Friday, September 11, 2009


THE Second Urban Environmental Sanitation Project (UESP II) for Kumasi is to begin on October 1, this year.
Last Tuesday, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Samuel Sarpong, presented the drawings for the project to the contractors, Rolider Limited of Israel and Aya Construction Limited of Ghana, paving way for the commencement of the project.
The GH¢24.1 million project, being financed by the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) is expected to be completed in two years.
The project involves community infrastructure upgrading and the Aboabo storm drainage improvement works.
As part of the project the Aboabo and Sesan Rivers covering a distance of 3.5 km would be drained, while solid waste collection as well as street lighting facilities would also be tackled.
The beneficiary communities of the project included Anloga, Asokwa, Ahinsan and Atonsu.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Mr Sarpong said the project was dear to the hearts of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and the government.
Mr Sarpong urged people who would be affected by the project in any way to bear with the contractors because in the end the people would be the beneficiaries.
He stated that the KMA was determined to do everything to ensure that Kumasi had its fair share of the national cake.
He also urged the contractors to do a very good work, promising all the needed support for the clients.
Mr Lion Felsenstein, a representative of the Israeli construction firm, who received the drawings on behalf of the contractors, gave the assurance that they would execute the work as specified.


aCONTRACTORS working on the eastern corridor of the multi-million Ghana Cedi Kumasi Road Rehabilitation Project are becoming frustrated by the day as a stand-off between a section of the Anloga woodworkers and the city authorities over the relocation of the carpenters continues to delay the project.
While the master craftsmen at the Anloga cluster have agreed to relocate to the newly constructed wood village at Sokoban, the young ones among them who constitute the majority have defied the orders of the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority (KMA) to move.
They say the Sokoban Wood Village has been allocated to only the master craftsmen, while they had been ignored. They, therefore, called the action discriminatory.
The contractors working on the eastern corridor, which stretches from the Anloga Junction to the Timber Gardens at Asokwa, have a deadline to meet and believed the continued delay would pose problems for them.
Last Wednesday, the young wood workers organised a meeting where they served notice that they would not leave their operational area at Anloga until they had been allocated enough space at Sokoban to undertake their businesses.
This was happening at a time the Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, was meeting the leaders of the wood workers in Kumasi in a bid to resolve the impasse.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo was trying to convince the wood workers to leave to Sokoban because the Asantehene had allocated additional land for them.
However, they insisted that since they had not seen any land, it would be difficult for them to move.
At one end, the KMA Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, said it was illegal for the wood workers to refuse to leave since everything had been done to enable them to relocate.
As of press time yesterday, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, was preparing to meet the wood workers in a bid to get them to rescind their decision.
Addressing the leaders of the carpenters last Wednesday, Mr Mettle-Nunoo told them not to do anything that would give the impression that they did not appreciate what Otumfuo had done for them.
The deputy minister said the government was determined to solve problems facing them so that they could go about their work without any difficulties.
He said the Kumasi road project was crucial to easing traffic in the city so that people could go about their activities without much difficulty.
Mr Mettle-Nunoo stated that plans were far advanced to prepare a business plan for the wood workers that would enable them seek to financial support from the banks to expand their businesses.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


A LEADING member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Asunafo North Constituency, Mr Benjamin Kwame Nkrumah, aka Lawyer Ben, has argued in favour of an Akufo-Addo/Alan Kyerematen ticket to win the 2012 presdential elections.
He said “The NPP will easily win the 2012 elections with Nana Akufo-Addo as presidential candidate and Mr Alan Kyerematen as his running mate.”
He has, therefore, challenged the party to find a way of getting the two personalities to lead the party in the 2012 elections.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic at Goaso Mr Nkrumah said there was no doubt that Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Kyerematen were the two leading figures in the party at the moment.
“And we as a party can make good use of their popularity by pairing them for the battle of 2012,” he said.
Mr Nkrumah indicated that the practice where the NPP decided to allocate the running mate position to a particular area of the country was not helpful to the party.
“We, therefore, need to adjust to current demands and this is where the Nana Akufo-Addo/Alan ticket is very important,” he said.
The leading party member said the party could face problems in the next elections if the perceived Akufo-Addo/Alan factions were allowed to permeate the very fabric of the party.
He said the two party gurus had what it takes to make serious inroads into opposition camps to win more people into the NPP.
He said the NPP could not afford to lose the next elections because majority of Ghanaians were looking up to the party to rescue the nation from mismanagement by the current government.
Mr Nkrumah pointed out that the NDC had so far shown that it did not have the guts to change the economy for the better as it promised.
“But we in the party can only take advantage by putting our house in order so that we go into the elections as a united party,” he said.
Mr Nkrumah also stressed the need for the party to be strengthened at the constituency levels.
“We cannot wait for the top to dictate to us as the grassroots. We have to take the initiative and the end will be bright.”


