Port facility security officers in West, Central Africa undergo capacity-building on Port security

Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) from more than 15 ports in West and Central Africa have undergone capacity-building on Port Security.

The five-day regional ‘Train-the-Trainers’course, which ended on Friday in Accra equipped the officers to train their colleagues for improved security in the maritime domain.

It is an European Union (EU)-funded ‘Enhanced Maritime Action (EnMAR) in the Gulf of Guinea’ project implemented by Expertise France in collaboration with the Port Management Association for West and Central Africa (PMAWCA).

The objective is to strengthen capacities of PFSOs in the set-up and organisation of specific training courses for port security personnel along the guidelines of section 18.2 of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

The ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

e purpose of the Code is to provide a standardised, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling Governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities through determination of appropriate security levels and corresponding security measures.

During the closing ceremony, Mr Jonas Claes, Deputy Ambassador, European Union Delegation to Ghana, said Port security was an important and strategic topic in view of its potential linkages with global trade, organised crime and security.

He said having the most modern equipment, best protocols and manuals would amount to little without professionalism and know-how of security officers in charge.

‘That is why the theoretical and practical aspects of this week’s training are so important in making a real difference.’

He thanked participants for availing themselves and urged them to maintain the connections made for exchange of best practices.

Madam Marie Gibrat, Programme Manager of Enhanced Maritime Action in the Gul
f of Guinea (EnMAR) Project at Expertise France, thanked the EU for funding the training and their continuous support to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, through their various initiatives in the region.

‘I also thank our hosts, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for their excellent

support. Thank you to the participants for their curiosity, their commitment, and thirst for sharing their experiences.’

She said recommendations developed during the training would be transmitted to the PMAWCA along with those from previous regional training sessions organised by the EnMAR Project.

Madam Gibrat said the training was the last of a series of four regional sessions for port stakeholders of West and Central Africa.

‘The EnMAR project enhances maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea through promoting political dialogue, improving the coherence of EU initiatives, raising awareness of EU action, and strengthening the operational capacities of national and regional institutional partners.’

This training has been organised as part of this last objective of ensuring a long-lasting impact through the development of internal capacity-building on port security,’ she said.

Captain James R. Quayson, General Manager Special Duty at GPHA, Headquarters, said security was paramount at the ports because without it, they could not exist and operate effectively.

He urged participants to utilise the knowledge gained and enhance security at the ports in their countries.

The Captain lauded the EU for the training, saying:’We appreciate whatever you’re doing in the domain, as such, we assure you that Ghana is home for training, security and anything you have to offer with regard to the maritime domain.’

‘There are a lot of activities happening in the domain which needs a big brother like the EU to help us minimise the negative impacts of such activities,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Three friends remanded in Enchi for robbery, rape

Three friends who allegedly robbed an illegal miner and raped his fiancée have been remanded into police custody by the Enchi District Magistrate Court.

They are Alex Obeng alias Power Money, 24, illegal miner; Ransford Osei Coffie alias King/Anointing, 29, driver; and Johnson Adu alias Black Nana, 24, gold buyer.

Obeng, Coffie and Adu are currently being held for conspiracy, robbery, and rape, but their pleas have not been taken.

A duplicate docket has since been prepared and forwarded to the Attorney General’s office for study and advice.

Detective Police Chief Inspector Joseph Kwadwo Agyare, Prosecuting, told the court presided over by Mr. Lawrence Buanor-Buer, that the complainants Stephen Amihere, and his fiancée, Christiana Mensah resided in the same apartment at Desueano.

He said the accused persons lived at Desueano and Abokyia all in the Aowin Municipality of the Western North Region.

On Tuesday January 2, 2024, at about 1:30 am, the accused persons armed with locally manufactured pistol and a
knife went to the complainants’ apartment to rob them.

Detective Chief Inspector Agyare said when Obeng, Coffie and Adu got to the premises, Obeng stood outside to provide the needed security so they would not be caught.

He said Coffie and Adu subjected Amihere to severe beatings, ordered him to surrender all his money, but he fell unconscious, and they tied his two hands with sellotape and sealed his mouth as well.

