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Influx of beggars on streets of Ghana, the way forward

Dean of UPSA Graduate Studies blame street begging on failed social welfare  system
Some Ghanaian street beggars in action

The rate at which beggars are taking over major streets in the regional capital cities like Sekondi Takoradi, Kumasi, Tamale and Accra among others in the country is becoming worrisome to well-meaning Ghanaians. Communities in Accra like Nima, New Town, Madina and Circle among others and not excluding major traffic lights intersections like Shiashie, Lapaz, Awoshie are experiencing exponential influx of beggars on the streets.

Most of these beggars are of both local and foreign national identities like Nigeria, Niger, Sudan and Ethiopia. The international perspective of the begging-trade cast slur on African leaders in terms of the welfare of their citizenry.

Strangely, majority of these beggars are women, nursing mothers and children of school going age. As these children are denied education, who knows what they will become in the near future? This intriguing phenomenon about the nursing mothers leads one to be asking questions on where their husbands are. Further, one will be wondering where these couples sleep to the extent that they are able to satisfy their sexual libido leading to procreation.

The incentive to this social menace may be attributable to breakdown of family cohesion, abject poverty, systemic begging- trade, lack of employment opportunities and religious misconceptions. The question is, are all beggars on the streets needy?

Unfortunately, some of these beggars have become victims to reckless driving during rush hours. Those who beg from house-to-house end up picking valuable properties from people’s homes. The children also heckle and embarrass their benefactors.

Going forward, The Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Social Welfare and the Local Government should come out with strategies to take these beggars away from the streets.

Mohammed Rabiu Adam

The author is an Educationist and Social Change Advocator.

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Environment

Survival of the fittest: Rural women compete with animals for water

The lack of potable water in some rural communities in the Upper West Region has compelled women and children in such communities to compete with animals and reptiles for water for their domestic use.

THE SITUATION

Reports by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in some of these communities including Damwaataeon and Zanko Paani in the Wa West District and Kaleo-bile in the Wa East District under the “Mobilizing the Media for Fighting covid-19″ project being implemented by the Journalists for Human Rights in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA)”, revealed a very pathetic situation about access to water and other sanitation facilities as a right.

Madam Mercy Dasaa, a resident at Damwaateon, told the GNA that the streams which is their only source of water often dried-up during the harmattan leaving them with no choice than to dig dugouts before they could get water to fetch.

“Sometimes, if you are not lucky, you will dig and fetch some water and the time you will return the next day, animals would have come to drink and destroy it. You will have to dig again to fetch”, she said.

Madam Dasaa said the only borehole in the community could not produce enough water during the dry season to serve the water needs of the community with more than 500 inhabitants.

Madam Agnes Diesob, another resident of the community said the situation impeded their economic activities in the community, as the women had to spend several hours at the stream or borehole in search of water for their domestic use.

At Zanko Paani, residents said they currently resort to pond water for domestic purposes such as cooking and drinking as the only borehole in the community had broken down.

Madam Iddrisu Marriama, a resident told the GNA in an interview that they were aware of the health risks associated with drinking from the pond but they have no option.

She said the population of the community overweighed the single borehole, which caused it to easily break down due to the excessive pressure on the facility.

You have come to see our problem. Our borehole often breaks down, so we fetch water from this pond… unfortunately, we are sharing this pond with animals”, she said.

“I have been having stomach pains. I know it’s because of the water, but there is nothing I can do,” she emphasized.

Mr Iddrisu Daluo, another resident told the GNA that they have been contributing almost every month to fix the borehole, which had brought unnecessary financial pressure on the people.

At Kaleo-bile, a locally dug well and a nearby stream serve as the only source of water for residents in the community, which often get silted in the dry seasons making access to water a very big challenge for them.

According to members of the community, the situation has exposed them to waterborne diseases, thereby, affecting their productivity levels especially the women.

MAIN PROBLEM

The problem of some rural communities is poor health coupled with limited access to potable water.

The situation is further compounded in the dry seasons during which women cover long distances and spending hours competing with animals for water from streams and other open sources.

According to the Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment Report, over one billion people across the World do not have access to adequate and safe drinking water facilities with women and children being disproportionately affected.

Water is an essential prerequisite for development and growth, however, the situation where rural women spend hours every day, collecting and carting water directly from streams in competition with animals is a worrying development challenge.

