The village is not a limitation – Lanchene inspires final year pupils

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Wa West Constituency, Supt. (rtd) Peter Lanchene Toobu has admonished final year Junior High School (JHS) pupils in the Wa West District to turn any stumbling block(s) into stepping stones by excelling in the upcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

Mr. Lanchene made the call during an interaction with pupils of Gurungu D/A JHS in the district.

Hon. Peter Lanchene Toobu at Gurungu D/A JHS

The pupils, among other things, mentioned the lack of electricity, insufficient furniture and textbooks as some of the issues affecting their studies. After listening to the pupils on the state of the school’s infrastructure and other challenges, the inspirational lawmaker described the concerns as legitimate, but advised them not to allow those challenges to affect their education. According to Mr Lanchene, although the pupils consider themselves less privileged, the “village” tag is not an excuse for them to underperform in their education. “The village is not a limitation to your future ambitions”, he encouraged.

The pupils were thankful to the MP for his enormous contributions towards uplifting educational standards in the district. These interventions include the renovation of some school blocks, donation of furniture and exercise books and, importantly, singlehandedly sponsoring this year’s mock exams.
Mr. Lanchene in partnership with the Wa West District Education Directorate has organized a “trial” examination dubbed “MP’s Mock” for all final year JHS pupils in the district who will be sitting for the BECE this year.

In a related development, the retired Police Superintendent, Peter Lanchene Toobu, has renovated and handed over all nine classrooms of the Ponyentanga R/C primary school, where he had his basic education.

Renovated school block at Ponyentanga

The once dilapidated school had its classrooms’ doors and windows replaced, floors and walls patched and the entire block painted, the headmistress told W93.5fm.

One of the classrooms before the renovation

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Peter Toobu said the gesture was part of his efforts to contribute to the growth and development of his alma mater.

Hon. Peter Lanchene Toobu at work

UW/R: Farmers lament high cost of labour, likely to increase prices of produce

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As the harvesting of farm produce is earnestly in progress across the Upper West region, some groundnut farmers have bemoaned the high cost of labour for the 2021 farming season and intimated its potential of pushing prices of their produce upwards after harvest.

Farmers in various communities of the Upper West Region could not hide their fears of incurring losses with the increase in the cost of farm labour especially that the heavy rains in the region is making mature groundnut to regerminate before harvest.

According to Chris Danbaa from Tibani, a fariming settlement in the Nadowli/Kaleo District, farm labour has been costly aside getting a tractor to plough an acre for GH¢120.00. He said sowing an acre with groundnut cost GH¢80.00, and this is based on consideration. During this harvesting, he has to engage young men at the cost of GH¢100.00 to help in uprooting the groundnut while those, mostly women, who pluck the nuts take not less GH¢6.00 for a basin of nuts harvested. Some charge GH¢8.00 for larger basins, he said.

On her part, Agaata Lawri, a female farmer, said the challenges confronting groundnut farmers this season are enormous. She also cited the difficulty and high cost in getting tractor to plough the land, the “bad” rainfall pattern and high cost of labour in sowing through to harvesting. She indicated that, the floods this year have destroyed most of the groundnut while some tend to germinate, and a chunk of the few they are able to salvage going to service labour cost.

Cecilia Christopher, another female farmer, corroborating her colleague farmers noted that every menial work on the farm has increased between GH¢1.00 to GH¢3.00. For her, she has taken the option of a barter when it comes to the picking of the nuts, where people are paid with a quantity of the nuts they pluck. This option is still expensive to her as three measuring bowls (“kokolaa”) in quantity are taken for a medium size basin. She said this will reduce the produce greatly, which may make it difficult to break even.

In the Wa Municipality, Seidu Kashir from Jonga stated that farm labour cost is higher this year compared to that of last year. He posited that, “a per day labour for sowing is GH¢12.00 and it takes eight people to sow an acre and weeding in between the groundnuts now goes for GH¢100.00”. Picking of the nuts according to him is dependent on the distance of the farm from home. “Some take as much as GH¢10.00 for plucking a basin (medium size) of groundnut”. The farmer added that, when one is able to transport the uprooted groundnuts to the house for plucking, the labourers take GH¢5.00 or GH¢6.00 depending on once relationship with them and the bargaining skills.

The farmers considering these factors have indicated that the price of groundnut is more likely to increase this year. They said that is necessary in order to help them achieve breakeven or at best reduce their losses. It is their belief that, the rise in the cost of harvesting groundnut is as a result of the urgency farmers have attached to it because of the regermination of the farms caused by the heavy rains this season. This therefore pushed demand for labour high without corresponding supply as other hands are engaged in their own farms.

MMDCEs have failed to support the NPP – Chairman S.B Kangbere

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The Upper West Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Saanbaye Baslide Kangbere has bemoaned the lack of support from Municipal and District Chief Executives to improve the fortunes of the Party. He disclosed that, the Chief Executives of the various municipalities and districts in the region, have not been helpful to the party in terms of finances and logistics.

According to Chairman Kangbere, he cannot remember any of the MMDCEs stretching a helping hand by way of finance or logistics when the Party finds itself in dire straits. He wondered how these appointees could forget that they were made MDCEs because of the NPP. Thus, he advised the newly nominated MMDCEs to always remember the Party especially in times of need.