The two then rushed on to the complainant’s fiancée, tied her hands, and sealed her mouth with sellotape.

\Coffie was masked, while his counterpart Adu was unmasked forcibly had sex with her in turns, after which they made away with iPhone 6x, iPhone 11, Jordan sneaker, shirts, belt, handbag, wristwatch, gold detector machine and cash sum of GHS300.

Prosecution said after the accused persons had left, the complainant’s fiancée managed to untie herself and she raised the alarm which attracted residents within the area including the neighborhood watchdog committee chairman who is a witness in t
he case.

At the scene, the witness found an itel mobile phone, and he went through the call logs, found Obeng’s contact which subsequently led to his arrest.

Detective Chief Inspector Agyare said, when they questioned Obeng about the owner of the mobile phone, he indicated that it belonged to Coffie and he led the police to a Guest House at Abokyia where they were lodging but met his absence.

The police conducted a search in the room and found a black bag containing Ghana card and Access Bank ATM card belonging to Obeng.

They also found a voters identification card, Ghana card, passport and National Health Insurance card all bearing the name of Coffie and a mask.

Coffie and Adu were later arrested by some volunteers, and they handed them over to the police to assist investigation.

Further checks made by the police revealed that Obeng, Coffie and Adu were friends, and had earlier planned to rob the complainant because they claimed he had money.

Prosecution said Obeng lived in the same community as the c
omplainants, and he had been leaking information to Coffie and Adu about their movements.

Detective Chief Inspector Agyare said to execute the plan, accused persons rented a room in a Guest House where they have been lodging for the past three weeks.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Beneficiaries of GLOWA’s AVID project appeal for its extension

The beneficiaries of the Global Action for Women Empowerment’s (GLOWA) Action for Voice and Inclusive Development (AVID) project have appealed to the organization for an extension of the project.

The beneficiaries, largely women, stated that the initiative helped them gain a lot of knowledge about good agricultural practices, which resulted in increased yields and improved income level.

They said the project had also empowered them to engage effectively in decision-making and governance processes in their communities and assemblies.

The beneficiaries who made the appeal during a press briefing organised by GLOWA to announce the end of its operations praised the improvements the project had made to their quality of life.

The project was carried out in Adaklu-Goefe, Adaklu-Tsrefe, Adaklu-Agblefe, and Adaklu-Aziedukope communities in the Adaklu District, as we as Sokode Ando, and Takla Gborgame in the Ho Municipality.

Togbe Sasraku IV, Chief of Adaklu-Goefe, said the initiative was exceptional and deserving
of commendations, describing it as a life-changing project that accelerated development and transformation in his community.

Delight Sesi, a beneficiary from Adaklu-Agblefe, stated that the project increased their entrepreneurial and marketing skills, as well as provided them with knowledge of product packaging, making their products to compete more effectively in the business environment.

She thanked GLOWA for the programme, which offered them professional assistance in optimal agricultural methods, resulting in increased yields and income levels.

Togbe Atiku VII, Chief of Takla-Gborgame, also praised GLOWA for its intervention initiatives that had advanced the community’s development, urging the community members to endeavour to ensure that the project was sustained.

GLOWA launched the AVID project last year in Ho Municipal and Adaklu District under the title: ‘We Matter! Empowering Rural Women and PWD constituents to take positive actions to participate actively in local governance processes for improv
ed livelihood.’

It aimed to empower rural women groups and persons with disabilities to become economically independent and actively participate in leadership and decision-making processes.

The 15-month project was jointly implemented by GLOWA in partnership with Ghana Federation of Disability, Volta Chapter, and Adaklu POWER Women’s Group, and funded by STAR-Ghana Foundation.

The project’s focus areas included building coalition and movement around key issues of access to public service and livelihood for underserved groups, advocating for access to information on government policies and programmes.

It also focused on strengthening spaces for dialogue between underserved groups and duty bearers, enhancing access to markets, storage facilities, and influence pricing for agriculture produce, and promote women’s access to land and improve their businesses and entrepreneurship skills.