SUBSTITUTE Emmanuel Odoi struck in the second half to help King Faisal revenge a first round defeat to Accra Hearts of Oak in the MTN GHALCA Top 4 competition.
In the return tie at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday, the two sides failed to produce the expected glitter but the lone goal was enough to lift Faisal to the second spot on the table.
The Hearts defence, which had played brilliantly in the match, was caught flat-footed on the 59th minute mark, and Odoi judged rightly and advanced to meet a beautifully weighted cross from the right for the only goal.
Hearts, sporting Bernard Don Bortey and Eric Gawu in attack, started strongly and should have gone ahead just under a minute but Bortey’s effort was pushed to corner.
It looked like Hearts were going to score, but again in the 9th minute Theophilus Apoh drove a piercing free kick over the bar.
The home side hit back, attacking well from the flanks, with Thomas Avogbedor and Abu Naba in the thick of events.
Faisal’s Osei Bonsu made the first serious goal attempt for his side when on the 31st minute he saw his tricky shot whisk past the post narrowly.
Hearts appeared to have a command in the middle as the young Ishmael Aryee explored the area to his advantage to thread some neat passes to the attack.
Gilbert Fiamenyo was brought on at restart for the injured Gawu but Awudu Nafiu and his defensive team had little problems taking hold of him.
With both sides effecting substitutions, they launched attacks at each ends but the goals were hard to come by.
Hearts nearly paid for their haste for the equaliser as on two occasions keeper Laud Quartey was rounded in his area but the final deliveries from Faisal were weak.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has asked political leaders to always be mindful of a judgement day in order not to allow political power to corrupt them.
He said leaders of today must take a cue from what was happening to some past government officials and be reminded that one day they would also be asked to account for their stewardship.
He said cases of alleged conflict of interest over award of contracts and other acts of mismanagement against former government officials were enough warning to the current ministers to undertake their duties devoid of acts of malfeasance.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu gave the advice when regional ministers and their deputies, as well as regional co-ordinating directors, who were attending a day’s workshop on public procurement planning and implementation called on him at the Manhyia Palace yesterday.
The Asantehene was particularly concerned about the award of contracts and said that was one area ministers could easily fall foul of the law.
Consequently, he told them to be circumspect while undertaking their duties, so that the people of Ghana would derive what was best from them.
He said the procurement of goods and services should be done strictly according to laid-down laws.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu described the workshop as very important and, therefore, asked the ministers to take it seriously.
He noted that procurement matters were tricky and called for people with clear minds to act on them.
Otumfuo said many people in the country were living in poverty, so the ministers had a responsibility to bring them out of their hardships.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku Manu, led the ministers and the co-ordinating directors to the Manhyia Palace
Earlier during the opening of the workshop, Prof Newman Kwadwo Kusi, acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, observed that public sector financial management now occupied the heart of economic policy in the country.
He noted that the growing budget deficit and the resultant debt servicing costs in the country reflected both the complexity and difficulty in addressing the multiple dimensions of public financial management and the failure of past policies.
Prof Kusi said based on the past financial experiences of the country and the problems confronting them, a key area that presented itself for serious attention was public expenditure management.
He indicated that there were a number of issues with the current legal and institutional framework for public procurement that needed to be addressed.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Mr A.B. Adjei, told government organisations that it was illegal for them to undertake procurement on their own on the basis that funding did not come from the government.
He said the PPA had its independence with regards to investigations on procurement.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


THE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is set to begin a major decongestive exercise today to clear the central business district (CBD) and other parts of the city of hawkers and other traders who have been operating on pavements and other unauthorised areas.
This followed the refusal of the traders to comply with the KMA order to quit their operational areas by last Monday, September 7, 2009.
About 150 security personnel made up of the military, police, fire service and the special task force of the KMA would supervise the exercise, which begins at 6a.m. tomorrow.
After tomorrow, the security personnel would remain in place to prevent the traders from returning to the operational areas.
Mrs Jemima Asare, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of KMA, told the Daily Graphic today that other areas that would be affected by the exercise are Ala Bar, Dr Mensah area, Roman Hill, Aboabo Station, Morocco Area, Zoo Lane and Dunkirk Station.
She said the KMA was in the process of recruiting more city guards who among other things would help maintain law and order in the effected areas.
The PRO stated that structures that had been erected in the areas would be destroyed and the traders driven away.
Bearing in mind the failure of previous decongestive exercises, a special tribunal was being set up to try traders who would prove recalcitrant.
She indicated that offenders could be fined and the monies accruing would be used to sustain the exercise so that the hawkers did not return to the pavements.
The PRO said the satellites markets in the metropolis were still available for the affected traders to relocate to.
She made reference to the last decongestive exercise and said if the traders had co-operated with the KMA, the situation they find themselves now would not have occurred.
According to her, as a prelude to that exercise, KMA officials took the leaders of the traders to the satellite markets and showed them where they could relocate.
However, the leaders petitioned President Kufuor and the then Regional Minister. “All this contributed to the failure of that exercise.”
“This time round, we are determined to ensure that everything goes on well,” she added.
Mrs Asare would not disclose the amount earmarked for tomorrow’s exercise saying it was too early to determine any amount.