“You seem to have forgotten that, it is the victory of the Party which created the vacancy for you to occupy today. You seem not to care and indeed want to bite the finger that fed you”. He said as he congratulated the newly nominated MMDCEs who are being confirmed. He advised them to learn from the past mistakes and recognize they have a responsibility of helping to improve the political fortunes of the NPP in the region.

The regional chairman made this revelation at the Party’s Regional Annual Delegates Conference held on Saturday, 2nd October 2021 at Wa Technical Institute in Wa.

Chairman SB Kangbere encouraged the Party foot soldiers to keep faith with the party, saying that, their dinner may have delayed but it will surely come. Describing them as the most important people in the party who deserve respect, Mr. Kangbere urged them to continue working for the betterment of the NPP.

The “super heavyweight chairman” as he is affectionately referred, expressed hope that the second tenure of the Akufo-Addo-led NPP presents a new face. He therefore charged the grassroot of the Party not to despair as their sacrifices and efforts will be greatly rewarded in due course.

The Conference brought together party faithfuls and sympathizers from various parts of the country including national executives and former appointees such as Rita Asobayere, the national 1st Vice Chairman; John Boadu, the General Secretary and Henry Nana Boakye, the National Youth Organizer. Others were Kwabena Abankwah Yeboah, the National Treasurer, Boakye Agyarko, former Energy Minister and Prof Ameyaw Ekumfi, former Minister of Education in the Kufour administration.

Speaker, Alban Bagbin, stocks Nadowli Hospital with 230 pints of blood to mark 64th birthday

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Born on 24th September, 1957, Rt. Hon Speaker, Alban S.K Bagbin turned 64 years last Friday, September 24, 2021. Alban Bagbin hails from Sombo, a farming community in the Nadowli/Kaleo District of the Upper West region. He has risen from being the longest serving Member of Parliament to becoming the first Speaker of Parliament from an opposition party in Ghana.

As part of celebrations to mark his 64th birthday, the Speaker decided to stock the blood bank of the Nadowli District Hospital of the Upper West region with about 230 pints of blood. This was done through a blood donation exercise organized by the Rt. Hon ASK Bagbin in Nadowli, the district capital of the constituency, Nadowli/Kaleo, where he represented in Ghana’s Parliament for twenty-eight (28) years consecutively before becoming the Speaker of the House in January this year.

Hundreds of people; from far and near, within and outside the constituency, young and old, men and women, thronged the donation centre to bleed in honour of Dr. Alban Bagbin whose ultimate aim is to save lives in the area through the provision of blood. Over 400 people out of the many that came to support the celebration went through the screening processes with 227 people successfully donating blood to help the course. Other qualified donors could not bleed as they left the centre for homes due to nightfall, with some promising to report the following day at the hospital to donate.

Expressing her joy and gratitude to the Rt. Hon Speaker for the initiative, District Director of Health Services in the area, Madam Phoebe Balagmum said blood is an essential commodity in health care delivery, stating that “a hospital that has no blood is not a hospital, because blood is an essential component of our service delivery”. She added that anybody without blood will be taken to the grave in no time.

The director explained that the demand for blood is not limited to any particular group of people as accident victims, pregnant women, snakebite victims, mothers in labour and children are all classes of people who always require blood for survival. With all these people in need of blood, Ms. Balagmum said it becomes difficult for the hospital to meet its blood demands all the time.

Phoebe Balagmum underscored the impact the Bagbin@64 Blood Donation Exercise would have for healthcare delivery in the Upper West Region. She disclosed that the Nadowli District Hospital “on monthly basis requires 80 pints of blood”. She noted that “the blood situation in the hospital is nothing to write home about” as people do not voluntarily donate blood to help the hospital meet its target. Madam Phoebe revealed that the hospital serves not only the Nadowli/Kaleo district but other districts in the Upper West region.

For the District Director of Health Services, the initiative by Mr. Bagbin is very timely as it will save lives in the region. She thanked the third most important gentleman of the country for his continuous support to the health sector in the district, and wished him well as he adds another year. Ms. Phoebe therefore implored the general public to emulate the gesture by the former MP and donate blood to the various health facilities in the region as that will improve health service delivery.

Speaking on behalf of staff of the Speaker’s secretariat, Special Assistant to Alban Bagbin, Lord Michael Batuolkuu called on the Upper West region to count themselves lucky for having an illustrious son as Bagbin who has become a global personality and still does not forget his roots. He urged them to hold him in high esteem and support him to rise higher as they stand beneficiaries of his success.

He thanked all those who converged to bleed during the exercise and prayed they regain the lost blood as quickly as possible. Mr. Batuolkuu also pledged their continuous support for Bagbin as staff of his secretariat. He wished him prosperity and long life as he continues the journey to impacting lives positively.

The occasion also saw a donation of assorted soft drinks, biscuits, pampers, toiletries, tissue papers and detergents to the Children’s Ward of the hospital. These items together amounted to about GH¢5,000.00.

The event, though in the absence of Mr. Bagbin himself, saw massive attendance from various communities within the district and beyond.


