, he said.
The male tilapia is noted for growing faster than the female and that it could attain the weight of about 750 grammes within seven months, for harvesting when fed well. Hence it is profitable to use male fingerlings instead of female fingerlings in fish farming.
The Ministry of Fisheries thus entered into an agreement with Luye Fisheries in China for assistance in the production of male tilapia fingerlings for distribution to fish farmers in Ghana.
The move was to help make high yielding fingerlings always available to fish farmers so as to serve as a boost to aquaculture in the country.
Consequently, the Ministry allocated the Aquaculture Adaptive Trials Centre at Nkawie in the Atwima District of Ashanti to be used as a pilot station for the development of what they termed, the Super Male Tilapia in the country.
Speaking at the field demonstration, the Regional Director of Fisheries said the Ministry sees pond fishing as being very good economically and thus has been promoting aquaculture on a more serious note in the last three years.
He said after the Ministry adopted the all male production method, there was also the need to identify a suitable feed so as to be able to achieve the needed results.
Mr Aryee said the Ministry decided to go for the Raanan feed because that one could float on the surface of the water making it easy to monitor how the stock was consuming the feed.
He said he was aware that GAFCO as well as Agricare have also started producing pelletized feeds and that GAFCO for instance was still in the process of trying to come out with brands that could float on the surface of water.
He said the brands of the other pelletized feeds that does not stay at the surface but sinks to the under of the water was equally good but said the floating ones were more preferable since it allows the farmer to monitor the feeding rate of the stock.
He said his outfit has assigned the Tano Odumase fish pond to produce high yielding all male fingerlings for supply to fish farmers in the Ashanti region so as to serve as a boost to aquaculture.
He said Ashanti was the leading region in pond fish farming.
Adding, he said as part of efforts to boost aquaculture, the ministry has introduced an input credit scheme where fingerlings are supplied to selected farmers as well as assisted in the construction of ponds.
Touching on the results of the trials, Mr Aryee said the exercise had thought the Ministry a lot of lessons which it could impart to fish farmers.
For instance, he said the ministry stocked a total of 4400 fingerlings in the pond which was too small for the stock and also did not mount the stand-by aeration on time.
Again he said the fingerlings were stocked in November and so when the harmattan started in January, the fishes did not eat much during that period so that also affected their growth.
Mr Aryee said lessons learnt from the trials would go a long way to assist fish farmer adding that the average weight could go beyond 500grammes if conditions are favourable.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Filth engulfs Kumasi Central Market