Madam Ivy Bedy, Project Officer at GLOWA, stated that the project has provided the beneficiaries with a greater understandin
g of local government processes as well as various pro-poor interventions and services.

The project also assisted the beneficiaries to establish crucial contacts and networks with district assembly members and other community leaders, as well as develop better advocacy skills and a stronger voice in local governance issues, she said.

Madam Bedy stated that during the execution of the project, eight women were empowered to contest for the District Assembly election and six of them successfully won the election.

She said 40 rural women farmers were registered for the BizBox project being carried out by the Ghana Enterprises Agency, and some persons with disabilities were also supported to access the Disability Fund and be included in the district disability database.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Stakeholders call for environmental impact assessment for Keta Delta Oil block

Stakeholders in the Keta-Vodza coastal community groups have called for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment for the Keta Delta Oil Block and other energy projects.

The assessment should include cumulative impacts on biodiversity, marine ecosystems, and local livelihoods.

The stakeholders demanded that all energy projects, including the Keta Delta Oil Block, adhere to the principles of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) as outlined in the UN Convention.

These were in a joint communiqué from extensive deliberations on community mobilisation activity in Keta-Vodza.

The initiative aimed to foster a progressive, rights-based approach to energy transition and address the potential impacts of the Keta Delta Oil Block.

The event saw the participation of traditional authorities, fishermen associations, women’s groups, and youth organisations, all united in their commitment to advocate for systemic change.

The attendees were drawn from the communities of Vodza, Kedzi Horvedzi, Kedzi Xorvi, Kedzi
Harvedzi, Woe, Afidenyibga, and Anlo-Afidenyibga, ensuring a comprehensive representation of the region’s populace.

The dialogue was organised by the AbibiNsroma Foundation in collaboration with the FIDEP Foundation.

The discussions highlighted international frameworks such as the UN FPIC Convention, which underscores the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to give or withhold consent to projects affecting their lands and resources.

Additionally, the MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) and the OSPAR Convention were examined in relation to marine pollution prevention and management.

The participants called on the need for strengthened regulations and enforcement mechanisms aligned with international standards such as MARPOL and OSPAR.

That, it stressed, would prevent and mitigate environmental pollution from energy activities, particularly in marine ecosystems.

The communiqué called for capacity-building programmes that empower local communities, pa
rticularly women and youth, to actively participate in decision-making processes related to energy development and environmental management.

The coastal community representatives expressed concerns over potential marine environmental impacts from oil exploration and underscored the need for stringent environmental regulations and monitoring frameworks aligned with international standards.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Security officers urged to apply expertise in managing election 2024

Colonel Anorph Banabas Akanbong, Director of Training at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has urged security officers to apply expertise to manage the 2024 general election.

He encouraged personnel, who completed a five-day course on electoral violence trends and election management, to apply the knowledge gained to preempt perceived violence situations before, during and after the elections.

He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Electoral Violence and Security (EVS) course in Tamale, organised by the KAIPTC with support from the German Foreign Ministry.

The course formed part of the KAIPTC’s endevours to promote peace and security in West Africa, especially in election years.

It brought together command level personnel of the various security services in the Northern Region, who were equipped to understand the roles of each service in policing an election.

Participants received certificates acknowledging completion of the EVS course.

Colonel Akanbong congratul
ated participants for completing the first session of the series on EVS and commended them for exhibiting great sense of devotion and intelligence during the training.

He said: ‘In all the spheres of learning, it is satisfying to know that you were all exemplary in your contributions to the discourse, which is intended to make our democracy even stronger.’

He further commended the Ghana Police Service as the lead agency of the Election Security Task Force, the German Government and relevant stakeholders for their respective roles in making the training a success.

Ms Pauline Okkens, German Political Advisor to Ghana, said the EVS course was to aid the country’s security apparatus in devising strategies to mitigate electoral violence, adding that it had trained over 300 personnel in three series.

She said the German Government, since 2002, had partnered the KAIPTC to contribute to peace and security in Ghana particularly in the sub-region in several ways.

She stated that with funding from the German Govern
ment, KAIPTC had conducted courses such as the Police Middle Management, Security Sector Reform and others for security personnel across the sub-region and beyond.