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The Upper West Regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority is scheduled to visit some tourist sites in the region as part of activities to commemorate the 2021 United Nations World Tourism Day. The “World Tourism Day celebration” which comes off on 27th September each year affords the various Tourism industry players the opportunity to showcase their products and services with the aim of attracting global attention. In Ghana, the National event is often characterized by a national durbar organized by the Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Mr. Moses Ndewin Ndebugri

In a press statement signed by the Upper West Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority Mr. Moses Ndewin Ndebugri, this year’s world tourism day celebration will be held at Hohoe in the Volta Region under the theme: “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”. Activities for this year’s National event includes: Health walk and a Grand Durbar of Chiefs.

However, the day will be commemorated in the Upper West Region with a visit to some selected tourist sites. The regional team is also expected to meet and interact with site managers and tour guides from the selected sites “on their level of adherence to the COVID-19 protocols”. The statement further encouraged the populaces to patronize the various tourist attractions in the region; “the public is encouraged to visit the tourist sites in the region and experience our rich culture and hospitality” the statement said.

The Upper West Region is endowed with numerous tourist attractions stretching from Cultural and Heritage sites to beautiful flora & fauna, from the unique cultural festivals to the amazing hospitality among others. Attractions such as: the Mushroom-shape rock, spectacular Nanvile termite hills, the Gwollu slave defense wall, the Busa bleeding rock & Baobab tree house, the Gbelle game reserve, Wechiau Hippo sanctuary, Nakore ancient mosque and the magnificent Wa Naa’s palace makes the region a preferred tourist destination.

Some tourist attractions in the Upper West Region

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has set aside 27th September each year to create awareness among the international community on the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic impact worldwide.

Since 1980, the day (27th September) has become known as “the world tourism day”.


Police Arrest Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempa and 3 others

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Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah and three others have been arrested. Whiles two of his Gunmen On the Run.

The Inspector General of Police ordered the arrest and detention of suspect Owusu Bempah and his gang over the creation and circulation of multiple videos containing threats, and fearlessly brandishing weapons.

After critically analysing the said videos and based on intelligence gathered, IGP ordered an operation on Sunday, September 12, 2021, at his church premise to arrest the suspects.

During the operation, some members of the church, believed to have been under the direction of Reverend Bempah assaulted some Police Officers who are currently responding to treatment.

The other three suspects are Michael Boateng, Frederick Ohene and Nathaniel Agyekum. Two other suspects are on the run and the Police are pursuing them.

Source: The security guy, Ghana Police Service (Facebook)


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Yendorma Domayiri

Yendorma Domayiri, an 86 year old displaced widow from Vogoni in the Nadowli/Kaleo district of the Upper West Region is appealing to the general public to help her find shelter and food after she was hit  by the recent flood that affected parts of the Upper West Region.

At age 86 and over 30 years of a “fruitless marriage”, Yendorma lost her husband in 2006. She has since lived alone and provided for herself until a natural disaster struck her community in August, 2021. The devastating flood which washed away some major roads in the Upper West Region did not spare the underprivileged old lady, she lost her home, personal belongings and farm produce to the flood. With no husband or child to support her, Yendorma now sleeps on a “sack” in an open veranda.

Speaking to W93.5FM, helpless Yendorma recounted her ordeal over the past weeks, according to her; “she gives her body to the weather whiles waiting for the Creator to take her soul”. Whiles conducting the news team around her collapsed structure she appealed to the benevolence of the public;“I have no husband, no child, now I have no place to stay and no food to eat, I am appealing to the world to show me some compassion before I die” she pleaded.

  1. The collapsed structure

Assembly member for Goriyiri electoral area, Nestor Mwinterebo who has since served as the caregiver described Yendorma’s plight as the “worst individual victim” of the recent flood disaster. Mr. Mwinterebo admitted the situation was beyond his individual capacity and has therefore added his voice to the plea for support.

In the meantime, the Upper West Regional office of the Ghana Red Cross Society has reacted by providing a tent as an emergency temporal measure. Mr Jeremiah Afako is the Upper West Regional Manager of the Ghana Red Cross Society, he equally called on the public to advance more support to the disadvantaged old lady “we heard our mum’s cry for help from Wfm and we came to her aid with a family size tent whiles we wait for more support to her and others affected by the downpour” he shome

Yendorma inside her tent
Yendorma in front of her temporal home

Meanwhile, W93.5fm in partnership with the Assembly member for the area has commenced an initiative to solicit support for the flood victim. We appeal to the public for donations in cash or kind. Kindly channel your donations and enquiries to the following contacts: # 0241761224/0205851713



Get Dr. Hilla Limann Technical University a Students’ Hostel – Youth Parliament appeals

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The Upper West Regional Youth Parliament has called on stakeholders including private individuals to support build a hostel facility for students of the Dr. Hilla Limann Technical University (DHLTU).

The group made the appeal when it paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor of the University on 20th August, 2021.

In furtherance to getting this achieved, the leadership also appealed to the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, to support processes to get students of the University a decent accommodation for use on campus. The youth leaders were at the Hon Minister’s office to congratulate him on his reappointment to the office and thus, used the opportunity to re-echo the need to build hostel accommodation for students of the Dr. Hilla Limann Technical University.

The Speaker of the Regional Youth Parliament, Rt. Hon. James Baba Anabiga, who led the delegation, said building students hostel at the DHLTU has gone beyond a need and now a matter of priority, hence should be treated as such.