THE Nwabiagya Rural Bank in the Ashanti Region recorded significant success in its operation in 2008, with the posting of a profit of GH¢586,255 representing 29.16 per cent increase over that of 2007.
Nana Owusu Sarfo Anwona II, the Chairman of the board of directors of the bank, who said this at the 21st annual general meeting (AGM) of the bank at Barekese last Friday, further stated that the profit margin coupled with other achievements would continue to position the bank in a profitable manner.
With the impressive operational results, the bank has recommended the payment of GH¢167,926 as dividend to shareholders.
Nana Anwona said the bank’s paid up capital increased from GH¢130,913 in 2007 to GH¢232,035 in 2008 while total assets rose from GH¢11.9 million to GH¢15.1 million within the same period.
The board chairman attributed the reduction in the bank’s purchases of the Akuafo Cheques, saying that the bank during the period under review. dealt with only the Produce Buying Company and one other private licensed buying company.
He said the bank supported various development projects in its catchments to the tune of GH¢33,721 in 2008.
Nwabiagya Bank also provided scholarships amounting to GH¢10,000 to support the education of a number of beneficiaries under its scholarship scheme.
Mr James K. Addai of the Bank of Ghana, commended the board, management and staff of the bank for working hard to bring the bank far and urged them to maintain that spirit.
He also asked shareholders to increase their shareholdings in the bank while asking others who had not bought the bank’s shares to do so.
The Member of Parliament for Atwima Nwabiagya Constituency, Mr Benito Owusu Bio noted that after the Government and the District Assembly, the Nwabiagya Bank was the district’s major financier of development projects.
It was therefore, important that the people continued to purchase shares to enable the bank do more for them.


THE Sinapi Aba Trust, in conjunction with IDP Foundation of the United States, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), has launched a micro-school project to help develop the potentials of needy private schools in Ghana.
The project, dubbed “IDP Rising Schools,” has started with 30 private basic schools in the Ashanti and Bong Ahafo regions.
Among other benefits, Sinapi Aba and its partners would provide the schools with credit facilities to improve infrastructure and run other activities in the schools, provide business training programmes for school heads, and also support teachers to upgrade themselves.
Officials of Sinapi Aba Trust disclosed that the project, is being implemented on pilot basis.
The Ministry of Education has given its blessings to the start of the project and in the long run, the initiators of the project hope to extend it to other countries of the sub-region.
To kick-start the project, a training programme was organised in Kumasi last Friday for proprietors and other representatives of the beneficiary schools.
Speaking at the programme, Mr Aaron Opoku Ahene, Head of Business of Sinapi Aba Trust, observed that education was the cornerstone of national development.
Consequently, he said it was important that such support was extended to the sector to help develop the youth for the future development of the nation.
Mr Ahene said information technology was ruling the world “but if we do not develop our education we cannot be part of this age”.
“That is why we are determined to help the needy schools come up so that more children will benefit from their services,” he said.
The business manager noted that a number of teachers in the private schools were not trained, but expressed the hope that the project would help in addressing this situation to a large extent.
He advised the beneficiary schools to work with the money that would be advanced to them so that they could pay back without any difficulty.
Mr Ahene stated that a reward scheme had been put in place for schools that would excel in the exercise.
Ms Anne Schumacher, a representative of IDP Foundation, said the decision to support private schools was very important because the schools played a major role in educational development of the country.
She was confident that something positive would said she come out of the project.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The release of a suspected rapist, Sumaila Iddrisu, by the Manhyia police is creating misunderstanding between the police and the Attorney-General’s Department in Kumasi.
The suspect, said to be in his early 20’s, was arrested last week for allegedly defiling a class four pupil but was released on bail three days later.
The Attorney-General’s office in Kumasi, apparently unhappy about the development, has expressed misgivings about the granting of bail to the suspect by the police even before the regional office of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) became aware of the case.
According to an official of the A-G’s office in Kumasi, the granting of bail in cases of such nature fell under the purview of the court and not the police.
A source at the A-G’s office in Kumasi said the police should have referred the docket to the office for advice.
The 10-year-old pupil stirred emotions at the Kumasi office of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) when she went to the to narrate her ordeal.
According to the girl, she was yet to recover fully from the feverish attack after the alleged defilement and that she could not urinate, walk, or eat properly.
“It was a tenant in our house who did that to me about two weeks ago and sternly warned that he would beat me to death if I ever disclose the ordeal I went through to either my father or aunt and because I did not want to die from his beatings, I kept quiet.”
“I was alone in the house reading a little book when Sumaila Iddrisu called me into his room. As soon as I entered, he locked the door, removed my red skirt and green blouse and pants and put me in his bed and raped me,” she explained.
“Moments after he inserted his penis into me, I started crying because of the severe pains I was going through, but he covered my mouth with his hand to prevent any noise. After going through the agony and putting on my pants, I saw blood oozing from my private parts to soil the pants, so I quickly removed and washed it to prevent my aunt from detecting the act,” she revealed.
She said “it was very painful, but to prevent my aunt from detecting, I managed to control myself until I got sick a few days later, compelling me to reveal the secret to my aunt, who said I would die if I did not tell her everything that happened to me”.
According to the police, the suspect was granted bail because there was not enough evidence to continue detaining him in police custody.
When contacted, the Manhyia Divisional Police Commander, Mr George Mensah, told the Daily Graphic that the suspect stated in his statement that he was not at home at the time the victim alleged that she was defiled.
He said the suspect also alleged that the aunt of the victim owed him some money and, therefore, conspired with the victim to bring the defilement case against him to prevent her from paying the debt.
The source said while the victim’s mother suspected that the police were not conducting themselves professionally in the investigations of the case, the suspect’s father was alleging that the complainant was framing his son in the case and was also demanding money from them and, therefore, petitioned the A-G.
Dr Stephen Yaw Takyi of the Manhyia Hospital in Kumasi who examined the victim a few days after the incident told the Daily Graphic in an interview on Sunday that “the little girl was going through a lot of pains when she was brought in, so she was not prepared to allow me to examine her well. I, however, detected later that her hymen was broken and there was a little blood in her private parts”.
He also told the Daily Graphic that it was when it was revealed that the girl had been allegedly defiled that he advised that the parents should report the case to the police for them to investigate the circumstances that led to the alleged defilement.


