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We’ll ensure our members comply with reduction in fuel prices – OMCs

Three Major Security Threats In Ghana | News Ghana

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies has urged consumers of petroleum products to remain calm as it works to ensure all members comply with the latest reduction in the price of fuel.

This follows a directive by the Energy Minister Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to reduce the 17 pesewas per litre increase in fuel margins it introduced on May 1, 2021, to 9 pesewas per litre.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on May 5, 2021, the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Kwaku Agyemang Duah, said most OMCs across the country will revise their prices by close of day today.

“It is early days. There are some who already revised their prices on the 1st of May and have to readjust to reflect the reduced prices announced yesterday. There are others who are yet to do so. So we need some time.”

“By close of work today, we will have a lot more of our members complying with the new directive.”

The government proposed a 5.7 percent increment in prices of petrol and diesel as part of new levies it is imposing on Ghanaians.

Until the recent increment, figures from the pumps showed that prices of petrol and diesel, which were both selling at an average price of GHS 4.7 per litre in December 2020, had risen to an average of GHS 5.74 as of mid-March 2021.

Currently, some Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) are displaying GHS 6.13 per litre of fuel at the pumps.

Fuel prices in the country have consistently seen a steady increase since the beginning of the year, sparking fears that consumers may end the year paying an all-time high rate per litre.

Source:Citinewsroom

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Environment

Tree Planting: Reduce the use of papers to limit cutting down trees – Ursula

Minister for Communications and Digitalisations, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (MP) on Friday, 11th June 2021 led management and staff of the Ministry as well as its agencies plant trees at the Ministry and its environs to commemorate the Green Ghana Day.

The Green Ghana Project is an initiative of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, which seeks to plant and nurture to maturity five million trees in a day with the aim of restoring the forest cover of Ghana. The Green Ghana Project is supposed to become an annual event and aims to reverse the process of deforestation.

The exercise went on across the 16 regions of the Country.
The Minister underscored the need for every Ghanaian to plant a tree to save the human species. “Through human activity, we have destroyed a lot of our vegetative cover in our country. Now we can be part of the solution”.


Mrs Owusu-Ekuful charged German Indian Kofi Annan Center for Excellence (GI-KACE) to develop an application to help the heath and growth of the tree so we can use digital technology to assist this effort adding, it is incumbent on all of us to nature the trees that have been planted.


“With the application of a little manure and regular watering, the plants will do well no matter where they are planted, and out of that, we can continue to enjoy the benefit”, Minister added.


Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful urged Ghanaians to decrease paper usage in the workplaces and homes to reduce the number of trees to be cut for paper production.

She called on all Ghanaians to separate the rubbish produced in homes (paper, metal, glass, organic). “The organic part can be used to produce manure to feed the trees that we are planting”.


Minister called for the legalisation of laws protecting trees in the country to ensure that the trees being planted today are not cut down callously tomorrow.

“In other parts of the world, even if you plant trees in your garden, you cannot cut it down without permission from the Municipal Authority”, she said.


Present at the ceremony were the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mrs Magdalene Apenteng, Directors, Agency heads and their staff as well as staff from the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation.

Source: 3news.com/Ghana

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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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Environment

President Akufo-Addo plants ‘tree of life’ to mark Green Ghana Day

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Friday led the nationwide planting of five million trees, a grand scheme to replenish Ghana’s severly depleted forest cover.

He planted a commemorative tree know as the Lignum Vitae or the tree of life, to signify the replenishment of the country’s vegetation, as he kicked started the government’s Green Ghana project.

The ambitious project seeks to have Ghanaians plant over 100 million trees by the end of the second term of President Akufo-Addo.

At a short ceremony at the forecourt of the Jubilee House, Accra, the President indicated that the forest was one of the nation’s most important resource, providing jobs, incomes, foreign exchange and environmental protection for the country.

However, the exploitation of forest resources for national development has not been sustainable over the years.

Noting that deforestation and forest degradation had been the greatest challenge to sustainable management of Ghana’s forest, President Akufo-Addo said the trend had to be reversed urgently in order to protect livelihoods, biodiversity, rainfall and water condition in the country.

“There is an urgent need to reverse the trend and return our forest resources, as much as possible, back to its original state.

“We do not have tomorrow, or the day after tomorow…We have to act now,” he emphasized.

The President said government was determined to restore the lost forest cover of the country, mostly through policy intervention.

He indicated that the attempt to regulate and sanitize the small-scale mining industry is one of such interventions to help keep the forest cover and reserves intact.

President Akufo-Addo stressed that the nationwide tree planting exercise would not be a one-off event, but would be observed annually until the country’s forest cover is replenished.

“We intend to enhance ongoing afforestation programs and see to the sustainable exploitation of our forest resources,” he said.

The President gave the assurance that the Government would ensure the survival of the five million trees being planted.

“Together, we must and will protect our environment and ecosystem and we must contribute to the world’s agenda at combating global warming.

“We have to protect planet Earth and our motherland Ghana. I appeal to all Ghanaians to embrace the green Ghana initiative,” he urged.

Lands and Natural Resources minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the Ministry had already distributed more than five million seedlings, including ornamental, fruits and economic trees nationwide for the exercise.

He said the Forestry Commission had marked out sites for tree planting including; backyards, open spaces, school compounds, residence and 100 metres away from roads.

The Minister called for collective action by political parties, faith-based organizations, corporate bodies, schools, the media, diplomatic missions and all well-meaning Ghanaians to join forces to plant five million trees.

The action, he said, would help “Green Ghana” and preserve the ecosystem to aid the fight against the negative effects of climate change.

Mr Jinapor announced that a Monitoring and Evaluation team had been constituted and would report quarterly and annually on how the trees were faring and gave the assurance that the public would be informed in due course.

“This is a well-thought through project and an Action Plan has been developed to restore the country’s forest cover and is going to be a short to medium term programme, which would be implemented fully in the next four to five years.

“So the Green Ghana Project is national in character and aimed at awakening national consciousness and should be a collective efforts by all,” the Minister emphasised.

The minister lauded the enthusiasm shown so far by the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service under ‘One-Student, One-Tree’ initiative to plant five million trees on the day.

He also commended faith-based organizations including; the Church of Pentecost, Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the Apostolic Church, the Catholic Church and other corporate entities showing the zeal to lead their members to plant trees.

He said the five million trees targeted this year would be scaled up to 20 million next year and was hopeful that by the end of President Akufo-Addo’s term, 100 million trees would have planted.

He said the Green Ghana Agenda did not mean the cessation of the ongoing Afforestation Scheme, but would be enhanced to restore the lost vegetation.

On nurturing the trees to maturity, Mr Jinapor indicated that Forestry Commission would provide guidelines for planting the seedlings and take care of the young trees in the forest reserves, while the brigade corps under the Youth in Afforestation would cater for the trees in the urban areas.

“This is a single most ambitious programme.

This is a Ghana Project and so let us all join and make a big statement on the day and ensure the survival and sustenance of our forest and environment. Introduced by government and being driven by the energetic youthful.

The exercise was witnessed by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Chief Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare, and other government functionaries.

Source:GNA

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