“Hon. Minister, getting Dr. Hilla Limann Technical University a students hostel has gone beyond a need stage and it’s now a priority. It’s the only public tertiary institution without hostel on campus and as a matter of fact, affects enrollment figures of the institution.” He bemoaned.

The Speaker also appreciated the efforts of the Regional Minister in bringing back to live, roads which were cut off due to the floods in the early days of August, 2021 and further requested of him to take steps for work to resume on the abandoned Affordable Housing project in Wa.

The Regional Minister in his response appreciated the visit and disclosed that efforts are far advanced in getting a students’ hostel for the DHLTU, acknowledging the fact that it’s the only public university in the country without students hostel. He again assured that work will resume on the Affordable Housing project even though he could not give timelines because of the “countless government responsibilities”.

On the washed off roads, Dr. Bin Salih indicated that government is committed and has made available GHC50millon to fix them, adding that contractors have already been sent to site to get this done soonest.

“Hopefully, the Goriyiri-Nadowli road will be opened to traffic by 5th September, 2021 for the time being. But it will be fully completed after the rains”. He stated.

The Hon Minister also used the opportunity to advise Youth Parliamentarians to be discipline and take their professions very serious if they want to be successful and respected in the field of politics. He said his doors are opened to the Youth Parliament anytime there is a need to call on him for any support.

Government urged to prioritize affordable loans for youth in agriculture value chain

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The Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture, Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah has appealed to government and financial institutions to make affordable loans available to young people who intend to start and operate income generating agriculture projects of modest sizes as a way of transforming livelihoods and the food system.

He said there is an urgent need to build a more sustainable food system hence the need to optimize agricultural land use and improve efficiency throughout the supply chain. To this end, he believes making affordable loans available to youth in agriculture will be enormous.

“We have to embrace sustainable farming practices such as conservation agriculture and diversification which include crop rotation. This can be achieved by cereal and legume rotation, planting cover crops, minimizing bush burning, minimum tillage, minimizing tree logging, applying integrated pest management, adopting agro-forestry practices and cultivation and utilization of local nutritious fortified foods”.

According to Mr. Sasu Yeboah, the state of agriculture should be a concern to everybody because the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the fuel that powers our lives are produced through agriculture. “It is also a fact that the future of agriculture is dependent on the next generation of innovators, communicators, producers, educators and leaders”, he said.

On his part, the Upper West Regional Director of the National Youth Authority, Amankona Ampofo, said “it is a duty and a collective responsibility to make agriculture attractive and prepare the industry as a lucrative venture attractive enough for the youth to venture into and build a business as means of livelihood, not only for themselves but for the growth, prosperity and ensuring food safety and security”. He added that, the youth need to be prepared to take over from the aging workforce.

Maria Johanna, an entrepreneur, used the opportunity to advise the youth to employ technology in food processing and marketing. She also urged that, “we must first accept, buy and consume our local produce as they are more nutritious.”

These calls were made at the SEM-B Lodge in Wa, the Upper West regional capital, during the International Youth Day celebration on August 13, 2021 organized by the National Youth Authority under the theme; Transforming Food System: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health.

Farmers in Upper West Region call for use of weighing scale as tool for measuring produce

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Farmers in the Upper West Region have bemoaned post-harvest losses suffered as a result of lack of standardized measuring tool in the sale of farm produce. They have therefore called for the usage of standard weight and measurement to curb the cheating by traders.

According to them, the use of standard weighing tools in the sale of farm produce will help them a lot to be able to make profits from their toil.

Seidu Kessia, a farmer in Manwe, a farming community in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region said he will be very happy if there is some kind of policy or directive that will make it mandatory for farmers and traders to use weighing scale to measure food produce. For him, it is about time the government intervened in making available standardized measuring tools for the use in buying and selling farm produce. He said such a move will greatly improve the living conditions of the average farmer.

For Abdulai Sengalge, using a scale will bring standard and uniformity in measuring food produce. He asserts that, traders in buying their farm produce use big measuring bowls of different sizes known in local parlance as “Kookoolaa”, but will use smaller ones when they sell to other consumers.

Mr. Sengalge further indicated that, the way and manner the market women use kookoolaa to measure their maize is mostly a rip off for farmers but enormous gains for the traders. He said introduction and use of weighing scale will eradicate the long held perception of farmers being at the losing end each time they offer their goods for sale.

Meanwhile, a trader Nma Alima said, people come to the market to ask them about using a scale to measure their goods but she is yet to acquire and use one. She added that, the scale is costly and it will be difficult to carry around especially when they are going to the distant markets.

On his part, Mr Felix Kuu-mulo an expert in Standard weight and measurement speaking on W93.5FM’s agriculture programme, Agric Today, indicated that, using the scale system will give accurate measure and price. This he said will eliminate cheating and increase speed in measurement.
He advised that calibrated standard weighing scale is certified by the Ghana Standard Authority for use in Ghana, adding that, there are scales that can be carried along to the very distant markets.

Mr. Kuu-mulo used the opportunity to appeal to traders to accept and embrace the use of standard weight and measurement for a collective benefit.

The Agric Today programme has been running on W93.5fm for 6yrs now. It is a weekly magazine show design to educate, inform and entertain farmers. It gives farmers a platform to seek knowledge and share ideas in the agriculture value chain. The programme is aired every Monday from 8:00pm to 10:00pm.