THE railway system serves a very useful purpose in every growing economy in the transportation of bulky goods to the nearby markets, as well as to the ports, for export at a relatively cheaper cost.
Therefore, the breakdown of the Western railway network has had a great impact not only on the people, especially farmers and the business entities in the Western Region, but also on manufacturing and some mining companies in the region.
The railway system is indisputably the cheapest means of transporting bulky goods and people compared to the road network. It also provides employment for the people.
For instance, the inactivity of the Western Railway Line is a contributory factor to the dying nature of Sekondi and has also affected the people of Essikadu in terms of employment creation.
Sekondi, Essikadu and Takoradi were very lively when operations of the Ghana Railway Company were at their peak.
The region has four branch lines, namely Kojokrom-Sekondi-Takoradi, Tarkwa-Prestea-Huni Valley through Ateiku to Accra and Dunkwa in the Central Region to Awaso.
Western Region is endowed with rich natural resources such as gold, manganese, bauxite, forest products and cash crops such as cocoa.
Besides, the Ghana Cement (GHACEM) has a factory in Takoradi producing cement, while the Takoradi Flour Mills produces flour for the country.
The railway network was used to cart the natural resources, particularly manganese, bauxite and cocoa at a relatively cheaper cost to the Takoradi Port for export.
The manufacturing companies also used the railway system for the distribution of their products to their key distributors in the country at a reduced cost.
As a result of the breakdown of the Western Railway Line, carting natural resources to the port and distribution of the manufactured products have been greatly affected, since the firms have to depend solely on the road network, which is very expensive.
Transportation of the minerals and other products by road as a result of the collapse of the major rail lines has resulted in the roads deteriorating at a very fast rate.
About a month ago, the Western Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, paid working visits to some companies in Takoradi, where their managements complained that inactivity of the railway system had affected the distribution and the prices of their products.
They complained that the collapse of the Western Railway Line had affected the cost of doing business, particularly in Kumasi.
The companies use articulated trucks for the distribution of their products and carting of bauxite, manganese and cocoa to the Takoradi Port for export.
The Marketing Manager of GHACEM in Takoradi, Mr Joseph Aboo, said the poor road network between Tarkwa and Bogoso had affected distribution of cement in the area.
He, therefore, called for the reactivation of the Western Railway Line.
The General Manager of the Takoradi Flour Mill, Mr Thierry Loupian, noted that the railway system was the key player in the distribution of flour.
“We were using the railway for our distribution, especially on the Western Railway Line, but since the line is not working, we are forced to use the road,” he explained.
With the exploration of oil and gas, the railway system should be resuscitated to serve its intended purpose, since oil and gas products could be conveyed by the railways at a relatively cheaper cost.


THE Executive Secretary of the Sekondi-Takoradi Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Vincent Annan, has called on the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to regularly interact with the business community in the Western Region and educate them on what it takes to do business in the oil and gas industry.
He has also urged the corporation to, as much as possible, remove all barriers to entry, especially to local and indigenous businesses.
Mr Annan made the call at a day’s introductory interaction with the media and the oil and gas industry, for journalists in the Western Region in Takoradi.
The Oilfield Training Centre Limited and the Global Energy Ventures Ghana Limited organised the event, during which topics such as “Introduction to the oil and gas industry”, “The role of the media in the oil and gas industry” and “The general public expectation from the media and the oil and gas industry”, were treated.
Mr Annan further called on the GNPC to set up a secretariat in the region to take care of the needs and concerns of the local business communities and ensure the availability of information in terms of business opportunities and job openings.
Touching on the media, he said they should gather, package and manage information in such a way that it would benefit all stakeholders.
Mr Annan called on the media to help manage the expectations of the general public from the industry, especially the youth by sensitising them to other alternative livelihood sources such as agro-business, the art and craft industry and the cultural tourism sector.
He urged the media to play an advocacy role to influence government policy on infrastructure, health, housing, among others, in the region by laying to bare the real situation.
Mr Annan urged the media to critically study the current oil and gas laws and come up with suggestions, if possible.
The executive secretary also called on the oil companies to live up to their corporate social responsibilities by supporting projects aimed at diverting the ever-mounting attention of the youth on the oil and gas industry.
The Manager of the Oilfield Training Centre, Mr Ato Van-Ess, explained that the vision of the centre was to train highly skilled workforce at all levels of the oil and gas industry.
“We have to be safety-conscious, and that the press should ensure that safety is maintained at all levels and ensure that standards are high and of world class,” he emphasised.
Mr Van-Ess said Ghanaians were being used to train Ghanaians to have a world-class workforce in the oil and gas industry, not only to work in the country, but also to be exported to work in other oil-producing countries.
“We see the media as very instrumental in the development of the oil and gas industry. Let us plan to move the Western Region forward,” he stated.
The Country Manager of Oilfield Training Centre Limited, Mr Gavin King, said Ghanaians had been more accommodating and humble, and that the company was helping to establish and develop an oil and gas industry which would be beneficial to the country.
The Western Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr George Naykene, said the media were preparing themselves for the emerging oil and gas industry, adding that the training programmes the media had undergone would enable them to perform better on their reportage on the oil and gas industry.
He said the media would constantly monitor the activities of the oil companies to ensure that they operated within the confines of the laws and also within standards.