Ms Okkens said the challenges of failed states stemmed from factors like weak state structures that hindered effective systems, adding ‘The German Government’s peacebuilding efforts are focused on assisting the reformation of the security sector of these countries.’

Colonel Francis Kojo Bannerman, Command Operations Officer of the Northern Command, Ghana Armed Forces, who gave a reflection of the EVS course on behalf of all participants, said the course involved the discussion of intriguing modules that realized a simulation exercise based on realistic scenarios.

He said knowledge acquired as well as experiences shared during different sessions of the course had boosted personnel’s preparedness for the 2024 general election.

He expressed gratitude to the German Government for sponsoring the course, and to the Commandant and staff of the KAIPTC
for the opportunity.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Lagos ready to partner Jospong Group – Association of Waste Managers

The Lagos State Waste Managers Association of Nigeria (AWAMN) has expressed its readiness to partner with the Jospong Group to improve waste management in Lagos.

According to the managers, the efficiency with which the Group is managing Ghana’s waste is commendable.

They made the expression after touring the Pantang Waste Transfer Station, Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP) and JA Plantpool, all belonging to the Jospong Group in Accra.

Addressing the media after the tour, the National President of the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, Olugbenga Adebola, said ‘Lagos is ready for the partnership: We are doing something in Lagos but we’re ready for improvement and there is room for cross border investment, Lagos is ready.’

He added that the recycling plant is a ‘wonderful investment and very impressive.’

‘With a facility like this, Nigeria can be assured of reducing the effect of climate change, improving efficient and effective of waste management of the country,’ he stressed.

He commended
Jospong for its value addition to waste by processing compost and plastic pellets from the waste.

‘Waste is not waste until you waste it and what is happening here is not wastage but adding value to waste and this is impressive,’ he noted.

The Plant Manager -ACARP, Mr. Malik Makik Ganyo, explained the operations of the recycling machines to the visiting delegation from Lagos State and how it is adding value to waste being collected.

‘I am confident that this can be replicated in any part of Africa to give credence to the statement that indeed waste is a resource in the circular economy,’ he stated.

The visit by the Waste Managers is a follow up to an earlier visit by the Lagos State House of Assembly following the signing of MoU between Jospong Group and Lagos State Federal Government earlier in the year.

The Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP) is a cutting-edge facility located in Accra, Ghana, with a daily capacity of 2,000 metric tons.

Executed by the Jospong Group, ACARP plays a vital role in
managing municipal solid waste in the region. The plant sorts and processes waste to produce high-quality organic compost for agricultural use.

Since its expansion, ACARP has significantly enhanced its capacity to bridge the existing gap of untreated solid waste in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA).

Source: Ghana News Agency

Akatsi ECG meets artisans, calls for collaboration

Management team members from the Akatsi District office of the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG) in the Volta Region have engaged some artisans within the municipality on electricity-related activities.

The engagement with the artisans, most of whom are electricians, was to educate and alert them on how to deal with activities relating to electricity and ECG as a company.

The team, led by Mr Samuel Diasempah, District Manager, Akatsi ECG, took participants through some illegal and unacceptable practices by some individuals in society against the Company.

He cited illegal connections, unauthorised reconnection of disconnected customers, unauthorized fixing of streetlights, interconnections, fixing of unapproved meters, and others.

These, Mr Diasempah said, were affecting the operations of the company, urging all to adhere strictly to the guidelines and requirements for a reliable supply and economic growth.

He explained that the encounter was an important one, aimed at fostering collaboration

d a good rapport with artisans for effective service delivery.

Mr Diasempah further appealed to electricians to desist from misinforming ECG customers on issues they were not privy to.

‘Our doors are opened for clarification and education on our activities. So do not act as PRO for ECG. Tell our customers to do the right thing,’ he added.

Engineer Eric Agbolete, the District Engineer, on his part, appealed to participants to desist from accessing ECG structures without any consent such as climbing of poles, fixing blown-out fuses, and others.

The interactive session also saw questions emerging from participants on issues affecting ECG customers such as overbilling and others that were properly addressed by the team.

