The Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle constituency, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings has partnered Vodacom, RIPS to launch a new mobile app aimed at monitoring weather conditions and warning of potential environmental dangers.
The launch was held on June 1, 2018 at the Reverend Ernest Bruce Memorial Church.
The mobile app dubbed Ghana Flood Monitoring System, according to the legislator has been a project which has undergone rigorous work over the past two years.
The app is a collaborative project Vodacom Business Ghana and the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana.
It is a multipurpose one that offers regular weather forecasts, warns users of potential flood prone areas during rainfall, offers recommendation on safe havens during floods, emergency contacts and allows users to monitor reported incidents of distress during floods and other related incidents.
Delivering an address at the launch, the legislator commended Vodacom and all other partners for their immense contributions towards the successful launch of the app.
Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings underscored the need for attritional change towards a healthy and clean environment.
According to Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings some churches and schools are also supporting the flood monitoring system by offering the premises of their churches as safe havens.
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea who graced the occasion said government is committed to investing in a world class drainage system.
The system he noted will be an ambitious and expensive but in order to bring an end to the perennial flooding in the country, government have no option than to do it.
He described the app as an ingenuity that will contribute immensely to solving the challenges confronting us.
He also pledged government support for the successful implementation of the app on a national scale.
Other partners in the establishment of the app include the Ghana Police, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Meteorological Services Department, the National Fire Service, the Hydrological Services Department of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Vodacom Business Ghana, the main financier of the project has adopted it as a major Corporate Social Responsibility agenda.
The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vodacom Group, a leading pan-African corporate connectivity and telecommunications provider that has brought affordable and reliable connectivity to Africa since 1992.
Partner RIPS, is committed to training and development of the intellect, independence and character of the most competitive graduate students and faculty from across the continent and the globe and plays a leading role in population health research by pursuing excellence in education.
The Institute accomplishes its mission by mentoring students to develop their potential and integrity as experts in their field of population sciences.
Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings is a medical doctor by profession and has practiced for years in Europe before returning to Ghana in 2014 during which she expended her energies into environmental issues including being a lead campaigner for safe environmental practices after the infamous June 3, 2015 flood disaster and fire which claimed over 100 lives at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle area in Accra.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the National Service Secretariat (NSS) has admonished national service personnel to take advantage of the extension of the deadline for and register by June 20, 2018.
The extension he stated was reached to allow prospective personnel have not been able to register as of now to do so.
Speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5FM, the registration
Which was originally planned to end on May 30 has been extended. And I will encourage prospective personnel use the period to register for SSNIT across the nation.
He further indicated that some prospective service personnel have not been able to register because they don’t have any of the required national identification cards.
Mr Prah told the host that NSS has made arrangements with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for people to register for the SSNIT biometric ID cards which is accepted for national service registration.
A fresh maritime border dispute is brewing between Ghana and Togo over offshore oil exploration activities, the Petroleum Commission (PC) has confirmed.
Togo had, between December 2017 and May 2018, stopped two seismic vessels from Ghana from undertaking seismic activities to acquire seismic data in the deep sea in the territory that approaches Togo.
Following the resolution of the impasse between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire over maritime border demarcations, Togo has been claiming ownership of a maritime boundary that approaches that country.
This was made known by the acting Director of the Resource Management Unit of the PC, Mr Francis Ackah, in Accra on the sidelines of a training programme for journalists from selected media houses from the Western and the Greater Accra regions.
What is being done?
In September last year, Ghana secured a ruling in its favour following a protracted legal battle with Cote d’Ivoire over a maritime boundary.
Read also: Ghana wins case against Côte d'Ivoire at ITLOS
Mr Ackah hinted that Ghana was currently handling a border dispute with Togo, while another with Burkina Faso was also in the offing.
"Togo says that it does not recognise our borders and so we need to meet the authorities of that country and see how we can resolve the issue. Already, the Ministry of Energy has put in place a committee to handle the issue.
“In December 2017, a seismic vessel from Ghana was on the sea when the Togo Navy stopped it from working. While we were looking at that issue, another seismic vessel was stopped by the Togolese authorities this month," he said.
He said so far arrangements were in place for the two parties to meet to resolve the issue amicably.
Experts such as the former Chairman of the Ghana-Togo Border Demarcation Commission, Mr Sam Okudzeto, had warned earlier of such disputes and suggested that Ghana look at how it would agree with Burkina Faso and Togo on its territories.
That, he said, was necessary to avert future legal disputes which would have to be resolved at the international tribunal.
Read also: Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire initiate moves to implement ITLOS ruling
On September 23, 2017, The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea ruled that there had not been any violation on the part of Ghana in respect of Cote d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.
The three-year dispute between the two countries commenced in 2014 when Ghana took the case to ITLOS to dispel claims it had encroached on Cote d’Ivoire’s marine border as part of oil exploration activities at Cape Three Points, off the shores of the Western Region.
Ghana’s defence, before the oral hearings were concluded in February 2017, held that Cote d’Ivoire had no right to demand ownership of the disputed area after it had already acknowledged that Ghana owned the space without any qualms prior to the discovery of oil.
Cote d’Ivoire had petitioned the United Nations in 2010, three years after Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities, asking for a completion of the demarcation of its maritime boundary with Ghana.
The claims by Cote d’Ivoire led to Ghana setting up the Ghana Boundary Commission, which was tasked with the responsibility for finding a lasting solution to the problem through negotiation.
Unfortunately, both countries failed to arrive at a conclusion, for which reason Ghana subsequently dragged Cote d’Ivoire to ITLOS.