Water is an essential basic need that must be available in order for human beings to survive and this must not be a luxury to these communities particularly women and children as they run their daily household chores.

SANITATION AND HEALTH

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), safe and readily available water is important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use, food production or recreational purposes.

Improved water supply and sanitation, and better management of water resources, can boost countries’ economic growth and can contribute greatly to poverty reduction, it said.

Also, it estimated that globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces, adding that contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio.

Again, it said contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 485,000 diarrheal deaths each year and that by 2025 half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation saying; “Everyone has the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic use”.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.1 calls for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water.

The target is tracked with the indicator of “safely managed drinking water services” – drinking water from an improved water source that is located on premises, available when needed, and free from faecal and priority chemical contamination.

IMPROVED SANITATION BENEFITS

Benefits of improved sanitation extend well beyond reducing the risk of diarrhea according to the WHO.

It include reducing the spread of intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma which are neglected tropical diseases causing suffering for millions across the globe.

Again, it includes the severity and impact of malnutrition; promoting dignity and boosting safety, particularly among women and girls; promoting school attendance: girls’ school attendance is particularly boosted by the provision of separate sanitary facilities; and potential recovery of water, renewable energy and nutrients from faecal waste.

THE GHANA CONTEXT

Mr Eric Banye, Executive Director of Savannah Alliance Ghana noted that for many communities in Ghana, this target is far from reach.

“In Ghana, sharp geographic, socio-cultural and economic inequalities persist, not only between rural and urban areas but also in towns and cities where people living in low-income, informal, or illegal settlements usually have less access to improved sources of drinking-water than other residents”, he emphasized.

According to Mr Banye, the Sustainable Water Supply project is a dream comes true for the communities that were carefully selected in collaboration with the respective district assemblies.

He said the high rate of water borne diseases sometimes leading to deaths has therefore become a major concern for stakeholders, hence, the initiation of the Direct Aid Project (DAP).

THE DIRECT AID PROGRAMME

The Sustainable Water Supply Project is one of the projects funded by the Australian High Commission under the DAP, which is a flexible, small grants programme.

The project is being implemented directly by Savannah Alliance Ghana, a local NGO in the Upper West Region with support from Azumah Resources, a mineral exploration and mining company operating in the region.

The aim is to support projects with a strong development focus that contribute to inclusive, sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

The primary objective of the DAP is to achieve a practical and tangible humanitarian or developmental outcome in vulnerable communities.

The areas include improving sanitation, waste services and facilities; improving services for people with disability or mental illness; strengthening accountability, transparency and good governance in the extractives sector; and promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls by supporting female-led organisations.

The projectdemonstrate consideration to gender and disability inclusion in the design and implementation by ensuring women and people with disabilities are consulted and included in the development of project proposals, as well as in their implementation.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The project seeks to ensure these beneficiary communities especially women, children and the physically challenged have access to potable water whilst their health status particularly with regards to waterborne diseases would also be improved.

This is expected to increase productivity as women, children and the physically challenged will now spend lesser hours in accessing and carting water from unsafe sources for their domestic use.

PROJECT OUTCOMES

Mr Eric Banye, Executive Director of Savannah Alliance Ghana said the project would ensure the drilling of seven boreholes and also train and equip seven Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) Committees with skills on water facility management as well.

He said in the end, a total of 5,000 women would have access to potable water whilst long distances covered and time spent in accessing water would be significantly reduced to enhance productivity.

EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Mr Banye noted that in line with the Australia High Commission’s focus on equity and inclusion, the project had a strong inclusion and equity agenda.

“Women are fully involved in the site selection, drilling and management of the boreholes. The project also takes into consideration other vulnerable groupings including people with disability”, he said.

BENEFICIARIES

In all, the Executive Director of Savannah Alliance Ghana said seven rural communities were selected across fourdistricts in the Upper West Region to benefit from the project.
They include, Leli, Musama, and Konne-Kakala communities in the Nadowli-Kaleo District; Jangfiang and Zinye communities in the Wa East District, Bapila community in the Nandom Municipality and Orifan community in the Jirapa Municipality.

CONCLUSION

The DAP being implemented by the Savannah Alliance Ghana and funded by the Australian High Commission through the Sustainable Water Supply Project to ensure beneficiary communities have access to safe sources of drinking water and sanitation facilities is commendable and worth emulation.

This is because tackling rural water and sanitation accessibility challenges must be a concern for all and the necessary resources galvanized to drive the agenda.