Master Atsu Tumaku, Chairman of ‘Akatsi Artisans Association’ expressed appreciation to ECG and its members for the meeting.

He called for constant engagement between the two bodies for the growth of the area.

Akatsi ECG, in recent times, has commenced engaging community members, artisans,
and others in their operations.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Let’s prioritise population management to drive development- Retired Chief Justice

Retired Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood has asked authorities to prioritise population management as a cornerstone of the development agenda.

She said the country needed bold, innovative, and sustainable solutions to address high population growth.

She said this in Accra at the book launch titled ‘From Human Resource to Human Capital: The Essence of Population Management’.

The 139-page book has 10 chapters, including the impact of high population growth on governance, education, economics, health, employment, migration, and others.

Ghana and Africa, she said, were faced with unprecedented population exploration, where the numbers continued to increase yearly, stretching the limits of socio-economic and infrastructural capacities.

She said if the trend continued unchecked, the country would stand the risk of reaching a high point where resources could no longer sustain the population’s needs.

Retired Chief Justice Wood called for the need to harness the full potential of the high population through
empowerment to contribute to national development.

That, she stressed, required deliberate investment in the social, educational, economic, and infrastructural sectors to create an enabling environment for every person to thrive.

It is estimated that Africa’s population could double in just 29 years at the current growth rate of 2.4 per cent per year.

Ghana’s population of 31 million, according to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, shows a growth rate of 2.1 per cent per year.

The launch of the book, she stated, was crucial and appropriate and would remind the country of its development trajectory in addressing issues of high population growth.

‘The book is not just a call to action; it is an imperative roadmap for the country’s future,’ she said.

Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, the Author of the book, said the motivation was her practical experience and in-depth knowledge of population issues.

Dr Appiah, who is also the Executive Director of the National Population Council, said the book explored the
link between population and development to help make the right decision.

‘The fine balance between population numbers and quality, timely investments in all sectors is the essence of population management and literacy,’ she said.

She called for a holistic investment in every child, saying every child needed security, healthcare, education, emotional support, and unconditional love for their growth.

The author pledged to donate 10 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of the book to the population and a reproductive health literacy project dubbed ‘ Breaking Barriers and Bridging Divides’.

Also, another 10 per cent of the sale of the book would support her basic school, ANT 1 primary school in Accra New Town.

‘We need to destigmatise population literacy, sex, and sexual health by encouraging open discussions in families and communities.’

Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Senior Presidential Adviser, encouraged Ghanaians to buy the book to acquaint themselves with population dynamics.

He said the country needed to lin
k the role of population to the country’s economic development.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We are focused on welfare of employees and initiatives -BCM

The Management of BCM a Company providing mining solutions has stated that they are committed to the welfare of its employees and has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote Women in Mining.

‘The BCM recently opened a new chapter and attracting young people in mining through its engagement with schools and universities in West Africa which remains close to BCM’s heart of ensuring the development of young people in Ghana and Africa.

‘Our mission is to deliver exceptional mining solutions tailored to the unique needs of our clients. We strive to empower communities and drive economic growth in our regions while upholding the highest standards of safety and environmental responsibility.

A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Saturday, said ‘the Company’s attention has been drawn to a series of articles in print and online media containing allegations of unfair treatment and victimization of previous employees of BCM Ghana Limited’.

It said the allegations are unfounded and purposely me
ant to tarnish the image of its leadership and BCM in the marketplace.

The statement said they were focused on growth and development and therefore would not be distracted groups and individuals bent on tarnishing their image.

‘BCM is a reputable employer being in the local market for over 30 years and all employee departures are made in strict accordance with their employment contract and local labour laws. In a competitive corporate environment the company needs to react to changes in the market and downsizing is sometimes a painful but necessary action’.

The statement said regarding allegations of sexual harassment, it was important to note that the company had never received any complaint from the person reportedly concerned, while she was the employed by the Company.

‘Now this has come to our attention BCM Ghana Limited takes such issues very seriously and BCM will ensure a thorough investigation is conducted immediately.

‘In addition, the biased rehashing of various issues with Simon Terbobri the f
act of him being intoxicated at work, all of this is being wrongfully presented at a moment for the Company when it is refocusing its efforts on business growth’.