Customers at the Kumasi Central Market, which is said to be the biggest in the West African sub region, are welcome by filth.
Ironically many traders and hawkers sit and transact business in the midst of the filth as if good health doesn’t mean anything to them.
The openly sell foodstuffs and their wares in the middle of the road and on the pavements amidst filth which they themselves generate.
Some display their goods including tomatoes, yams, garden eggs, apples, lettuce and cabbage on the ground over a mat while others put theirs on the bare ground just next to drains filled with stagnant and stinky water.
Others especially those who trade on the streets simply carry their commodities on their hands, heads and shoulders and move around.
This is not the first time an issue of this sort had been raised. It has been raised on a couple of platforms but the situation keeps worsening with no solution to it.
What even makes the situation a bother for me is how foodstuffs especially vegetables and fruits, some of whom are eaten in their raw state is sold on the bare ground in the midst of filth.
One always wonders why there is so much indiscipline at the city centre of the Kumasi metropolis, especially at the precincts of the central market and wondered whose responsibility it was to ensure sanity at the place as the city authorities, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) look on unconcerned.
One is not likely to see the degree of filth during daytime as the place is crowded but at night after the day’s activities.
Last Monday, as I walked on the road in front of the Central Market I was fascinated with the mounting heap of garbage and people including pedestrians and traders who throw garbage anywhere and everywhere.
I wondered how city dwellers had lost their sense of sanitation and civility questioned how people, who initially lived a clean life, create and live in such filth. Such gross disregard to health defies Ghanaian culture.
This appalling sanitation problem makes the government’s much-hyped tourism programme look like a child’s play.
The least talk about the resultant congestion on the road in front of the central market as it is neither not comforting driving through that area nor footing.
Trading activities along the streets and pavements was now as brisk as before the introduction of the exercise, which has come to nothing after spending several millions of Ghana cedis on it.
The last time the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Miss Patricia Appiagyei reacted to concerns on the aborted decongestive exercise, which it claimed it was embarking on a sustainable base to evict traders who have taken over walkways in the Central Business District of Kumasi, she accused the media of not supporting the Assembly resulting in the failure of the exercise. The KMA gave every assurance that it would sustain the decongestive exercise and evict traders who had taken over the walkways in the central business district of Kumasi.
The City Mayor alleged that some sections of the media criticised the KMA and that explained why the exercise had been stalled.
“Some media men criticised us as well as politicised it that is why we have relented on the exercise. We thought we were in partnership with you but we were wrong. You find people back on the pavements because the media did not support us”, Miss Appiagyei said.
Last year, the KMA embarked on the exercise to decongest the CBD of traders who had indiscriminately taken over the streets and the pavements and millions of cedis were spent on the exercise, yet the hawkers are still on the streets doing brisk business with its attendant socio-economic problems.
Assurances were given by the KMA that the exercise was not going to be a nine days’ wonder but would be sustained to enable residents to appreciate the need to comply with the directives of the KMA.
It is not clear what might have compelled the KMA, which in 2006 “blew” some GH¢100,000 on a similar abortive ejection exercise, to go back on its word in 2007, but the lack of political will, as the case has always been, cannot be ruled out.
The activities of the hawkers, who have taken over pavements in the city centre, have compelled pedestrians to walk on the roads, putting them at great risk.
A huge number of petty traders have virtually hijacked the business district of the city which is seriously impeding the free flow of vehicles and pedestrians.
These lawless individuals have completely taken over all the pavements in the city centre and are busily going about their ‘normal’ duties as if there were no laws to bring them to order.
For how long can residents continue to grapple with this problem?
Personally I feel there ought to be a conscious attempt to improve sanitation in that part of the city to give the city the beauty and the Garden City status it deserves.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Asantehene supports Suame Industrial Dev Organisation