Government is doing well through the Sustainable Water Management Project but it is not over until all rural communities gain access to safe and sustainable access to potable water.

Rural women also have equal rights and must not continue to compete for water with animals which puts their health and that of their families at risk.

Source:GNA

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Features

Knowing the Legend Sheikh Mohammed Salis Shaban; the grand Khadim, Servant of Sheikh Ibrahim Niass

PROFILE

Sheikh Salis Shaban is a renowned celebrated Islamic scholar, student, spiritual son, and grand servant and the “Khalipha”, spiritual representation of Sheikh Ibrahim Niass for Ghana, Togo and Benin. He stayed with Sheikh Ibrahim Niass from 1950-1960 and blessed to live in the same room with Sheikh Ibrahim Niass whiles serving him as his spiritual master. Globally, Sheikh Salis Shaban is acknowledged as the first to person to institute a global Mauled (Since1965–65 Years now) celebration in commemoration of  Sheikh Ibrahim Niass whiles the latter was alive and providing the former the sole permission for same. Today the celebration is held everywhere in the world with Nigerian gathering over five million devotees for the commemoration of Sheikh Ibrahim Niass.

He is the Eminent Spiritual Cleric for Faidhatu Tijaniyya Ibrahimiya Council of Ghana, Togo & Benin with significant followers in Nigeria (Shaagamu,& Shaaki , ogun and Oyo State respectively). He has significant student representation in Holland, USA, Uk, Germany, Italy. In Ghana, he has over two million followers across, Volta region, Oti Region, Ashanti Region, Greater Accra Region, Central region and Northen part of Ghana with key strong influence in communities such as Nima, Hohoe, Asamenkase, Gyamasi, Asani, Banda, kpandai, Agona Swedro

SERVICE TO SHEIKH IBRAHIM NIASS

Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ, become the foremost Muslim leader of the 20th Century and beyond, The Revivalist, Spiritual Pivot for many world leaders and tremendously influencing many world affairs politically, socially, and spiritually and intellectually. All profound Awliyaahallah of his era, significantly come to pay spiritual allegiance and received Tarbiyya from him affirming his higer “Magaam” ranks and position which had become the perefect pathway to experiencing and achieving the symptoms and contagions of “Maarifatullah”, devine perection of Allah.

Conceivably, this is the Gnostic and Grand Saint that Fadeelatush Sheikh Moahmmed Salis Shaban حفظه الله was blessed to have wholeheartedly served him intimately in his room, learnt from him as a worthy student till he became a scholar and spiritual luminary who received his traits from spiritual training and mastered “tarbiyya’ till he become what he become as a spiritual encyclopedia par excellence.  Characteristically as it was, at night when the whole world is as-sleep, Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله will spend his entire night with Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ‎ alone in complete servitude. Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله serving his master, and teacher Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ‎ , whiles the latter expresses his infatuations and obsessions of love for his master, divine maestro, The Holy Prophet Mohammed صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ through the medium of Zikir, Swalawat, and anthologies. He regularly stood over Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ‎ in the darkness of the night to fan off heat over the resting Sheikh Ibrahim Naiss wether in the state of awakening or peacefully taken.

his respite till the day the fajr, prayer times. Meanwhile during the cold season and night, Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله, would be conisitently massaging all over the body of the Sheikhul Islam, till the prayer time at dawn.

Shiekh Salis Shaban حفظه الله tirelessly held the lamb that provided the light at nights while Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ‎ Niass wrote multiple pages enclosed in the “Ad- Dawawwin As-Sit” ( a countless anthologies of poems which was completed in 1959- (1379 AH) ). He, Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله indeed witnessed the writing of the blessed “Diwaani”, which consist of several books of various “dawaawin” in praise of the holy Prophet Mohammed صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ .

PROFOUND DECLERATION

In consequence to this, Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ   declared Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله as his spiritual son “Ibn Ruhi” and implored all his children to acknowledge and recognize in toto as such. According to Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله, he explained that when his beloved biological father, presented him to Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ   saying, this is my son, I am presenting him to you from the bottom of my heart and soul, Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ   simoultaneously responded, Salis is my son, Salis is my son, Salis is my son but Allah made you to give birth to him for me.  To which, Sheikh Abdulrahman Shaban رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ‎ wholeheartedly accepted instantly. 

