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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Asukawkaw and Beyond!

Coca-Cola and The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who are partners in the water and Development Alliance (WADA) along with their implementation partners WaterHealth Ghana and the Ghana WASH Project have commissioned three WaterHealth Centres (WHCs). 107 household toilets and three institutional latrines and three communities in the Northern part of Volta Region. The Communities are Dambai and Asukawkaw in the Krachi East District and Tapa Abotoase in the Biakoye district. The aim of the project is to help improve access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation in the three communities.

WaterHealth Centre @ Asukawkaw

Access to safe, clean drinking water is provided through the WHCs. The WHCs treat locally available water through a combination of sedimentation, pre-filtration, and ultraviolent technology to produce clean water for the communities for a nominal fee. WaterHealth Ghana will sign a 10 year service contract with the communities to provide on-going operation, maintenance support and regular water quality monitoring.

In addition to the above, on school in each of the three communities has been provided with a KVIP latrine fitted with rain water harvesting system to provide clean water for hand washing to promote effective hygiene practices. To further enhance the Sanitation in the area, the partners are in final stages of building individual toilets for 107 households in the three communities.

Speaking at the official commissioning of the projects at Asukawkaw, Philippe Ayivor, the Public Affairs and Communications Director of Coca-Cola Equatorial Africa said that the Coca-Cola system and its partners are investing in building healthy, sustainable communities in Ghana by providing access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, supplying healthcare equipment, supplies and medicines; and providing mosquito nets to assist in the prevention of malaria. Coca-Cola understands that for it to be successful over the long term, the communities in which it operates must be sustainable – sustainable economically, sustainable environmentally and with strong local support systems. He added that Coca-Cola is continuing to seek partnerships with like-minded organizations in Ghana in order to accelerate its efforts of supplementing the government’s efforts of providing access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities to communities throughout the country.

Present at the ceremony were the Deputy Hon. Volta Regional Minister, the respective District Chief Executives, Chiefs and Elders from the various communities as well as some officials from The Coca-Cola System, USAID, Ghana WASH and WaterHealth Ghana.

Unvieled WaterHealth Centre

Unvieled WaterHealth Centre

In Ghana, over 80 percent of the population is estimated to lack access to improved sanitation facilities, a significant cause of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and typhoid. Ghana has made great strides in water access as the majority of population has clean water. However, in the peri-urban Communities, water and sanitation facilities have lacked adequate funding for operations and maintenance, thus inhibiting the realization of maximum health benefits. WADA is working to address these problems and to combat improper usage and poor maintenance of existing water and sanitation facilities.

WADA is a unique global partnership between The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and USAID that addresses community water needs in developing countries around the world. In conjunction with local USAID Missions and Coca-Cola system partners (Foundations and bottling facilities), WADA contributes to protecting and improving the sustainability of watersheds, increasing access to water supply and sanitation services for the world’s poor and enhancing the productive use of water. With a combined investment of $30.8 million since 2005, WADA is having a positive impact on the lives of people and the health of ecosystems in 28 countries worldwide, 18 of which are in Africa. In Ghana, the partners include Coca-Cola Equatorial Africa, The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana and USAID. By improving access to clean and safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and providing hygiene training, WADA will provide integrated solutions to Ghana’s water and sanitation challenges. Total funding for the WADA Ghana project is $1.5 million split equally between Coca-Cola and USAID.

For further Information,

Please contact: Lareiena Adjayi on 0242 701 259

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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Issues!

 

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Parliament to Pass Right to Information before 2013?

The Rights to Information Bill (RTI), which was laid before Parliament in February, 20I0, has generated controversy, with the RTI Coalition blaming Parliament for feet-dragging in passing the bill into law.
There had been a lot of media bashing against the august House recently after the Majority Leader Mr Cletus Apul Avoka told an Accra-based FM station that the House gave preference to the passing of the Petroleum Revenue Management, the Petroleum Commission and the Presidential (Transition) bills last year as against the RTI due to the urgency that was attached to those bills.

But addressing the media in Parliament Wednesday, Mr Avoka debunked the assertion by the civil society and rather blamed the RTI Coalition for failing to submit the expert legal opinion on the bill that it was commissioned to do. He, however, assured Ghanaians that the House was committed to passing the bill into law before the lifespan of this Parliament expires on January 6, 2013.

“Contrary to the perception that the House is dragging its feet towards passing the bill into law, Parliament is doing what it can to provide a solid law that can stand the test of time”.
“Let me also indicate to you that the government is also committed to the bill and has not done anything to suggest that it is not interested in the bill since it was presented to the House”.