THE Takoradi Zonal Office of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) has destroyed quantities of expired and unwholesome food products worth about GH¢10,000 at the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly’s landfill site at Osofokrom near Essipong.
The food products were confiscated from a number of shops in the Western and Central regions during the board’s post-market surveillance exercise.
The items included biscuits, confectioneries, canned and paper drinks, pieces of toothpaste, Blue Band margarine, tampico, liquid soap, tins of milk and Star Kist (flake tuna fish).
Briefing the press before the destruction of the confiscated items, the Zonal Officer of the Food and Drugs Board in charge of the Western and Central regions, Mr George Pentsil, explained that the exercise was a regular one undertaken by the board.
He said during such exercises, the board looked out for counterfeit products or found out whether the products had expired, as well as the certification of the products or whether they were duly registered.
Mr Pentsil said the FDB expected maximum co-operation from the wholesalers, shop owners and the consumers.
He urged wholesalers to stop pushing expired and unwholesome products into the market, and also called on the shop owners, as well as the consumers, to check for the expiry dates of products.
“Check whether the expiry date is there. If you don’t find it, don’t buy the product,” he advised shop owners and consumers.


ILLICIT artisanal small-scale gold mining activities which have been the bane of the Western Region have now assumed an alarming proportion.
Previously, those activities were concentrated in Tarkwa, Bogoso and Prestea-Hemang, but recently, they have spread to almost all the northern part of the region.
The illegal activities, popularly known as “galamsey”, have extended to Mpohor, Damang, Akyempim, Teleku Bokazo and between Wassa Akropong and Ayanfuri, while the Pra River, Tano River and the Bonsa River have not been left out.
In Prestea-Hemang, the activities of the illegal gold miners have contributed to the pollution of River Ankobra.
The irony of the situation is that between Wassa Akropong and Ayanfuri, a large stretch of the land at both sides of the road, is being degraded at a very fast rate by the illegal “galamsey” operators in such a way that if nothing is done about the situation soon, that portion of the Tarkwa-Bogoso-Ayanfuri road would have to be closed to traffic.
A study has shown that very few of the operators have acquired licences to undertake artisanal small-scale mining even though they are aware that their operations are illegal and are in conflict with the laws of the country.
The major tools and equipment used by the illegal miners depend on the type of operations being undertaken.
Their operations include dig-and-wash, ghettos, hard-rock, open-pit and underground.
Those engaged in the dig-and-wash use simple tools such as shovels, pickaxes, chisels, fuel pumps, generator sets, water hoses, head pans and buckets.
Hard-rock and ghetto operators on the other hand, also use explosives, while those engaged in open-pit operation use heavy bulldozers and excavators. All the “galamsey” operators use mercury for amalgamation.
The activities of the illegal miners have serious negative impact on the environment, health and safetyof the residents.
The indiscriminate scooping of the land has greatly caused land degradation in the affected areas, particularly between Wassa Akropong and Ayanfuri, rendering the whole area including the road virtually flooded at all times.
Water pollution, through turgidity and application of chemicals and dust generation, are some of the negative impacts of the mining activities on the environment.
The blasting of hard rocks and diversion of rivers for alluvial gold mining affect the environment.
Inhaling of chemicals, dust and smoke from ‘Chinvan’ stone crushers, believed to have been supplied by some Chinese, and the use of hard drugs by the operators also have health implications.
Besides, subsidence and physical injuries as a result of the operators not using protective clothing and falling from heights are some of the safety problems.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, complained bitterly about the alarming situation when he inaugurated the reconstituted Western Regional Co-ordinating Council recently.
 “One other challenge that faces us as partners in development is the issue of ‘galamsey’. The practice of illegal mining has been with us for a long time,” he stated.
Mr Aidoo said areas where ‘galamsey’ was pronounced included Prestea, Mpohor, Damang, Akyempim, Tarkwa and Teleku Bokazo.
He explained that in all those areas, confrontations had occurred between the ‘galamsey’ operators and the established mining companies.
“Galamsey’ is now assuming alarming proportions where waterbodies are being polluted. For example, ‘galamsey’ is taking place in the Pra, Bonsa and Tano rivers,” he noted with concern.
Mr Aidoo said the Regional Security Council had already carried out an eviction exercise in River Pra and that similar exercises would be undertaken until the problem was resolved.
Even though the regional minister has sounded a note of warning to the illegal gold miners, he must exhibit the political will to carry out the eviction exercise.
This has become imperative because his predecessors had carried out similar exercises using the security personnel but it became a nine days’ wonder, as those who were evicted came back in full business few days after their eviction.
Some organisations have also advocated the licensing of the operators to legalise their activities, so that their operations could be controlled and also given technical support.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