The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation, the umbrella organisation and development unit of Suame Magazine has received its greatest boost in its march towards the development of Suame Magazine into a modern industrial estate from the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The Asantehene has pledged his support for SMIDO assigning the Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku to be liaising with the organisation to occasion his support for the development of Suame Magazine, which he said holds significant prospects for Asanteman and Ghana’s industrial development as a whole.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II gave his support when members of the Suame Magazine Industrial Village Committee led by its Chairman, Dr Kwabena Duffuor paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace last week.
The visit was to formally introduce members of the committee and their mission to establish a modern industrial village for Suame Magazine to the Asantehene.
The occasion was a historic moment for Asanteman as Otumfuo personally addressed questions to them as well as allowing ample time for committee members to address his council of elders.
The atmosphere was that of appreciation and a welcome endorsement of SMIDO by Otumfuo.
The Asantehene advised the leadership of SMIDO to be transparent and truthful in their responsibilities as well as shed off any other interest apart from the genuine interest to salvage the prospects of the industrial estate, which appeared to have been at the receiving end of national policy neglect.
He applauded SMIDO for their foresight and urged them not to relent in their efforts to develop Suame Magazine.
He advised them to have confidence in themselves and to ensure that state- of –the- art technology was infused into the operations of the industrial estate to enable them keep pace with modern technology.
The Chairman of the committee, Dr Kwabena Duffuor said his conscience has never been deeply exercised and challenged in his numerous official calls to take up responsibilities than the one from SMIDO and Suame Magazine.
He said, with the virtual collapse of the Timber and Wood industry in Kumasi, the shoe industrial enterprise, the worst will be for them to approach Suame Magazine with apathy.
Suame Magazine is the very economic heart of Kumasi, Asanteman and Ghana as a whole, he said and added that the best service they can render to Asanteman and Ghana, as a whole will be to support SMIDO in its bid to Develop Suame Magazine into a modern industrial Village.
The President of SMIDO, Mr George Asamoah Amankwa used the occasion to present a special copy of the SMIDO blueprint to the Asantehene and the Asanteman Council.
The Asantehene, who was visibly enthused by the exceptional strides of SMIDO in its brief moment in Suame Magazine by pulling together a high-profiled committee under the Chair of Dr Kwabena Duffour and Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, whose advocacy for science and technology driven development, could not hide his joy but to commend the leadership of SMIDO for such a sterling accomplishment.
Mr George Asamoah Amankwa, briefed Otumfuo about the formation of SMIDO out of BUSAC fund’s support to Suame Magazine and the progress made so far particularly the establishment of an ICT resource center to train artisans in the basics of computer towards the adoption of ICT vehicular diagnosis and repairs.
The rest of the committee members Professor Frimpong Boateng, Miss Dorothy Gordon of the Ghana Indian Kofi Annan ICT center and ,Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, the consultant to SMIDO each took turns to brief Otumfuo about the project and their individual and collective roles towards the development of the SMIDO initiative.
Professor Frimpong Boateng in his remarks noted that given the uneconomic parcels of lands available for Agriculture, mechanised farming was a viable investment enterprise in the region.
Against this background, he noted that the only option left to the region was to adopt technology for which it has an exceptional comparative advantage in the country with the existence of Suame Magazine and the KNUST.
He said, the Suame Magazine Industrial Village Project for which he has been appointed to facilitate with Dr Kwabena Duffuor was not a task beyond their capacity and that given the required support and encouragement the region would soon witness a globally competitive technologically advanced industrial village in Kumasi.
Later in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Consultant to SMIDO, Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo said the Asantehene has always been represented in their numerous national events.
He said, they have been greatly inspired and alive to the testimony of Otumfuo’s unparallel passion for meaningful development programmes in the region.
According to Azongo, he hopes the political leaders of the region would take a cue from the exceptional demonstration of leadership by Otumfuo to come on board in a non-partisan manner to equally lend their weight behind the project as a national undertaking.
He said political leaders in the region have a duty towards supporting Suame Magazine’s development which could not be sacrificed or shirked under any excuses.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Expansion work progresses at Barekese

The Board of Directors at the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has expressed appreciation at the progress of rehabilitation and expansion works at the Barekese and Owabi Headworks which supply pipe-borne water to the Kumasi metropolis and its environs.
The GWCL was currently embarking on rehabilitation and expansion works at the Barekese and Owabi headworks so as to be able to increase the supply of pipe-borne water to the Kumasi metropolis.
The Board Chairman, Mr A. R. Musah, who led a team of board members to inspect progress of work at the two headworks at the weekend, expressed appreciation with the quality of work.
The visit was to enable them acquaint themselves with work so far done on the ongoing rehabilitation and expansion project.
The project which was more than 30 percent complete is being funded by the government at a cost of Euros 37,999,870.
The Kumasi metropolis would be supplied with 27million gallons of water per day upon the completion of the project in October 2009.
The Barekese Headworks currently has capacity to produce 18million gallons of water per day whiles that of Owabi has capacity to produce three million.
However the two headworks are unable to produce at their full capacity because of obsolete machinery.
The expansion works was expected to increase the capacity of Barekese by an additional six million gallons thereby producing 24million gallons per day.
The Board chairman of GWCL expressed satisfaction with the work done so far and expressed the hope that it would be completed on schedule.
Members of the board that accompanied the chairman were Mr E. Adjei Boye, Ms Susana Mensah, Mr R. Obiri Yeboah, Mr Kwaku Amoa Gyarteng, Mr P. M. A. Pecku. Others were the Deputy Managing Director of the GWCL Mr Kwaku Botwe, Mr Fred Lokko, Ashanti Regional Chief Manager and the project consultant, Mr Anthony Amankwah.
The project is being executed by Taysec Construction Company.

