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Hajia Alima Mahama
National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Amasaman Emmanuel Nii Okai is cautioning against gerrymandering as government today laid before Parliament legislative instruments to create 38 new districts.
Gerrymandering is the division of a geographic area into voting districts in a way that gives one party an unfair advantage in elections.
Nii Okai is warning it will be out of place for this to be used as the basis to re-demarcate constituencies in a way that will be a disadvantage to Minority MPs.
“I hope that there won’t be any agenda behind it to take part of certain constituencies to add to certain constituencies.
“But as for the municipalities the division of it I think it is a step in the right direction,” he said.
According to him, the division of the municipality makes it easy when it comes to population, monitoring of projects and to stop people from building in wrong places.
But the Local Government Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama has been responding to the concerns.
She said the main criteria adopted by government is that the areas that have been identified as new municipalities or district assemblies are already constituencies.
“We have not created any district that will necessitate the creation of a constituency,” she added.
She said although the President has the mandate to create new districts and municipal assemblies, the country cannot have one constituency divided into two districts.
“If we do that it means that other areas must be established as a constituency, so we have not done that. We have followed existing constituencies,” she added.
The Legislative Instruments will also allow for the upgrade of 52 other districts to municipal status.
Deputy Minority Leader James Avedzi agrees the creation of the new districts will accelerate development but says the upgrades will make no difference in the governance structure.

Source: myjoyonline.com


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Staff of the Ashanti Region Electricity Company of Ghana have clashed with officers of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in a bid to disconnect the state broadcaster at the regional level.
Tyres were deflated, taunts and insults were exchanged with minimal physical exchanges as officers of GBC prevented the army of ECG officers from disconneting them.
The state broadcaster in the Ashanti Region owes a whopping 1.75 million cedis in electricity debt to the power distributor, a situation that has left ECG almost crippled.
For a company criticised for incompetence and about to be privatized largely because it has failed to collect its debts, officers at the ECG, especially in the Ashanti Region have been desperate and fiery at the same time to collect monies from notorious debtors.
On Thursday and Friday there has been fierce exchanges as officers of the ECG embarked on the operation pay-your-debt-or-get-disconnected.
On Thursday they managed, successfully to disconnect, the regional office of the state broadcaster but had the tyres of their vehicles deflated in the process.

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Nomadic herdsmen have allegedly burnt down nine homes in the Kwahu East in the Eastern region as conflict with farmers rages on.
Hundreds have been reportedly displaced after the Wednesday night attack.
 
The attack comes days after the Regional Security Council (RESEC) assured the community their lives were safe.
On November 6, 2017, the RESEC Chairman and Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, along with security capos visited areas in Kwahu East affected by years of conflict over fodder for cattle and food for humans.
He met the Fulani community in Kwahu, chiefs, farmers and other stakeholders to further discuss the issue after attacks and reprisals left nine dead days before.
Gripped with fear, pupils students and teachers abandoned their schools in communities like Dwerebease, Oboyan and Mpaemu.
Kwahu East District Chief Executive, Mr Isaac Agyapong said a police platoon is to provide 24-hour security in the areas.
 
Kwahu East DCE Isaac Agyapong visits the destroyed areas
Eleven days after the assurance, nine mud houses have been torched. The displaced are seeking refuge and shelter with friends and extended family members.
"It has now turned into war," leader of the Kwahu Youth for Social Development, Solomon Tettey has said. He has remarked, alarmingly pointing out that the herdsmen will win if nothing is done about it.
"There is no way you can confront them and win. The kind of ammunition they have, we the citizens don’t have them", he said.
The herd graze under the security of armed men who are employed by influential members of society. Solomon Tettey said the economic returns of cattle rearing points to the involvement of big businessmen and politicians.
He said a cow cost averagely, ¢2,500. A herdsman could be in charge of 50. "Just do the calculations", he said, explaining ¢125,000 is not money which dirty-looking herdsmen would have.
"It tells you that the ordinary taxi driver, the ordinary doctor, the ordinary teacher cannot employ the herdsmen", he said.
Security in the Kwaku East district has been described as porous.
Source: myjoyonline.com