PFJ Fertilizer Shortage: GHC260 million release too late to yield results – Farmers

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Farmers in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital, have described as too late, the intervention of the Ministry of Agriculture in releasing money to suppliers to continue the supply of the Planting for Food and Jobs subsidized fertilizers to farmers.

This is in response to the disclosure of Dr. Owusu Afriye Akoto, the Minister of Agriculture, that GHC 260million has been released to settle part of the debts owed suppliers of fertilizer under the government’s flagship programme so that farmers can continue to benefit the supplies.

According to Daud Salifu, “if as we speak the fertilizers were here, it would have helped some few farmers who planted their crops a bit later. But as we speak, he said the ministry has released money. When are the fertilizers coming to the Upper West Region?” He quizzed.

He further opined that, some of the farmers have started harvesting maize, groundnut and yam. And that the crops still at the farms have passed the stage of fertilizer application, noting that, only sulphate of Amonia can stil be applied.

Mr. Daud also lamented over the high cost of the subsidized fertilizers, saying they come in smaller sizes than the previous fertilizers but cost more.

On his part, Hudu Bashit said this release is to enrich politicians who smuggle fertilizers to neighbouring Burkina Faso at the expense of the Ghanaian farmer. He claimed that, farmers are being harassed most times by police on their way to farms with fertilizer while big trucks loaded with fertilizers are allowed to pass with ease.

Meanwhile the Member of Parliament for Wa East Constituency and Deputy Ranking Member on the Food and Agriculture Committee, Dr Seidu Jasew described the release of the GHC260 million as indicated by the Agriculture Minister as too late and too little to salvage the situation farmers found themselves in the midst of the fertilizer shortage.

It is worthy of note that, the PFJ subsidized fertilizers ran out in the Upper West Region since June, at a time farmer were in dire need of the products, especially the NPK fertilizer, for their crops. This development has left a number of people in fear of food shortages in the near future as it is anticipated that there will be low yield this farming season.

NDA committed to fulfilling Akufo-Addo’s promises to chiefs in Upper West Region – Deputy CEO

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The deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of projects and member of the interim management committee of the Northern Development Authority (NDA), Stephen Kojo Engmen has indicated the authority’s readiness to fulfil president Akufo-Addo’s promises to chiefs in the Upper West region.

The president on his latest working visit to the Upper West region made separate promises to the paramount chiefs of Wa and Lambussie. Mr. Akufo-Addo promised Wa Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV, a school block and ancillary facilities to house the newly established Naa Pelpuo Islamic School currently operating at the Wa Naa Palace. He also pledged to work on dams and toilet facilities in the Lambussie District as requested by the Lambussie Kuoro Issakah Kazie Zengeh Tanjeh II. To this end, President Akufo-Addo charged the NDA to take care of the requested projects and ensure they are delivered.

Speaking to the media at the sidelines of the President’s tour, the Deputy CEO in charge of operations said the president’s directives will be put to work in a matter of weeks. He said the projects will be discussed immediately he returns to the NDA head office in Tamale, further stating that a quantity surveyor will be sent to take the estimates for the Wa Naa Fusieni Pelpuo IV school project within a week, so that work can start as soon as possible. On the dams and sanitary facilities that are being done by the NDA, Mr. Engmen said his outfit is committed to completing the projects for the people as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Stephen Engmen indicated that the Authority will soon resume paying its contractors to enable them deliver various projects. He said the process of payments to their contractors started last year but was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He however disclosed that the Authority was able to pay some contractors early this year.

He further revealed that, the finance minister has released monies for the NDA to pay contractors who have presented interim payment certificates, indicating that not every contractor can be captured for the time being.

The Northern Development Authority was established by President Nana Akufo-Addo in his first term to replace the defunct Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and serve as a vehicle that will see to the development and transformation of the savannah ecological area. The NDA implements government’s projects that are captured under the initiative, Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).

Islamic preaching banned in Wa over growing tensions among Islamic sects

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The Overlord of the Wala Traditional Area, Wa Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV, in consultation with the Yeri Naa and leaders of the Islamic religious sects and the security services, has with immediate effect banned the activities of Islamic preachers in the Wa Municipality for at least two weeks. The ban which took effect on Thursday, 15th July, 2021, will last till Wednesday, 28th July, 2021.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Wa Naa bemoaned the increasing disturbances resulting from preachers of various Islamic sects in the municipality. His Majesty indicated that the move is necessary “to stop the spate of retributory preachings threatening the peace of the Municipality”

The statement signed by the Vice President of the Wala Traditional Area, Busa Naa Ali Seidu Pelpuo, said “the ban covers all sermons undertaken in the FM stations in the Municipality and includes recordings of sermons posted on Facebook.”

This ban comes on the back of recent verbal exchanges and threats among muslims in the area which led to the arrests of some two young men purported to be followers of one Sheikh Musah, an “orthodox” Islamic preacher and the alleged burning of a motorbike belonging to one Sheikh Kadir of the Sunni sect. The divergent opinions of the two sects on Islamic teachings that are said to be laced with verbal attacks on personalities have been lingering since Ramadan, and many have decried the possible insecurity that will occur if care is not taken.