Stray cow causes accident in Kumasi

The reason why stray animals should not be allowed on the street was given meaning on Tuesday morning as a stray cow crashed into a taxi cab on the Asokwa-Baba Yara Sports Stadium road in Kumasi.
The accident resulted in injury to the driver of the taxi cab and four passengers of the vehicle.
The taxi cab, a Kia Pride with registration number AW 1397 Y was also badly damaged as the front and rear windscreens were smashed together with the bonnet and roof of the vehicle.
The fat cow also died on the spot.
Eyewitness said the cow was being followed by a shepherd boy on the shoulders of the road at about 6am when all of a sudden it jumped on to the road and crashed into the oncoming car.
The car hit the animal head on and lifted it over the roof.
The shepherd boy was said to have taken to his heels immediately after the accident as the driver who was only indentified as Alex also tried to pursue him but was unsuccessful in arresting him.
The matter was later reported to the Asokwa Police.

Another fuel tanker in accident

A fuel tanker was on Monday night involved in an accident which resulted in the tanker catching fire at Asokwa near the Mckweon Restaurant on the Asokwa-Baba Yara Sports Stadium road.
Four vehicles, which had been parked by the road side were burnt together with the tanker.
There were no casualties as the tanker driver escaped unhurt from the vehicle before it burst into flames.
This brought to three the number of tanker trucks which had been involved in an accident and catching fire in the Ashanti region in the last two weeks.
The first was at Adum in Kumasi which claimed three lives and the second was at Atwedie in the Asante Akyim South District which resulted in injury to four persons including a policeman and a fireman.
The cause of this latest incident was not clear but it was believed a break failure might have caused the accident.
The vehicle with registration number AS 7401 F veered off the road and landed in a gutter just in front of the Mckweon Restaurant at Asokwa.
The incident happened about 200 metres away from the Engas Filling Station, which exploded about a year ago claiming some lives including the owner of the station.
Eyewitnesses said the vehicle burst into flames shortly after the driver had escaped from it after the accident.
They said thick black smoke drifted into the evening skies, as frightened residents rushed out of their homes to escape to safe areas. Fire fighters had a difficult task controlling the blaze, and had to spend about two hours before bringing the situation under control. The accident was said to have happened a few minutes after 8pm and the fire started afterwards as the fuel drifted into the drains with the fire running through the drains from where the tanker fell.
The fire caused destruction to telephone and electricity cables.