THE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is set to begin a major decongestive exercise in the central business area of the metropolis.
Consequently, it has ordered hawkers and other traders operating on pavements to quit by September 7, this year or risk ejection.
The decongestion has been on the drawing board since Mr Samuel Sarpong took over as the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE).
However, the exercise has had to be delayed because it needed approval by the general assembly, especially as it involved funding.
Against the backdrop of similar exercises in the past that failed to achieve their objectives, sceptics have begun questioning the sustainability of the upcoming exercise.
The last decongestive exercise under the administration of Ms Patricia Appiagyei, saw the assembly spending over GH¢200,000 to clear the streets and other parts of the metropolis of squatters.
However, just about six months after the exercise, the hawkers returned to the streets. That was during the electioneering when residents threatened not to vote for the NPP if they were driven from the streets.
Even before the upcoming exercise begins, the hawkers have vowed to resist any attempt to eject them from where they get their daily bread.
That notwithstanding, KMA officials said nothing would stop the assembly from carrying out the exercise.
According to them, the assembly had taken cognisance of the factors that led to the failure of past exercises and had put in place the necessary measures to sustain the forthcoming one.


A Third-year student of the Kumasi Technical Institute (KTI), Kwadwo Louis, alias Captain Atamuda, has been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for robbery.
Louis, 19, who robbed a student of the University for Development Studies of three laptops at gunpoint, pleaded guilty to the charge and the Circuit Court, presided over by Mr Emmanuel Amoh Yartey, sentenced him accordingly.
An accomplice, Richard Ayana, is on the run and the police have mounted a search for him.
According to the facts of the case, the complainant, one Jesse Kazaboe, who was on holidays from school, visited his nephew, Dennis Akari, at Ahinsan, a Kumasi suburb.
Before coming to Kumasi, Jesse’s friends gave him various sums of money to purchase laptops for them.
On August 21, 2009, Louis, who was a friend to Dennis, paid him a visit and whilst in his room, he saw the laptops and therefore hatched a plan to steal them.
The prosecution said the convict left for his house but came back to ask Jesse to help him to re-charge his phone, since the electricity supply to his house had gone off.
Louis, who left after handing over the phone to Jesse, returned to the house after his phone had been fully charged.
In his determination to steal the laptops, Louis, on August 24, called Dennis on phone to enquire about his whereabouts.
On realising that Dennis was not in his house, Louis and his accomplice, Ayana, proceeded to the friend’s house and on reaching his room they met Jesse.
They managed to rob him of the computers at gunpoint but when they were leaving the room, Jesse mustered courage and held Louis to the ground.
Sensing danger, Ayana bolted with the laptops but while escaping, he ran into Dennis, who questioned him about where he was taking the computers.
According to the prosecution, Ayana dropped the computers and took to his heels, causing damage to them.
Dennis became suspicious and rushed to the house, where he found Louis struggling with Jesse in the room.
The two consequently teamed up to overpower Louis and handed him over to the police together with the locally manufactured pistol used in the robbery.
In his caution statement, Louis confessed to the act and was later charged with the offence.

Friday, September 4, 2009


IT was quite a scene at the Baba Yara Stadium last Wednesday night when the police worked very hard to rescue players of Kumasi Asante Kotoko who were held hostage in their dressing room for well over an hour by supporters of the club.
Kotoko had lost 0-1 to Kpando Heart of Lions in a GHALCA Top 4 match – the third in the competition – and the fans decided to vent their spleen on the players for not showing commitment to the club.
Fearing for their lives, the players were holed up in their dressing room for more than an hour and the police had to intervene to restore normalcy. But the security personnel had a hectic time controlling the enraged supporters before cordoning off the area to allow the players to board their bus. So terrifying was the situation that the police arrested two of the supporters, who were detained at the police station pending further investigations.
The supporters rained insults on the players for their poor showings in recent times in spite of the heavy investment management had made in the club. Wednesday’s defeat to Heart of Lions was the third in succession at the hands of the young Kpando team in Kumasi this year. First was in the second leg of the last premier league, while the second was the SWAG Cup match.
Management was expected to meet the players yesterday (Thursday) in a crisis meeting with the view to addressing their concerns, if any.
The whole development looks interesting, especially as management member Mr Sarfo Gyamfi had blamed some past management members for the team’s loss to Hearts of Oak last Sunday.
Kotoko have had things very rough in this high-profile off-season tournament.
Uncharacteristically, they have no point from three games, losing 1-2 to King Faisal and one-nil each to Hearts of Oak and Heart of Lions, all at their Baba Yara Stadium fortress.
This has raised question marks about the ability of the club to deliver in the coming local and continental championships.
Coach Hebert Addo has had his fair share of the bashing from the supporters, some of whom believe his tactics had not helped to inject the right discipline in the club. They went ahead to suggest his dismissal from the club
But others argue the problem lies right with the players whose commitment level is questionable.
The team’s output against Heart of Lions was a repetition of the previous two matches. The strikers appeared too hysterical in the opponents’ goal area, leading to missed chances.
For the defence, the little said about it, the better. They lost the balls so easily and any trenchant opposing attack could easily take advantage.
In Accra, the enigmatic Bernard Don Bortey continued his personal reinvention when he powered Hearts of Oak to a 2-1 victory over King Faisal at the Ohene Djan Stadium, writes Michael Quaye.
The former junior international for Ghana scored the winner on the stroke of half time, his third in three games since his return, but ultimate recognition went to teammate Eric Gawu, whose brilliant strike opener and general workrate earned him the best player award for the match.
Once a feared striker when he featured for Faisal four seasons back, Gawu appeared to have lost a big part of his shine since joining the Phobians.
But last Wednesday provided a perfect relaunching opportunity for the marksman as he drove home the opener for Hearts with an eye-pleasing left-foot strike, his first against his former side.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