In 1965 Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ   made a very profound declaration on Sheikh Mohameed Salis Shaban حفظه الله in Ghana, during his visit, something that demands deep pondering and reflection; He said, “’Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله, is my khalifah, I love whoever loves him, I love whatever he loves, even if he loves a dog or chicken, I Sheikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ   loves it too. Whosoever sees him in a dream or awake has indeed seen me. Whoever, he prays for, it is I that prayed for him/her directly’’.

MISSION

In terms of his mission, Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله spent his entire life completely devoted to the worhip of Allah, service of Islam and promotion of Faidhatu Tijaaniyya Ibrahimiyya and impacting many with his propagation and dissemination of the sublime message of the sufi path, transforming multitudes of Souls and hearts in the Republic of Ghana, Republic of Togo, Republic of Benin, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Niger, Republic of Chad, Republic of Cameroun, Republic of Burkina Faso and several places in Europe, America, Canada and beyond.

TRIBUTES

There have been many tributes and projections of ‘’Karaamat’’ of the ‘’Khalifatu Sheikh -wa- Khaadimuhu’, that has been shared by many virtous and trustworthy personalities, but it is expedient to take note that, two main themes emerged clearly in description of who Sheikh Salis Shaban is, his unparalleled love, knowledge and servitude of his spiritual father Sheikh, Alhaji Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ. Secondly, his penchant desire for honesty, truthfulness as well as his formidable sense of aversion, and repugnance against all slightest sense of falsehood, and lies makes him to walk in the light, guidance perfectly exemplified and amplified in the entire life and characteristics of the Holy Prophet Mohammed صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ   as the “Swaadiqul -Al-Amin”, the truthful and most trustworthy.

Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله is indeed a precious gem in the path of Faidhatu Tijaaniyya Ibrahimiyya. Imam Hassan Aliyyu Cisse, رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ‎ of blessed memory always describes Shaikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله as ‘Baqiyyatus-Swalaf’, ‘The Remnant of the Predecessors of the Pioneers of the Faidha’’ to which, Imam Tijani Cisse, the Current Imam of Faidhatu Tijaniyya Ibrahimiyya all over the World حفظه الله added to him the title ‘’Barkatul Khalahf’ the Blessing of the Present and Later Generations of the Faidatu Tijaniya Ibrahimiyya. 

 “Shaikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله is indeed among those whenever we see instantaneously reminds us of Shaikh Ibrahim Niass رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ‎ .The life of Sheikh Salis Shaban حفظه الله is a source of strength and blessing for the entire fellowship of Faidhatu-Tijaniyaa Ibrahimiyya globally.” Imam Tijaani Cisse حفظ الله 

Source:Nationalistgh.com Call/WhatsApp on +233-243173375

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Hand washing: process of getting infection or promoting quality state of health?

7 tips to improve hand hygiene in the office | Initial

Hand washing, also known as hand hygiene is the act of cleaning one’s hands with soap and water to remove viruses, dirt or any other harmful and unwanted substances stuck to the hands.

Drying of the washed hands is also part of the process as wet and moist hands could easily be contaminated.

This means regular hand washing is undoubtedly the best and safest way to remove germs, prevent the spread of germs to others, whether at home, at work, traveling and in the community to avoid getting sick.

This presupposes that proper hand hygiene is vital to lowering infectious disease transmission as research has also shown that hand washing, one of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) preventive protocols, if religiously and regularly practised would help to prevent the spread of not only the deadly COVID-19 but any other contagious disease that is basically transmitted by the hands or palms.

COVID-19 outbreak

The whole world woke up one day in late 2019 to hear of the COVID-19 and besides infecting a lot of people in diverse ways, it has devastatingly killed millions of the world population as currently the World Health Organisation (WHO) puts the figure of death cases at 3,499,647.

It (COVID-19) is deadly though, symptom wise most infected people developed mild to moderate illness and recovered without hospitalization but just followed the preventive protocols and other prescribed and required treatments by the health authorities such as WHO internationally and nationally the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

Information by health authorities indicated most susceptible people who could easily fall prey to the COVID-19 and were/are most likely to develop serious illnesses were/are older people and persons with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease.

One of the modes of COVID-19 infections is touching an object that an infected person had touched and then touching one’s mouth, nose and the eyes.

COVID-19 spread/prevention

To prevent COVID-19 from further spreading in communities, simple precautions such as physical and social distancing, wearing of nose/face mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, washing/cleaning of hands and coughing into a bend elbow or hand tissue.
These were introduced by health authorities to help in reducing ones risk of infection.