EIA report on energy project ready

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) scoping report had been submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so as to help pave the way for the construction of the plant to generate between 30 and 52 megawatts of electricity from garbage in Kumasi.
The almost US$136 million project is expected to generate energy from the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly’s (KMA’s) landfill site at Oti to serve the Kumasi metropolis, depending on the volume of waste supplied to the landfill site per day.
The gas from the waste materials will be used to generate energy.
Cinergex Solutions is the sole financier of the project, excluding Value Added Tax (VAT), and is expected to use 14 months to construct the plant, when actual construction work begins.
The project is to be on a build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) basis and as a result Cinergex has consequently signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
The electricity produced by the waste-to-energy plant will supplement the ECG’s power supply from the Volta River Authority (VRA) for the Kumasi metropolis.
Mr Anthony Mensah, Director of Waste Management at the KMA who was responding to a question on the progress of work on the project in an interview with the Daily Graphic said the financiers of the project have gathered and analysed all relevant information on the proposed undertaking to determine the likely consequences if the undertaking was implemented and has forwarded it to the EPA.
He said the EPA which was currently reviewing the report was expected to issue a provisional permit to pave way for constructional works on the project.
Asked why the EPA permit had delayed as of now, Mr Mensah said the financiers initially assumed that the EPA permit covering the landfill site would have covered the plant only for them to realise later that they needed a whole new permit for the plant.
He said consultants have been commissioned to prepare the two phases of environmental impact assessment reports, that of the scoping and final reports.
He said the scoping report was ready and had been submitted to the EPA for review leading to the issuance of a provisional permit after which the final report would be sent for the final permit.
Mr Mensah said his understanding was that once the provisional permit was issued, the financiers of the project would release funds for the purchase of the components of the plant for onward shipment to Ghana from the United States of America (USA) and Canada respectively.
He said the plant itself entails a lot of pre-fabricated components which would be mounted on a concrete sub structure.
The Waste Management Director said the financiers have since engaged a surveyor to assess where the plant would be mounted at the land fill site.
President John Agyekum Kufuor performed the sod-cutting ceremony at the project site in May 2007. Prior to that, the government, through the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, and the KMA signed a contract with the contractors, Cinergex Solutions Limited from Canada in November 2006 for the construction of the plant.
The energy to be generated by the plant would depend greatly on the volume of waste supply to the landfill site and, according to experts, 500 tonnes of waste per day will generate 12 megawatts of electricity, 1,000 tonnes will produce between 30 and 52 megawatts of power, while 1,600 tonnes of waste per day will produce a maximum of 60 megawatts, which happens to be the maximum capacity of the plant.
The Kumasi metropolis currently generates about 1,200 tonnes of waste per day.
It is the desire of the KMA to liaise with other assemblies nearby to supplement and complement its waste requirements so that the plant could operate at full capacity.
The issue of waste collection and sanitation in general had been a major challenge for local authorities and that it was good news that energy could now be generated from waste in Ghana.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reflectors installed at accident prone spot in Kumasi

The Urban Roads Department in Kumasi has erected Reflective Channelizer Cones on the concrete triangle located in front of the Akyempimhene’s Palace on the road heading towards Adum from the Asafo-UTC interchange in Kumasi.
The erection of the traffic signals followed last Friday’s fuel tanker accident at same spot, which led to the loss of three lives.
There had been complaints from the public on the location of the concrete triangle which had been causing numerous accidents at the spot with the most fatal being last Friday’s incident.
The triangle initially had some small reflectors slapped on the concrete but it got defaced a few months after its construction.
As a result most motorists run over it at night and sometimes even at day time resulting in accidents.
In last Friday’s incident, the driver of the fuel tanker with registration number GT 7560 X was heading towards Adum when the driver suddenly lost control in front of the Justmoh Construction building after climbing the concrete triangle.
The fuel tanker overturned afterwards and burst into flames. A huge explosion was heard, which shook several houses, near the accident spot, shattered wooden doors, ceilings and glass doors and windows of some of the buildings.
The fire spread through parts of Adum and the crowded cold store area opposite the Asafo Neoplan Station causing massive destruction to property as the fuel spilled through drains. A number of people were wounded and the three deceased who were attending to nature’s call at that early morning in the drainage were burnt beyond recognition.
The erection of the Reflective Channelizer Cones on the road and on the triangle, which is to impart information to road users that a concrete triangle exists at the spot, has therefore been welcomed by some residents.
Officers of the Urban Roads mounted the reflectors at the weekend to help avert further fatalities at the spot which had been noted for accidents ever since it was constructed about a year ago.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Police arrest fake currency dealers