WORKERS of Asare Original Pay All Lotto Company in Kumasi have begun a sit-down strike as a result of unpaid salaries.
About 150 workers in red arm-bands told the Daily Graphic at the company’s office at Asawase in Kumasi that they would return to work only when they were paid their accumulated salaries.
A spokesman for the workers, Mr Peter Boateng, said workers' salaries covering the period between five months and three years had remained outstanding.
He said in spite of the representations made to the Managing Director, Mr Stephen Asare, he had not taken any steps to pay the outstanding salaries.
Mr Boateng further indicated that the workers had taken the matter to the National Labour Commission but they were yet to receive any positive response.
When contacted, the Ashanti Regional Manager of the company, Mr Felix Akpalia, admitted that the company owed the workers, and explained that somewhere in 2005, there were heavy wins which affected the finances of the company.
Consequently, management could not pay salaries for five months, and explained the financial difficulties of the company to the workers.
According to him, all efforts were being made to pay the five months’ accumulated salaries and other outstanding arrears to the workers.
Mr Akpalia, therefore, urged the workers to exercise restraint as management made the necessary arrangements to solve the problem.


KUMASI Asante Kotoko stuttered to another disappointing game, going down 0-1 to Kpando Heart of Lions at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
The defeat, the third in a row, effectively killed off Kotoko’s championship ambition in the MTN GHALCA Top 4 competition.
Once again, the suffering fans walked out of the stadium questioning what was wrong with the team that had seen the infusion of some tried and tested local stars.
For the umpteenth time in the tournament, Kotoko created enough opportunities to have secured them at least a draw but the attack fired blanks much to the chagrin of the expectant home fans.
The home side threw down the gauntlet in the early minutes with Daniel Nii Adjei bursting into the Lions area to force keeper Stephen Ahorlu to push his shot to corner.
Lions obliged them with Abraham Annan creating panic in the Kotoko area on the third minute followed by two quick corner kicks, which went wasted.
By the quarter hour mark the combatants had done a lot of midfield battle with Lions a shade better in that department.
Kokoto’s attacking pair of Gado Mohammed and Edward Affum was receiving the supplies all right from Jordan Opoku and Haruna Ganiyu but the Lions defence where Sherif Danladi and Joseph Jackson featured prominently, held them at bay.
At the opposite end Kotoko were having problems at the defence, giving the ball away in threatening positions.
But Tanko Mohammed and Annan, who were doing most of the attack for Lions were found wanting, while keeper Eric Nii Baah was up to the task saving the shots that went through.
The best opportunity for Kotoko in the first half fell to Nii Adjei, who on meeting a neat pass from Gado, saw his shot going wide from 10 yards out.
 From that point Nii Adjei had problems playing his normal game and no wonder that he was substituted in the second half.
Crunchy tackles permeated the game and referee Charles Dowuona booked five players.
Kotoko started the second half more seriously, battling for every ball but again Ahorlu, who had a busy spell, denied them a goal.
Abdul Samad Oppong, whom so much was expected from, was pulled out for Luois Agyemang in the 72nd minute, and five minutes later Kotoko conceded the only goal.
The defence was caught unawares as a throw in found Abraham Annan who located advancing substitute player Daniel Acquaye in space to drive home.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