* This sufficiently demonstrates the intent of the authors of these allegations to harm BCM Ghana Limited, a company renowned for its mining solutions/expertise and which has employed and trained thousands of Ghanaians to international standards of mining operations. It is also worth pointing out that the lawyers for Simon Terbobri have been in constant contact with BCM regarding a settlement, latest being a letter received on the 20th June 2024. Therefore making these claims whilst being in the middle of a settlement seems very unusual’.

The statement said regarding Jonathan Adongo, he refused to hand over a company laptop because he was concealing information.

‘When the laptop was being recovered, Adongo aggressively assaulted Mr List. The case is currently in court’.

‘In view of the above and the deliberate intent to damage the image and the
reputation of BCM Ghana Limited and of its management, the Company has instructed its lawyers, to take appropriate legal actions against the authors and instigators of these allegations’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government must prioritise national brand communication

The government has been asked to develop and implement a national communication strategy that will sell Ghana to attract both domestic and international talents, institutional partnerships, and capital.

That, would better position the country to the rest of the world in a positive light, highlighting the growth potentials, and gain investor confidence to support the country’s economic recovery and resilience efforts.

Mr Alhassan Andani, Economist, and Ms Esther Amba Numaba Cobbah, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Communication (Stratcomm) Africa, said.

They said this at the launch of the 30th anniversary of Stratcomm Africa and media soiree over the weekend in Accra.

Speaking with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Andani, a former banker, who now is the CEO of LVSAfrica – an integrated business advisory frim, said, ‘communication is what builds your brand, attracts capital, talents, clients, and regulatory approval’.

He noted that the current situation of the country required that the government cr
afted a story that highlighted Ghana’s enormous potential and sell it to the rest of the world, while admitting the challenges.

‘We’re not a good place, but that’s not the end of the story; Ghana still is endowed with a lot of human capital, natural resources, we’re geopolitically positioned to be a beacon of democracy in West Africa and Africa at large,’ Mr Andani said.

‘The government must build a communication strategy to highlight this; acknowledge where we’ve made the mistakes, and then say that these mistakes can be corrected in the short time,’ he said.

While acknowledging the work of the Ghana Investment Promotion Authority (GIPC) in that regard, he said, ‘GIPC is not building you a national image, but giving away significant value to get investors to come in.’

‘The government must be intentional about building the right national brand that would make development finance institutions come into the country, not only to grant concessions, but recognise Ghana as a right partner with the laws and reso
urces for profitable investment,’ he said.

He charged the presidency to lead that communication effort, saying, ‘national branding should be at the Executive level. We have the experts, and the government must bring them into room to build a national communication strategy and brand, especially now.’

During a fireside chat at the event, Ms Cobbah, who is also the President of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) Ghana, said: ‘There can never be good governance without effective communication.’

She encouraged the government to get persons trained to work on the hearts and minds of people to lead the implementation of the national communication strategy to achieve the country’s development vision.

‘Unless you have somebody who is able to work on the minds of people out there to buy into your vision, therefore, patronise your product and services, you’ll make profit, but you’ll lose a lot more profit,’ Ms Cobbah said.

She said Stratcomm Africa and IPR Ghana would work collaboratively, towards ensuring th
at people understood the value of communication and what it could do for the country in terms of development.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Police nab two suspects over destruction of green Ghana seedlings

The Police at Oterpkorlu have arrested two individuals in connection with the destruction of green Ghana tree seedlings at the Bukunor Forest Reserve in the Yilo Krobo Municipality of Eastern Region.

The Police raided Abokwame village, where the destruction of tree seedlings, including danya, papao, cedar, prekese, and other species, were discovered to have been done using weedicides.

In the process, two middle-aged men, Kwaku Kwame Nartey and Tettey Kwesi, were arrested, while Tetteh Abraham escaped into the bushes.

Nartey and Kwesi have since denied any wrongdoing, claiming that they were innocent of the destruction that had taken place in the reserve.

