Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kumasi launches 'keep the city clean campaign'

A citywide clean up campaign dubbed “Keep the city clean” has been launched in Kumasi as part of measures to rid the metropolis of filth, improve and sustain environmental cleanliness.
The Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (ARCC) in collaboration with the Presidential Task Force on Waste Management and Sanitation and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) launched the campaign in Kumasi on Wednesday.
According to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, the campaign is a fulfillment of President J. E. A. Mills’ promise to take appropriate bold and sustained measures to help keep the country clean within the first 100 days in office.
Aside that, he also said the campaign was to help prepare Kumasi for the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, during which many tourists and visitors are expected in the city.
Maintaining clean environmental sanitation status in the Kumasi Metropolis has been a major challenge over the years with a number of factors militating against the efforts of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).
Inadequate funds to sustain regular waste collection and street sweeping services, indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains and open spaces, intense trading activities on the streets and pavements within the Central Business District (CBD), which result in the generation of large quantities of refuse creating persistent unsightly scenes and inadequate resources to support comprehensive sensitisation and education programmes are a few of the challenges.
In recent times the KMA has instituted a number of measures to combat the challenges significant among them is the City-Wide Solid Waste Collection Levy Scheme aimed at generating revenue from service beneficiaries to finance sustained service delivery.
To help foster what has already been done, the Ashanti Regional Minister said consultations have been held with various stakeholders including the 10 Members of Parliament in Kumasi to develop an action plan which is intended to achieve the desired clean city environment and the substance thereof for the year 2009 and beyond.
The Regional Minister said the main objectives of the “Keep the city clean” campaign would be on stopping littering and the indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains and open spaces and ensure compliance with the Assembly’s Bye-laws on environmental sanitation.
He added that the campaign would also seek to enhance service delivery in solid waste collection by achieving 50percent cost recovery under the city-wide levy scheme by December 31, 2009.
He mentioned that a number of activities have been lined up to help achieve the set objectives which include installation of 100 public litter bins at the central business district, facilitation of the provision of public litter bins at all basic and second cycle institutions.
Others he said were the introduction of special sweeping on Sundays and other statutory holidays of selected areas particularly the CBD and scaling up of the “Pay as you dump” concept across the Kumasi metropolis.
Mr Opoku-Manu said 80 additional communal containers for placement at the communal dump sites to prevent dumping of refuse on the ground are to be procured in addition to quarterly massive clean up campaigns which would start from April 18, 2009 to coincide with the activities to mark the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Asantehene.
He mentioned that a 10-member Environmental Sanitation Task Force to ensure compliance with KMA Bye-laws has also been instituted and added that outstanding bills for solid waste collection, landfill operation and street sweeping are also to be paid.
“There is no doubt that maintaining a clean city is a shared responsibility. The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly should therefore not be left alone to shoulder this huge responsibility”, the Regional Minister said.
He therefore called on residents of Kumasi to play their role in helping to achieve the aim of keeping the city clean.
Dr Christiana Amoako Nuamah, Chairperson on the Presidential Task Force on Waste Management and Sanitation said her outfit has identified inadequate dumping sites, indiscriminate disposal of waste and problems with plastic waste as the major problems hampering sanitation in the country.
She said her outfit is to draw up short, medium and long term measures of handling the menace and that it would require joint collaboration from all stakeholders.
She said education on sanitation issues was paramount and that was exactly what was going to be initiated and that after a thorough education exercise the various assemblies would start enforcing bye-laws and would arrest any person who violates the law.
As a departure from previous clean up exercises which were launched at the offices of the KMA, this particular campaign was launched at the central business district (CBD).
Some residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic after the launch expressed the hope that this campaign would be different from the other ones by being sustained.

Report on Baba Yara Stadium disaster submitted

Picture shows James Belieb Marshall (right) presenting the report to Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak, Minister of Youth and Sports

The five-member administrative committee of inquiry that investigated the February 8, 2009 incident at the Baba Yara Stadium has submitted its report to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak.
Four persons lost their lives and a total of 417 individual injuries were recorded during a Glo Premier league match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearths of Oak on that day.
Presenting the report, Mr James Belieb Marshall, a Kumasi based legal practitioner who served as Chairman of the Committee attributed the overcrowding at the stadium to the usage of unapproved entry points by fans.
He said the committee also established that a number of unorthodox methods led to the excessive overcrowding at the stadium and added that the emergency response was inadequate and it was not timely as well.
He put the total number of casualties at four deaths and 417 individual injuries.
The government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports set up the committee of enquiry after the Glo Premier League match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Stadium on February 8, 2009, during which the incident occurred.
The committee was to ascertain the total number of casualties, both deaths and injuries, determine whether there were any form of negligence on the part of officials; to find out whether the National Sports Council adhered to laid down regulations in organising matches and to make appropriate recommendations to the Ministry on how to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
The other members of the committee were Mr Welbeck Abra-Appiah, chairman of the Premier League Board, Dr Kofi Asafo-Agyei, a medical practitioner at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Mr Mohammed Alhassan, a radio presenter, and Assistant Commissioner of Police George Mensah of the Ashanti Regional Police. Mr Alexander Osei Tutu, a Kumasi based legal practitioner served as a solicitor for the committee.
Mr Marshall said the committee members spoke to a total of 50 individuals and also saw about 110 photographs provided them by Graphic Sports and video footages as well.
Receiving the report in Kumasi on Friday, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak said details of the report would be made known to the public after the President J. E. A. Mills had gone through it.
He said the Ministry would make the entire report available to the public and would even put a copy on the internet at the Ministry’s website.
He said the government was much concerned about incident and was determined to get answers to the problems that occurred during the match and find ways to prevent its occurrence in the future.
The Minister assured that the recommendations in the report would be adhered and that the government would not hesitate in acting on the recommendations.
“We are going to be very fast in reading it and immediately begin the implementation of the recommendations.