THE fate of Herbert Addo as coach of Kumasi Asante Kotoko hangs in the balance after his side lost by a lone goal to rivals Accra Hearts of Oak in an MTN GHALCA Top 4 first leg tie at the Baba Yara Stadium last Sunday.
He is billed to meet the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Asante Kotoko today to explain why he failed to produce the winning formula against Hearts of Oak, and indications were that the management could announce major changes in the technical direction of the club.
But while some fans are calling for the coach’s exit, others insist he should be made to stay to ensure continuity.
Ghana’s football superpowers, Hearts and Kotoko, have a history of sacking coaches anytime one loses against the other. The latest victim was Kosta Papic who was booted out of Hearts after Kotoko defeated them 1-0 in their last league match in Accra.
Perhaps it was against that background that in the build-up to Sunday’s match, Hearts of Oak fans kept firing from all angles that they would force the Kotoko management to sack Herbert Addo.
And as Addo awaits his fate, Nii Noi Thompson could be on his way to securing a formal contract with Hearts of Oak after effectively guiding his side to overcome Asante Kotoko.
The Kotoko coach said his side played well but failed to get the goals, making specific reference to the attack which could hardly click.
“Samad and Alex (Asamoah) did not blend well. They have just started playing together and I think with time they will get better.
“There are four matches to go and we have to go back to the drawing board on our finishing,” Addo said after the match.
For Thompson, he insists that his tactics won the day, and paid tribute to his players for playing to instructions.
“I asked them to close in at the middle to prevent the Kotoko midfield from supplying the balls to the attack and they did just that.”
Clearly, the Hearts midfield machine operated well with Ishmael Aryee and Theophilus Apoh in supreme command of affairs, and no wonder Kotoko’s Jordan Opoku was lost in that department, leading to his substitution on the 75th minute.
But the day belonged to Bernard Don Bortey who produced that fabulous goal from a free-kick on the 10th minute.
Wearing a fresh haircut, the experienced forward operated with great speed, technique and exceptional vision, and he was unlucky not to have had a personal second after evading the Kotoko defence inside added time.
“I am that I am, ” Don Bortey said after the match, and added that he was happy to be back to Hearts of Oak.
The Hearts rear men of Bernard Coffie, Tetteh Nortey, Karim Alhassan and Ebenezer Tetteh played superbly to make sure that Alex Asamoah, Samad Oppong and Francis Coffie and Edward Affum were stripped of their venom.


THE Police at Asante Mampong last Friday night descended heavily on a group of highway robbers operating on the Mampong-Woraso road killing one of them in the process.
This happened after the robbers had engaged the police in a shoot-out that lasted about five minutes.
The robbers, using various offensive weapons, had barricaded the road, robbing their victims of their monies and other personal belongings until the police arrived at the spot.
The police could not immediately give the number of robbers engaged in the act, but said the rest, including one suspected to have received gunshot wounds, escaped into the bush.
Consequently, the police have launched an intensive search for the injured robber and his colleagues.
The police have appealed to health institutions and the general public to be on the lookout for anyone who may be carrying gunshot wounds seeking medical attention.
A Mampong Police source told the Daily Graphic on phone last Sunday that the incident took place at about 7p.m.
It said the police divisional headquarters at Mampong received distress calls from some of the victims about the attack and quickly mobilised men to save the situation.
The robbers, who had barricaded the road, opened gunfire on the police when they saw the police vehicle approaching.
The source said the police returned fire, and in the process, one of the robbers was killed while the rest escaped.
The police could not tell the number of people who fell victims of the attack.
The body of the deceased had been deposited at the morgue while investigations continued.


A Kumasi-based Legal Practitioner, Mr Yaw Boafo, has called for the amendment of the 1992 Republican Constitution to reflect the changing trends of politics and national development.
He contended that 17 years after the promulgation of the Constitution, there was every indication that certain portions of the document had outlived their importance and, therefore, needed polishing to meet the aspirations of Ghanaians.
Mr Boafo, who spoke with the Daily Graphic, said serious view must be taken at Article 78 (1) and 128 (1), because they were inconsistent with the constitutional development of the nation.
He said Article 78 (1), which allows the President to appoint majority of his ministers from Parliament, was not doing the nation any good, and suggested that an amendment was needed to correct the situation so that at least majority of ministers could be appointed from outside the Parliament.
In his view, if this were done, it would allow the Parliament some independence to put the Executive on its toes.
On Article 128 (1), which is on the appointments of Justices of the Supreme Court, Mr Boafo said the present situation where only the minimum number of judges was provided was not in the interest of the nation because it allowed for the court to be packed at any time.
Therefore, he suggested that an upper limit be provided for the number of justices appointed to the Supreme Court.
The Vice-chairman of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Kwabena Opoku Adusei, who also spoke on the need for the amendment of the Constitution, said the President had been given too much power to hire and fire.
He said, for instance, that it was not in the interest of the nation for the President to appoint members of governing councils of state institutions because it paved the way for such positions to be filled with party faithful without looking at competence.
“We have countless of such examples in this country and can only correct them by looking at the Constitution again,” he said.
Dr Opoku Adusei further called for the term of office of the Electoral Commission to be restricted to two terms of four years each.
He explained that the current situation where the Constitution allowed the Electoral Commissioner to stay on until retirement could corrupt the electoral system if “we get a bad electoral commissioner”.
In spite of the need for the amendments, Dr Opoku Adusei noted that nothing positive could be achieved in the country’s political development if “we get a bad government”.
The Omanhene of Tepa Traditional Area, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, also spoke to this paper on the amendments and suggested that amendment be made to the Constitution to extend the term of office of the President from four years to five years.
Explaining, the Omanhene said four years or by extension eight years was not enough for a President from a third world country like Ghana to complete his or her programme of development.
Nana Ampem also called for the Constitution to be amended to ensure that metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) were elected by the people.
He said the appointment of MMDCEs by the President had brought mediocrity into the system, because the President normally did not look at performance but commitment to the party. 
He said when the MMDCE position became elective, performance would be the key word.
The Omanhene further said the current system where the President appointed some members of the district assemblies should cease, so that the position became elected to prevent the appointment of party members rather than looking at quality.