According to him, since the country had at that time started commercial production of oil there was an urgent need for a legal framework to be put in place on how revenue accruing from the oil should be used.
Mr Avoka said the civil society and an Accra-based newspaper which published their concerns took him out of context when he stated that the House gave the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, the Petroleum Commission and the Presidential (Transition) Bill a priority.

He said the House had shown its commitment to pass the bill by organising regional fora, under the sponsorship of the World Bank, to collate views from the general public. Those fora, according to him, were held in Tamale, Kumasi, Koforidua, Ho, Takoradi and Accra in addition to the gathering of information from other countries for best practices. He said that all those steps were taken because the civil society prevailed on Parliament to tread cautiously and allow them to have copies in order to make inputs before passing the bill due to its importance to the society.

Mr Avoka explained that before the House went on recess in March, this year, the Joint Committee on Communication and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs organised a workshop to wrap up discussion on the bill. He said now that the wrap-up workshop had been done, what was left was for the joint committee to write its report taking into consideration suggestions made by the general public and the civil society and present same to the House for debate. He said during the wrap-up meeting the coalition of NGOs on the bill was to present proposals aimed at beefing up the bill but as of now they had failed to do so.

Mr Avoka said even at that meeting, the World Bank indicated its readiness to sponsor a trip by the leadership of the joint committee to some of the countries that had already passed the RTI to enrich the quality of the bill.
“Against this background it is unfair for people to criticise Parliament that it has delayed in passing the bill into law. I find these criticisms quite unfortunate”.

He promised that within the next two or three weeks, the report of the joint committee would be presented to the plenary for it to be taken through its second reading stage.

“Parliament has a tight schedule, this is an election year, but within the time constraints, we will work hard to pass the bill before this Parliament is dissolved”, he assured. Responding to Mr Avoka’s concerns, however, the Convener of the RTI Coalition, Nana Oye Lithur, said it was the responsibility of Parliament to pass bills, adding that Mr Avoka could not, therefore, “pass the buck”. “These are excuses that he cannot run away from. It is his responsibility as the Majority Leader to lead Parliament to pass bills into laws”.

She questioned why Mr Avoka did not hide behind excuses to delay the passing of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, the Petroleum Commission Bill and the Presidential (Transition) Bill. She said the coalition had supported the bill right from its drafting stage till now because it was committed to transparency in the governance process. Nana Lithur explained that the World Bank (Ghana Office) commissioned a representative of the coalition to draft an expert legal opinion on the contentious clauses in the bill.

That, according to her, had been completed and submitted to the World Bank, adding that the coalition would, therefore, seek the bank’s authorisation to submit the expert legal opinion to Parliament.
“We will continue to support Parliament to pass the bill because it is in the interest of the country”, she said.

graphic.com.gh

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Issues!

 

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BEAUTIFUL!

akuachachu

Today is Mothers’ Day and as such I’d like to talk about our dear mothers. Not the bliss of motherhood or how they are there for us  but the process of them giving us life. To have a woman die giving life is something not only heartbreaking but just wrong and no woman should have to suffer such a fate. Why should child-birth be a dangerous thing that mothers fear? It should be something that every expectant mother should look forward to.

Globally women are dying from very preventable deaths. Sure the dangers will always be there, whether the woman giving birth is in Frankfurt or Mogadishu but what is important is that a woman in labour has access to skilled medical personnel and adequate equipment.

In Ghana thankfully, we are told that maternal mortality has reduced from 450 deaths per 100,000 live births to 350 deaths per 100,000 live births. Though…

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

awesome! i will see u for more munchow!

In Flow


Over a couple of post lately I have been writing about the tension between creativity and technique. I have talked about the camera as a tool, not the purpose in itself, and I have pointed out that whatever camera you use or have is for most situations more than good enough. My point has been to emphasize the need to make our creative work come from the heart, and let technique and the camera be but a tool for our heart – although still something we need to learn and need to master as creative photographers.

Nevertheless I have to admit that the camera has been more than a technical tool when it comes to my photography. It has actually helped setting my mind free. I am not trying to contradict myself or my previous posts; I only bring to the table something I have actually experienced.

When my interest…

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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tender!

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(Tender Performing on South African Pop Idol stage)

Tenders’ voice alone floored me. I was really lost for words… she had it all, the looks, intelligence, humility and voice- gosh! The judges even testified she gave her all whenever she performed…phrases like ‘’…you are a star my baby’’ and ‘’…I think in my opinion it’s safe to say, you really do epitomize a diva, and probably the best diva we ever had” clearly proved it!