However, imams are permitted to issue Friday sermons in the mosques with “extreme circumspection in order not to transfer the hate sermons from the FM stations into the mosques”.

Meanwhile, the Wala Tradional Council has called for the support and collaboration of all persons in the area, indicating that engagements are ongoing to find a permanent solution to what they describe as a “disease in our religious space”.

Read statement below.

The statement has been copied to the Chairmen of REGSEC and MUSEC, the Regional Commanders of Ghana Police Service (GPS) and National Investigations Bureau (NIB) and the Municipal Commander of GPS.

The others are the Yeri Naa, the Chief Imam, the Imam Wa Central Mosque, the President of the Jamiatul Islamiat, the Missionary-in-charge, Islam Ahmaddya, Chief Imam of Ahlul Sunna wa Jammaat, the Head of the Tendaamba and the Registrar, Wala Traditional Council.

Akufo-Addo expresses shock over no work on Wa Islamic Girls SHS fence wall

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The president of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his promise to build a fence wall around the Islamic Girls Senior High School in Wa after expressing surprise that work is yet to begin on the project.

According to the President, he was not aware that work on the Islamic Girls Senior High School fence wall has not started until he got to Wa. He thus reassured the Wa Naa, Naa Fusieni Seidu Pelpuo IV, of his commitment to ensure that the fence wall is built. “I’m particularly concerned [that], the undertaken I gave about the Wa Islamic Girls School has not taken place. I’m very disturbed by that.” The President noted, adding that, “I do not know the matter was still outstanding until I came here. So, I have to repeat my promise, and this time it will be done”.

In same vein, the President indicated that he will engage the Minister of Education to see to the construction of an assembly hall and the provision of a pick-up and a bus for the Wa Senior High School as requested by the Wa Naa.

Still on education, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo said the Palace School that was started by the Wa Naa in 2020 will see the construction of classroom blocks and ancillary facilities to house it. This, he disclosed, will be taken up by the Northern Development Authority.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo further indicated that, he will consult with various stakeholders to facilitate the inclusion of an indigene of the Waala Traditional Area in the governing councils of the SDD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies and the Dr. Hilla Limann Technical University which gained autonomy and upgrade respectively under his first term.

The President made these commitments while interacting with the Wa Naa and his elders as part of his two-day working visit to the Upper West region.

The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces took the opportunity to apologize to the people of Wa for the unruly behavior of some soldiers in the area on 1st July, 2021 where residents were beaten allegedly over a stolen mobile phone belonging to one of the soldiers. While commending the Defence Minister and the Upper West Regional Minister for their swift actions to address the issue, he said such will not repeat itself under his watch as president.

President Akufo-Addo however appealed to the Wa Naa and his people to support the security services in the region to curb the smuggling of the government subsidized fertilizers into neighbouring countries as the illegal act is contributing to the reported shortage of the products in the region.

The President is in the Upper West region for a two-day visit as part of his practice to visit all regions every year. He is scheduled to visit three other districts in the region; the Lambussie District, the Nandom and the Tumu municipalities.

“Lawless” soldiers terrorize residents of Wa over lost phone

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Residents in Wa, the regional capital of the Upper West region, have expressed misgivings about the actions of military officers on Thursday, July 1, 2021, after the soldiers went to town beating and harassing people for unknown reasons.

The group of officers from the 10-Mechanized Battalion in Wa, numbering over 20, were seen in town, Thursday afternoon, brutalizing residents without giving any tenable reason for their actions. The unexplained brutality, alleged to be over a missing phone of a soldier, was meted out on people including motor riders, with some having to run and leave behind their bikes. Some of the motor riders also fell and got injured while their motorbikes got damaged in the process.

Some other persons who were at their shops were punished to kneel in the sun without knowing what crime they committed.

According to a victim, only identified as Baba, who was asked to kneel in the sun, the rampaging soldiers indicated that a resident stole a phone belonging to a colleague military officer, and thus told them to advise the youth in town to stop messing with them (soldiers) or residents will continue to face their wrath in the manner they did.

Some victims, who out of fear, were lying in the gutters still got slaps from the military officers.

The unprofessional actions of the soldiers also caused unbearable traffic as it was a market day with many people coming from surrounding communities to do business. The fear created by the military brutality saw some people closed their shops and went home to avoid being victims. Many were seen running away from the soldiers which also caused some to fall, injuring themselves in the process.

The Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni, also suffered the inappropriate actions of the military in the area. He explained to the media that, he had information about the alleged brutality while in office. Not believing it because of recent happenings involving the military and the subsequent outcry by Ghanaians, he decided to go and see for himself only to be beaten by some of the irate soldiers.

Residents are demanding justice for the unprofessional conduct of the military officers, with many describing them as uncouth and lawless. They call on leadership in the region and other stakeholders to expedite investigations into the matter and ensure that officers found culpable are punished.

Lack of farm machinery; female farmers in UW/R call for inclusion of tractor services in PFJ policy

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Female farmers in the Upper West region has appealed to the government to introduce or include subsidized tractor services in the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) policy. They have also urged other stakeholders in agriculture to help make available farming equipment especially tractors, at the beginning of the season to enhance their productivity.

The northern part of Ghana experiences only one rainy season which usually starts around April and ends around September. It is during this time most people who are interested in farming take to the fields. It is however unfortunate that the season has become difficult to predict in recent times.