Hand washing

That’s ensuring thorough cleaning of all surfaces and areas of ones hands, palms, fingers and wrists with soap under running water remains one of the best defenses against the COVID-19 virus.

Hence hand washing at regular intervals must be encouraged after coughing or sneezing, when caring for the sick, after using the toilet, before eating, while preparing food and after handling animals or animal waste.

Furthermore after touching common surfaces such as doorknobs or handles, after one had returned home following a visit to a public place will keep others around one safe.

Thus promoting hand hygiene at all levels of health care has become critical. It is a very simple action and well-accepted to be one of the primary modes of reducing health care-associated infection and of enhancing patient safety.

Hand hygiene has come to stay as the use of ‘Veronica bucket’ serves as a simple way to encourage proper hand washing with soap under flowing water in front of houses, shops, institutions, at market places and lorry parks and all vantage points by everybody to keep the public safe.

Observation

Ghana has taken a step of hand washing towards ending the risk of diseases’ infections with a simple Veronica bucket device which comprises a bucket and a basin on top of a wooden/metal stand placed outside for the public to wash hands to save lives.

But there is one important aspect of this hand washing practice that everybody seems to have ignored. That’s the source of water in the veronica bucket. Some cleaners who mostly filled the bucket could not carry it to the stream or to the tap since it is heavy but rather prefer using any smaller bucket they come across to fetch water and pour into the veronica bucket.

Scenarios

A cleaner, Madam Adwoa Kisiwaah of a reputable institution interviewed by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani stated that the mop bucket she uses in cleaning the floor is the same container that she uses to fetch water into the Veronica bucket for hand washing by the general public. Mad. Kisiwah stated she had no other option than to do that because she could not carry the veronica bucket to the tap at the wash room or the stand pipe behind the building of that institution.

Question

So the question or a problem posed by the situation now is, are we all washing our hands under clean running water devoid of contaminations or we are rather adding to our woes of many other infectious diseases?

Another cleaner, Mad. Ama Afrakoma honestly responded to a question about the last time she washed the container in front of an office where she cleans that “I always top up the water since it does not finish before the day ends. So I come always to find the veronica bucket not empty and have to fill it to the brim”

Hopefully, based on the experiences of these two cleaners, everyone must have a second look and think twice before stretching off one’s hands under any veronica bucket one comes across to wash one’s hands with the view to cleaning one’s hands.

The most serious aspect is about the kids, particularly school children who sometimes after washing their hands with water from veronica buckets go ahead to eat without rinsing their hands with a whole cleaner water.

If this persists, then preferably the use of hand sanitizers must rather be encouraged even after washing the hands to ensure our hands are really clean.

Recommendations to parents and Guardians

Parents and guardians must provide hand sanitizers to their children and wards whenever they are going out, either to school, church or any public place and encourage them to use their hand sanitizers even after hand washing because they might not know the state of the water quality.

Dirty water is any water that is contaminated with disease-causing substances and could transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and many other diseases.

If care is not taken, as individuals or families, we might be washing our hands with the view to preventing COVID -19 but might end up being infected with other contaminated water diseases, because the water used might have not met the standard of a quality water.

Dr. John Ekow Otoo, a Deputy Bono Regional Director of the GHS in-charge of Public Health in an interview with the GNA expressed worry over the situation, stating it was very unfortunate that at some, if not most places the veronica buckets were not being kept well to conform to the objective of washing hands with soap under clean flowing water.’

“The principle of hand washing is for the soap to break up the dirt for a clean water to wash it away” he said.

Dr Otoo emphasized depending on how dirty the water might be, one could be infected if he/ she ate with the stained hand after washing with dirty water.

Hand washing must not fade up from the system even if COVID-19 is totally defeated by the country and the world in general.

This is because the practice could protect a person from getting sick and could also eradicate substantially most diseases likely caused by organisms from the palm.

If not in front of offices and at vantage points, Veronica buckets must be provided with clean water to serve its primary purpose.

Frequent visits to offices by strangers, clients and customers to transact businesses could attract infections, but if all hands were washed before entry that might help to reduce contaminations.

The schools especially should uphold such practice to keep the children save from infectious diseases because some school children after playing and touching surfaces of their desk eat with their hands unwashed.

But at lease if a Veronica bucket filled with water is placed on the school compound that could at least prompt the child to wash the hands before eating.

Source:GNA

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