However, Mr. Gyekye Isaac, Forest Range Manager in charge of the Anyamoni Range, which covers the Bukunor Shelter Belt, Anyamoni Forest Reserve, and Afram Dawa Forest Reserve, maintained that the two suspects were caught engaging in activities that violated Section 1 Clause A and B of the 1974 Forest Protection Act.

He stated that Nartey was caught red h
anded engaging in an unlawful chainsaw operation in the forest reserve some time ago.

According to him, he had fell a minister tree species and sawed 100 pieces of wood into 2-inch planks, but they confiscated all.

He stressed that the two suspects were felling trees without Forestry Commission authorization, while Kwesi was spotted cutting down trees to clear the way for his maize farm.

Mr. Isaac noted that when he saw Nartey cutting down a Minister tree species, he asked him to stop, but he ignored him and continued to destroy the tree.

Adding, when he was caught, community members appealed on his behalf, and he was asked to be provided with seedlings to plant, but he refused.

He also said that Tetteh Abraham, the suspect who fled had violent disputes with forest protection officials when during planting of seedlings.

He said Abraham had claimed that the forest authority was infringing on his private property, and he refused to collaborate because he believed the forest land belonged to him.

Mr. Isaa
c warned that any gazetted forest land belongs to the Forestry Commission, and anyone who wants to farm on a depleted portion of the forest must register with the Forestry Commission.

‘We are monitoring all illegal farmers operating in forest reserves,’ he said. ‘If detected, you will face the full force of the law and the Forestry Protection Act.’

He added that because cultivating in forest reserves was prohibited and farmers have damaged their seedlings, they have designated all those who cultivate in the reserve as illegal farmers and would prosecute them for their operations.

Meanwhile the Police have declared Tetteh Abraham wanted. He was suspected to have used gramoxone weedicide to kill tree seedlings at the forest reserve, where he is cultivating maize.

Mr. Ebenezer Agyakwa, the Somanya Forest District Manager, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the four people suspected of causing the destruction would face the full rigours of the law once the investigation was complete.

‘We know th
e Police won’t disappoint us because we are always ready to follow this matter to its conclusion, and after prosecuting them, it will serve as a deterrence to others who unlawfully enter the forest to cause destruction,’ he said.

He explained that the fertile soil made it possible to reforest the area, as some tree species, such as danya, were rare in the Krobo forest.

‘The Danya tree, which doesn’t decay even in water, is one of the more costly trees that has been utilised to make railway slippers due to its exceptional quality and resilience,’ he said.

He stated that the national headquarters and the Eastern Regional office of the Forestry Commission have been notified, and that preparations were in place to dispatch a rapid response team to demolish the farms within the forest reserve.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Blood can’t be manufactured, donate to save lives- National Blood Service

The National Blood Service has encouraged the populace to donate blood to save lives.

This is because blood cannot be manufactured.

Mr Korku Adjorlolo, Blood Donor Recruiter, National Blood Service, who was speaking at the Greater Accra Regional National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) blood donation exercise held at Teshie Camp Methodist Presby Church at 48 Engineers Regiment, noted that there had been low patronage or low participation of blood donation because of certain experiences and misconceptions.

He appealed to the public to ask questions on blood donation to clear all misconceptions.

According to him, if people donated more blood there would be no shortages.

Greater Accra Regional NHIA also used the occasion to renew and register applicants for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Mrs Louisa Atta-Agyemang, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NHIA, in charge of Operations, commended the staff for coming to the doorstep of the Ghana Armed Forces to register and renew their NHIS cards.

Atta-Agyemang also lauded the community for coming out to donate blood to save lives and encourage them not to shy away from blood donation exercises.

She said the blood donation exercise formed part of the annual collaboration of the NHIA and National Blood Service to assist patients as well as strengthen the relationship between the Authority and the Ghana Armed Forces.

Madam Patience Danquah, Acting Greater Accra Regional Director, NHIA, said the Authority conducted the exercise to commemo the celebration of Blood Donors Day which fell on June 14, 2024 and Sickle Cell Day which also fell on June 19, 2024.

According to Madam Danquah, the Authority planned to collect about 150 pints of blood to support the National Blood Service.

Source: Ghana News Agency