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The Ministry of Sanitation and Water resources would provide 200,000 household toilets and 20,000 Institutional latrines to selected communities under the ‘Toilet for All’ agenda.
The provision was in a bid to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on ending open defecation.
Mr Ken Ofori- Atta, the Minister of Finance, announced this on Wednesday when presenting the 2018 Fiscal Budget in Parliament.
He said six unauthorised dump sites were evacuated in the Accra Metropolis and in addition, the Ministry would acquire and develop material recovery sites such as waste transfer stations and final disposal sites in every region to ensure the sorting and temporary holding of solid waste prior to treatment at the waste processing plants.
On Water Management programme, he said the Dam Safety Regulations L.I. 2236 was adopted to support the development, management, commissioning and decommissioning of diverse water storage facilities throughout the country and is expected to enhance the implementation of the “One-Village-One-Dam” initiative.
“In addition, the Ministry continued with the management of the 10.2km buffer zone created in the White Volta basin to protect, conserve and sustain fresh water resources.  In 2018, the Ministry will ensure the continuous implementation and enforcement of the buffer zone policies,” he added.        
Mr Ofori- Atta also said the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) was improved to aid accurate flood forecasting in the White Volta basin in the course of the year.
That, he said, led to the development of a new FEWS for the Oti Basin to serve as a trans-boundary model for both Ghana and Togo.
The Ministry also commissioned the Wa Water Supply Project and completed the Cape Coast Water Supply Project, Essakyir Water Supply Project – Addendum 1, Akim Oda, Akwatia and Winneba Water Supply Projects. 
He said the Ministry through Community Water and Sanitation Agency would implement Phase 2 of the Sustainable Rural Water Supply Project, which would see to the construction of about 50 small town water pipe schemes and over 300 boreholes.
“In 2018, the Ministry will undertake expansion works in Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project – Phase 2, Aqua Africa Water Project, Yendi Water Project, Damongo Water Project, Tamale Water Supply Project, Sunyani Water Project, Sekondi-Takoradi Water Project, Essiama Water Project and the Navrongo Water Supply Project,” he added.

Source: GNA


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The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCO) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) have signed an agreement for the establishment of a GRIDCO Centre of Excellence at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
The training centre would be equipped with the state of the art facilities that would be available to the engineering community and universities in Ghana.
The signing took place on Wednesday in Accra at a ceremony to commemorate the Project Completion of the Human Resource Development Infrastructure Plan Establishment for the Ghana Transmission System.
Mr. Jonathan Amoako-Baah, the Chief Executive Officer, GRIDCO, said the first phase of the project was signed on March 16, 2013 with $2.6 million funding from the Government of Korea.

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Ghana has been ranked a very high risk country in terms of road safety in a new interactive ‘Travel Risk Map’ for 2018.
The map, by International SOS and Control Risks, shows that much of Africa also poses a very high risk for travellers’ health, along with Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Guyana.
The Interactive ‘Travel Risk Map’ reveals which countries are riskiest for road safety, security and medical matters
 

 
Ghana was also ranked high risk for places most likely to put traveller’s health at risk. In terms of security, Ghana was ranked a low risk country.
 
 
The medical risk ratings are determined by assessing a range of health risks and mitigating factors including: infectious diseases, environmental factors, medical evacuation data, the standard of available local emergency, medical and dental care, access to quality pharmaceutical supplies, and cultural, language or administrative barriers.
The travel security risk ratings are determined based on the current threat posed to travellers and international assignees by political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence) as well as violent and petty crime. Other factors, such as the robustness of the transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters are also considered.

Source: graphic.com.gh



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A 15-member delegation of engineers energy experts from Ghana have visited Lekela, a renewable power generation company in South Africa as part of efforts to veer into wind power generation.
The visit by the 15 engineers and managers from the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), was designed to share best practice on connecting renewable sources of energy like wind power to a country’s national grid.
The Ghanaian delegation visited Lekela’s Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms. Each site has an installed capacity of 140 MW and both were recently connected to South Africa’s Eskom grid, providing a parallel for the Ghanaian experts to research.
The delegation attended ‘Grid Code testing’ for each site. This is undertaken before a wind farm can be connected to a country’s national energy grid. For commercial operations a wind farm must be tested to certify that is complies with both performance requirements and the grid code.