FOUR people have been arrested by the Police in Kumasi for allegedly dealing in fake currency to the tune of GH¢ 150,000. George Agyemang, 45, and Twum Adjei, 41 both car dealers and residents at Teshie Nungua in Accra were arrested on Monday, August 18, 2008 in Kumasi while their accomplices Mallam Mohammed Awal, 35 and Nuhu Musah, 42, a.k.a. Manoah were also arrested the following day at Mamobi in Accra. The Police have since retrieved GH¢ 90,005 of the fake currencies. Two of the suspects, George and Twum had succeeded in putting GH¢59,995 in circulation before they were arrested. A fifth suspect whose name was only given as Adam was on the run. He was said to be using a black convertible Mercedez Benz CLK 55 Amg with an unidentified Togolese registration number and the police have mounted a search for him. Police investigations have revealed that George and Twum sold the car with which Adam had absconded with to Mallam Awal and Nuhu in receipt of the fake currencies as payment. Briefing the press in Kumasi today (Monday), DCOP K. A. Opare-Addo, the Ashanti Regional Commander of Police, said George and Twum agreed to sell the car to the other suspects at a cost of GH¢ 150,000 and agreed to receive payment in the fake currencies. The commander said on Monday August 18, 2008, police received information that a group of people from Accra had in their possession a large amount of forged Ghanaian currency notes and were lodging in a hotel in Kumasi. He said the information indicated that the suspects were making efforts to change the forged currency into genuine ones by defrauding unsuspecting individuals. He said the police trailed George and Twum to a room at the Silicon Hotel at Kentinkrono in Kumasi. When they were searched, fake GH¢50 denominations all with same serial number VB 0352416 totalling GH¢71,000 and GH¢20 denominations all with same serial number VB 0352461 totalling GH¢17,100 were found on them. Again GH¢10 denominations with same serial number of LB 2392169 totalling GH¢950 and GH¢5 denominations with same serial number totalling GH¢955 were also found on them. The Police Commander said all the fake currencies in possession of the suspects amounted to GH¢90,005 and that during interrogation, they mentioned Mallam Awal, and Nuhuall based in Mamobi in Accra as their sources of supply. George and Twum therefore led police to Mamobi in Accra where they identified the two other suspects Awal, and Musah for arrest. George and Twum told the police that they agreed to sell the black convertible Mercedez Benz CLK 55 Amg with the unidentified Togolese registration number to Awal, and Musah who then transferred it to Adam. DCOP Opare-Addo said George and Twum agreed to receive payment for the car in fake currencies amounting to GH¢ 150,000. He said since only GH¢ 90,005 were found on them during their arrest, the police suspected that some innocent persons might have been victims to the difference of GH¢ 55,995 which the suspects could not account for. Mr Opare-Addo said the suspects who bought the car in forged currency could not have used all their money and that they suspected they still have more of such currencies hidden somewhere. He therefore appealed to members of the public to be on the lookout when indulging in any form of transaction that involves money so as not to fall prey to such circulating currencies.
Picture shows the fake

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fuel tanker catches fire in Kumasi. One person dead

ONE person was killed and a number of others wounded when a fuel tanker overturned and burst into flames at the Nsuase area of Adum in Kumasi this morning (Friday). The deceased was burnt beyond recognition and his remains had been deposited at the morgue while the injured were receiving medical attention. The fire spread through parts of Adum and the crowded cold store area opposite the Asafo Neoplan Station causing massive destruction to property as the fuel spilled through drains. Thick black smoke drifted into the early morning skies, as frightened residents rose from their beds to escape to safe areas. Fire fighters had a difficult task controlling the blaze, and had to spend about two hours before bringing the situation under control. The accident was said to have happened at about 5:10am and the fire started afterwards whilst people siphoned the fuel. An eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that the tanker with registration number GT 7560 X was heading towards Adum when the driver suddenly lost control in front of the Justmoh Construction building.
A huge explosion was the heard, which shook several houses, near the accident spot, shattered wooden doors, ceilings and glass doors and windows of some of the buildings.
This caused people to rush out of their homes onto the streets. They rescued the driver and his mate and rushed them to the hospital. The eyewitness said some people hurriedly went for buckets to siphon the fuel and it was during that process that they saw fire running through the drains from the cold store area towards where the tanker fell. The fire caught the tanker and it exploded. When the Daily Graphic got to the scene fire fighters from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) were battling the blaze. They sprayed water and foam on the burning tanker to cool it and prevent whatever gasoline residue was in the tank from exploding. The road from the interchange area leading to Adum through the Justmoh Construction area was closed to traffic in the morning. National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) officers were yet to ascertain the number of casualties at the time of filing this report. Residents in the cold store area and some portions of the Nsuase area evacuated from their homes in the heat of the fire.