The short duration coupled with limited farm implements for farm preparation and harvesting of produce continues to pose a challenge to most farmers in the north of Ghana especially women. Due to this, farmers in this part of the country move in urgent haste to grab the few tractors available to plough their farmlands when the rains begin to fall.

This sudden rush for tractors gives priority to men, who are “traditionally” regarded as heads of the family and should be served first. This unfortunate decision by the few tractor operators usually leave women disadvantaged. These societal arrangements which prioritize men in the owning of productive resources therefore leaves little for the women farmers as preference is given to men when it comes to farm services.

According to Jahara Osman, a farmer, getting tractor to plough her farm is usually a cumbersome process. This, she said, normally discourages women to even venture into farming. She disclosed that she has to rely on the male farmers to facilitate tractor services for her to plough her nine acres farm.

The female farmer further indicated that, they harvest and thrash soyabeans manually due to lack of shellers/thrashers. Madam Jahara opined that they could do more if they were having easy access to farm machinery like their male counterparts.

In similar vein, Khadija Seidu described the difficulty in getting tractor to plough her land in time as the biggest challenge hindering her progress in farming. She added that “even when you need labour to weed, sow or harvest manually, they will tell you, they are working on their individual farms”.

For Leberta Razak, her productivity as a farmer is challenged as a result of lack of early tractor services and farm inputs. She mentioned that, the delays in getting tractor services, improved seeds and fertilizers hamper her agricultural activities.

On her part, Hajia Hamida Iddris, who owns a tractor and a sheller in Konyokuon, said the machines are wortfully inadequate to serve the farmers in the community. She noted that, as a woman farmer, she has successfully encouraged a lot of women to cultivate interest and embrace farming, which they did. She however bemoaned the inadequacy of farming implements to ease the stress of the farm work, which thereby impedes their progress.

Agrihouse Foundation calls for recognition and support for unsung heroes (women) in agriculture

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The 3rd Edition of the Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil awards will today, Thursday, 24 June 2021, recognise women in the agriculture value chain in the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga.

The two-day event, which started on Wednesday, June 23, held training and capacity building session for the nominees to enhance their knowledge in agriculture and related trades.

During the training forum, Executive Director at Agrihouse Foundation, organizers of the WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa said “the program will focus on rewarding excellence by recognising the efforts of our incredible agri-women, most of whom have unfortunately remained unsung heroes despite their mammoth contribution to the agricultural discipline. The event would identify such women, shed light on their endeavours and reward their industry and resilience”.

Madam Akosa further indicated her proudness to return to “this special platform that undeniably strengthens, mentors, and shores-up the capacity of women to do and achieve great things for themselves and the agricultural industry”.

The training forum offered an opportunity for the women farmers to interact with other agriculture sector stakeholders. Sponsors and supporters of the event also took turns to express their joy to be partners and further pledged their support to ensuring that farming is made lucrative for those in it.

Madam Elizabeth Gyebi of Interplast Ghana encouraged the agri-women to farm in groups for strength, efficiency and quality produce. She said group farming will reduce cost in acquiring and installing water system in their farms as the cost will be spread among many, adding that collectively they will achieve a lot at a reduced cost.

Meanwhile, a fellow at the National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI) in the Upper East region, Mohammed Bukari, urged the women in agriculture to develop business plans for their farming activities. This, he said, will ensure they are making profit and will serve as evidence in seeking support.

Eunice Etwire at MOUP-Canada noted that women farmers have to embrace technology to boost production and digital marketing amidst the coronavirus pandemic. She added that, the Modernising Agric in Ghana driven by Canada also encourages women farmers to form groups to easily access support.

The nominees, brought together from the Upper East and Upper West regions, expressed gratitude for the event especially the training that they were given. They thanked the organisers and the sponsors for such an event and pledged to utilize the training to enhance their farming activities.

The WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards is sponsored by the Canadian Embassy, ABSA Bank and YARA. The event is also supported by OCP AFRICA, RDF Ghana and PEG Power.

NIA to start registration of new Ghana Cards at district offices in July

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The Head of Corporate Affairs at the National Identification Authority (NIA), Mr. Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, has disclosed that new registrations for the Ghana Card will begin in the month of July, 2021 across all NIA operational district offices nationwide.

Speaking to W93.5FM on the development, Mr. Abudu said the intention of the NIA is to create an accurate database of all Ghanaians that will enhance national development. He thus noted that all eleven districts in the Upper West region now have NIA offices which are operational. The NIA Corporate Affairs officer indicated that the Authority will ensure that all Ghanaians have the national identity card.

To this end, he stated that about 84% of the adult population (i.e 15 years and above) was registered during the mass registration exercise in 2020, adding that the registration of the remaining 16% in this bracket will commence in July 2021. He explained that, persons below the age of 15 years will not be captured in July, but that measures and modalities will be put in place and announced to the general public on the registration of such persons in the course of the year. Abdul-Ganiyu advised people to keep calm and go to the district offices once the exercise begins with their birth certificate and/or passport with the GPS address of their residence.