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Parliament on Thursday approved a financing agreement between Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group for 32 million dollars Special Drawing Rights.
The amount, equivalent to 45.7 million dollars, is an additional financing for the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project.
The targeted beneficiaries under the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project were 90 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) with the lowest water coverage and the highest incidence of water borne diseases in six regions; Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Central and Western.
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, in a report to the House, said the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project came out of the need for reforms that led to the establishment of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).

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Mr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, the President of the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines (EFEDCOM), has urged large-scale mining companies in the sub-region to promote innovative practices that would protect the environment and enhance the livelihoods of the people.
This, he said, would ensure that responsible mining practices gained grounds in West Africa.
This was in a statement issued to the Ghana News Agency at the end of the Second Edition of Nigeria’s Mining Week celebration in Abuja, which brought together captains of the mining sector, entrepreneurs and businesses from Nigeria and the sub-region to network and identify opportunities for further development.
The Nigeria Mining Week celebration comes on the heels of the recent phenomenal development of the minerals sector in West Africa’s powerhouse.

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Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Commission, has said as a first step to enhance the capacity of Ghanaians in the oil and gas operations, it was important to reduce expenditure by indigenising training and minimizing overseas training.
He said the government was committed to ensuring in-country retention of benefits of Petroleum operations and that it was imperative to innovate ways to sustain the growth of Ghanaian enterprises in the oil and gas sectors at all times.
Mr Faibille Jnr said this at the inauguration of Rigworld International Service Company’s magnificent and ultra-modern training Centre at Kejebri near Takoradi, to equip Ghanaian youth aspiring for jobs in the extractive industry.
The centre, valued at US$8.5 million is fully equipped with advanced simulators, helipad, water survival training pool, medical centre, prime on-site accommodation, and restaurant and fitness centre.
The highly equipped oil and gas training facility, which is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region, has advanced simulators for real-time training and development.
The training centre would offer a variety of safety and survival courses, including Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training, Further Offshore Emergency Training, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training and Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System.
Other courses to be offered are, Well Control and Intervention Training, Banksman and Slinger, Forklift Training, Crane Operations, Rope Access Training, Health, Hose Assembly Training, as well as the provision of offshore medicals, among others.
Mr Faibille Jnr commended the management of the Centre for conceiving and executing the project within a year, adding “it is a testament of the commitment and dedication by the leadership of an indigenous Ghanaian Company-Rigworld international and this is worth commending”.
“This suggests that when given the opportunity, the right incentives and favourable playing field, Ghanaian businesses are capable of delivering quality services in upstream petroleum subsector and other spheres of our economy”.
He said the training centre had come handy as a key facility in manpower development for the emerging oil and gas industry in the country. 

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Ghana and Qatar are seeking ways to boost multi-faceted bilateral cooperation between the two countries, with Ghana seeking to leverage on Qatar’s expertise in the oil and gas sector to enhance its energy infrastructure.
This was the outcome of discussions when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, called on the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as part of his three-day official visit to that country.
The deliberations between both leaders centered on energy, infrastructural development, railways and roads, and, also on the need to co-operate strategically for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their respective populations.
The Qatari leader expressed his eagerness to have Ghanaian companies invest in his country, and was desirous of meeting the Ghanaian business community during his official three-day state visit to Ghana scheduled for December 27, 2017.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani indicated that Qatar was desirous of forging strong partnerships and relations with countries such as Ghana, countries that are governed in accordance with the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability.
The Emir stressed the need to rekindle the ancient ties between Africa and the Gulf Region, which has weakened in the course of the last 60 to 70 years.
President Akufo-Addo was grateful for the warm reception and hospitality accorded him and his delegation since his arrival to Qatar.
He noted that Ghana, considering the significant gas resources available to her, was willing to learn from Qatar on how the country has exploited its gas resources for the development of the country and the progress of its people.
The President was hopeful that Ghana would establish an Embassy in Qatar before the Emir’s visit to the country.
Source: GNA

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