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(Tender Performing on South African Pop Idol stage)

I was left with no choice but empathize with ever sweet, caring and beautiful Tender as I screened ‘Love in a time of HIV’. On 20th September 2007, as a pop SA idol amongst four finalists she openly announced her HIV status – (such brave and right thing to do) She was evicted two weeks after disclosing her HIV status and went from stardom to any normal regular citizen, it made me also ask “where’s all the glitz and glamour”… the Press said all they wanted to, many even mocked her for disclosing her status and the loss of her premature baby “destiny”.

She spends quality time with her family (her mum- Mildred and other two sisters); they accept and love her as part of the family… Lilly, her youngest sister seems to be heading the same route, at age 17 she has had countless unprotected sex with guys even though she is fully aware of the dangers. Tender and her mother both fear she may end up making the same mistake and ending up infected!

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(Tenders’ younger sister Lilly, checking herself out in a mirror)

Tender found a new boyfriend, Godfrey, they’ve been going out for two weeks and he has no idea about Tenders HIV status. Tender realizes the need to reveal her biggest secret break the news to Godfrey and finds it tough but a must do- she describes her expectations as either “the end of something new or a start of something”.

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(Tender revealing her biggest secret to Godfrey, her new boyfriend)

She then tells him; making him aware of her status and the risks involved if they would want to continue going out.

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(Godfrey looked shattered after hearing what Tender had to say)

Tender received an sms from Godfrey the next day after informing him on her status- Tender seemed excited, but it would sure take more than a text message to prove he really wasn’t walking away. Tender blamed the spread of HIV in South Africa on men and particularly their attitude towards sex- She mentioned young women, 18 year olds are out looking for boyfriends, something they could hold on to… and married men are out taking advantage of them, these men move from girl to girl and only God knows what they take back home to their marital homes (wives), Tender had lost her faith in men, and it would take time to change that feeling.

                       It pays to either Abstain, Be and remain faithful to your partner or use a condom and stay safe and alive! I have founded and been running an initiative for sometime now: “Youth Against Stigma” – reaching young people with the aim of training them with relevant age-appropriate education on HIV & AIDS; making them Ambassadors so they reach out to others to make this world Stigma-free and contribute our quota to the Global AIDS response! You are gladly welcome to join and support this cause. watch out for our blog soon! 🙂 and check out what we’ve been up to and many more!

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Issues!

 

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Issues from ObengKrom, Western Ghana (Delayed post)

In the last quarter of 2010, my colleague in advocacy Caleb Yaw Obipeh (a youth activist & film freak) paid a visit to a cocoa growing community, ObengKrom in the Western Region of Ghana, His mission- to eagle-eye the community all round and bring back vital data to be processed and give you this information. We are grateful to Caleb, so must you.

ObengKrom is a rural community- with its population of about 100 people, is mainly into cocoa farming, far away from town. Caleb indeed enjoyed every-bit of the mission for He was not surprised on what his eyes beheld, Life in the small community was fun- he could tell from the faces (broad smiles) of the children who readily welcomed Caleb and the team.

 

Amidst all the fun and excitement, one could easily notice quality education was one of the many basic necessity ObengKrom lacked- let’s hold on on the facilities, the state of the school building alone is nothing to write home about. The existing school structure was put up in 1985- yes, you heard me…lol!  And nothing significant has been done to upgrade the state of the school. Rains in the community sent the structure down and a temporary one (which seems to be their final destination- from the look of things) was put up few years ago, that is also not in a good shape at all, don’t even want to talk about roofing.

 Rains disrupt and halt studies whenever they fall- they easily get into the class too, why? No windows, no doors- and it houses pupils from the first grade to the sixth grade… what happens next, adulthood? Or it’s up to pupils to leave ObengKrom for school in town miles away- their means of transport is basically by foot or bicycle, which many don’t have! I sure won’t move an inch in such an unpleasant situation, Pupils may get tired on reaching school or even meet the class half way through studies- this and many more deter students from continuing and even de-motivates teachers for their efforts often ends in a No-Result gotten deal. Sad you may say, isn’t this community worthy of benefiting from the GETFUND? When is it reaching them? Am asking, how soon? It’s also ‘in the pipe-line’ I guess.

The School has no Office, okay- it shares a classroom with one of the classes- surprised huh? Forget the black board; forget text books, even exercise books, forget free uniforms- pupils wear tattered uniforms, others in house attire- but, at least its better than staying back at home whiles friends enjoy school?  I agree we’ve chalked some success when it comes to making sure we achieve by 2015, Millennium Development Goal 2- achieving Universal Basic Education, by recording an increase in the number of pupils in many schools- thanks to the Capitation Grant and School Feeding Programme. I believe with the zeal and yearn to learn the Pupils and teachers at ObengKrom deserve better. Don’t forget; always have this quote of mine in mind, “Educated People- Educate People”.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Mummy’s Day Art

Mummy's Day Art

For that Special Woman

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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