Mr. Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu indicated that during the new registration exercise, there will be opportunity for people who want to replace or update their Ghana card at the district offices. He stated that any update that will require the printing of a new card will attract a fee of thirthy cedis (GHC 30.00). However, changes such as the addition of NHIS number, GPS address and passport records which will not necessitate the printing of new card will attract no fee. He urged people to update their Ghana card with all necessary information especially their current GPS address as that will lead to easy identification of them.

Meanwhile, the NIA Corporate Affairs leader has called on persons who registered in 2020 but could not receive their cards to visit the district office of the NIA in the area they registered to pick their cards. He said the month of June is dedicated to the issuance of cards that have already been printed during the mass registration exercise. He advised people to take the cards as they will soon be needing them to re-register their sim cards. He further urged all who have already registered not to register again when the window for new entrants is opened, noting that such action is considered illegal and can lead to fines or imprisonment.

Wa West MP, Peter Lanchene, accused of political dishonesty

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The communication bureau of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Wa West Constituency has called out the Member of Parliament for the area, Supt. (rtd) Peter Toobu Lanchene to give credit when and where it is due. According to the ruling Party communicators, the MP must be honest when he is dealings with the constituents if he means good for them.

In a statement issued on Monday, June 14, 2021 and signed by the NPP Constituency Communication Director, Mr. Albert Foung Liman, the Wa West lawmaker was accused of political dishonesty for failing to acknowledge the contribution of the NPP 2020 parliamentary candidate in the area, Hon Daniel Dari Kuusongno, towards the fixing of a broken bridge along the Lassia-Tuolu to Bakpaateng road.

Mr. Foung Liman in the statement alleged that Hon Lanchene during his birthday celebrations on June 8 credited the fixing of the bridge between Lassia-Tuolu and Bakpaateng which was washed away by rain last year to an unnamed businessman, a development he described as dishonest and only done to score cheap political points.

“We are shocked to hear from the MP that a businessman funded the project. We wonder why the Hon MP is always seeking to divert efforts made by indigenes of the constituency. Give credit where it is due and stop this dishonesty. The people of Wa West are honest people and as such frown on this dishonest move.” Parts of the statement read.

The NPP further demanded of the MP to apologize for the people of the constituency for not fulfilling a promise he made last year to fix the then broken bridge. The statement added that “if the MP cannot support the constituency with projects, he should desist from discrediting people and institutions for their support in the development of the constituency.”

Meanwhile, the communication director through the statement described as tremendous the NPP’s record on roads in the district since they took the reigns of government in 2017, indicating that work on the Wechiau – Ga road is progressing steadily and will soon see bitumen surfacing to ease movement of goods and services to and from the district.

He also mentioned the creation of new roads to include Gurungu – Motori road, Gojuteng – Kantu road and Welteng – Tampuori road. The others include the Dormon – Domawa road and the Olloteng – Taambile – Sagbaalung road. On reshaped roads, the NPP spokesperson listed Vieri – Tanvaare road, Kandeu – Kawu – Gurungu road and Vieri – Buli road.

Mr. Albert Foung Liman posited that the NPP record in the road infrastructure in the constituency cannot be matched by their opponents in the umbrella group. “We wish to say without fear of any contradiction that it is only the NPP who when in power gives the constituency tarred roads.” The statement concluded.

50 women in Upper West & Upper East nominated for Gold in the Soil Awards

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Agrihouse Foundation has shortlisted 50 out of 131 nomination forms received from women working in the agriculture value chain in the Upper West and Upper East regions in the northern part of Ghana. The nominees, 25 from each region, will battle it out for 15 categories in the 3rd Edition of the Gold in the Soil Awards and Women in Food and Agricultural leadership training forum (WOFAGRIC).

This year’s WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards is under the theme, “Women in Agric – surviving, thriving and making waves beyond the Pandemic”. It is targeted at recognizing women farmers, aggregators, buyers, input dealers, traditional leaders, transporters, and other agriculture value chain actors and stakeholders. The event is set to take place in Bolgatanga, the Upper East regional capital, on June 23rd and 24th at the Akayet hotel.

According to Agrihouse Foundation, the Women in Agricultural Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and the GOLD in the Soil Awards, has engineered a paradigm shift of strengthening and projecting women in agribusiness. It has nurtured a recognized agribusiness community where the sharing of business knowledge and industry innovations is at the forefront of helping women excel in the sector.

Selected nominees in the Upper West region expressed joy and gratitude to the organizers of the awards, Agrihouse Foundation, and its sponsors for the recognition given them. They made this known during the documentary shooting for the 25 nominees in the region.

According to the CEO of Mara Organic Foods, Maria Johanna, her nomination is out of sheer luck as there are many equally qualified women out there. She added that, the opportunity will boost her business.

Meanwhile Alice Vinyogiba Mwaabo, a poultry farmer, lamented over the hikes in prices of poultry feeds but was elated that, gaining nomination into the Gold in the Soil Awards is a morale booster for her to do more.

On her part, Tracy Rashida Alhassan Bawa, a young farmer, said winning the award will encourage young women like her to embrace farming and agribusiness.

This will be the third edition of the awards for women in the agribusiness. The first (2019) and second (2020) editions of the WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards were held in the Volta Region and Ashanti Region respectively. The event is supported by the Canadian Embassy, ABSA Bank, YARA Ghana, RDF, Peg Africa, OCP and Interplast Limited.