Source: Daily Graphic
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea, has announced that his ministry will soon conduct an audit into the distribution and management of funds established for Flood Victims of the June 3rd flood and fire disaster which occurred in 2015.
The minister indicated that his ministry will partner Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings to establish how the fund was managed.
He was speaking at the official launch of an app developed in partnership with Vodacom to help residents in the area manage disaster related to flood.
According to him, he does not see why some people will benefit from the disaster and called on victims to file complains for the issue to be investigated.
He said, "I don't see why people will profit from the disaster. It is embarrassing. It shouldn't be so. "
Some victims on Thursday held a press conference to express their frustration and ill treatment meted against them by authorities in charge of the fund.
They called on the Special Prosecutor to investigate the mangers of the fund.
Meanwhile, he has given an assurance that government will invest and ensure that we have a world class drainage system.
A forensic toxicologist, Mr Peter Quartey Papafio, has testified that the substance that allegedly caused the death of a former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Alhaji Adams Mahama, was sulphuric acid.
He also stated that tests conducted by him also revealed traces of sulphuric acid on the tracksuit of Gregory Afoko, the man charged with the murder of Alhaji Mahama.
According to him, further tests revealed that the traces of sulphuric acid found on Afoko’s tracksuit was the same sulphuric acid in the gallon that was allegedly found at the scene where Alhaji Adams was said to have been attacked.
It is the case of the prosecution that the acid in the gallon was what Afoko and Asabke Alangi, the other accused person, who is now at large, used to attack Alhaji Adams.
Mr Papafio, who works with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), made the revelation on Thursday, during his evidence –in –chief at the Accra High Court.
He informed the court, presided over by Mr Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, that he had been working with the GSA for the past 12 years.
Alhaji Mahama suffered severe injuries after a substance suspected to be acid was allegedly poured on him in front of his house in Bolgatanga around 11 p.m. on May 20, 2015.
He later died from the injuries.
Afoko has denied any involvement in the murder and pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
High concentration of acid
The forensic toxicologist is the 10th prosecution witness and the expert who conducted the tests on certain pieces of evidence gathered by the police.
The evidence included a gallon containing a liquid suspected to be acid, which was found at the crime scene, the mat in the car Alhaji Mahama was driving when he was attacked, a burnt foam material of the car seat, and Alhaji Mahama’s shoes and clothes when he was attacked.
Other evidence were a tracksuit belonging to Afoko, plastic cup suspected to have been used to fetch the acid, and a transparent zip lock bag found in Alhaji Adams car.
Mr Papafio explained that he used two methods –chemical and titrimetric to conduct the tests on the evidence.
The test, he said, confirmed that the substance in the gallon was sulphuric acid with a concentration of 16.89 (molar).
“A sulphuric acid with such concentration is about 90 to 95 per cent pure and it is very corrosive and harmful when it comes in contact with the skin. It can cause severe injury when it comes into contact with the skin,” he said
At that point the prosecutor, Mr Matthew Amponsah, a Chief State Attorney, asked the witness if such a concentration could cause death.
“Due to the corrosive nature of sulphuric acid, it can cause death upon contact,’’ the toxicologist replied.
Residues and traces of acid
Continuing with his testimony, Mr Papafio said the test revealed residues of sulphuric acid on the other evidence given to him by the police, but there were traces of sulphuric acid on Afoko’s tracksuit.
Justice Mensah then asked the toxicologist the difference between traces and residues.
Mr Papafio answered that it was easy to identify residues as compared to traces.
He, however, stated that further tests were conducted on the tracksuit and it revealed that the acid found on it was the same acid in the gallon.
“All the exhibits had residues of sulphuric which was traced to the contents of Exhibit A (gallon),” he said.
During cross –examination, counsel for Afoko, Mr Sarfo Buabeng, told the witness that the burns on the tracksuit were not caused by acid, but rather by exhaust fumes.
Below are excerpts of what ensued between him and Mr Papafio.
Mr Buabeng: Are you aware that the accused (Afoko) was a motor rider?
Mr Papafio: No
Mr Buabeng: These burns were there as the results of contacts with exhaust of a motorbike
Mr Papafio: It was highly improbable for fumes of the exhaust to cause those burns on the tracksuit. But as to whether it was caused by the exhaust of the motor cycle, I wouldn’t know.
Mr Buabeng: I am putting it to you that there were no traces of sulphuric acid on the tracksuit of the accused (Afoko)
Mr Papafio: It tested positive for traces of sulphuric acid and upon further test it was confirmed to be sulphate ions and that the residues were from sulphuric acid.
Hearing continues on June 11, 2018, where the prosecution is expected to call its 11th witness.
Source: Daily Graphic
Communications Director for striking laboratory technicians Robert Kpodo Agbedzi, has slammed the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyamang Manu for ignoring them.
He disclosed on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, although they are willing to call off their strike action, the minister has shown bad faith and taken them for granted.
According to him, they had a fruitful discussion with the minister on Tuesday but things changed on Wednesday.
Health Minister Kweku Agyemang Manu told journalists he had a long meeting with representatives of the laboratory workers and will soon release a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will capture a roadmap of how concerns of the striking workers will be addressed in the long term.
But the communications director said the minister failed to attend a meeting on Wednesday to finalize the roadmap.
‘’People are dying, people are suffering but the minister chose not to attend that particular meeting to finalize the MoU. We are ready to go back to work because we will not allow the soul of these people to just perish […]. What is happening is not good for this country. Some group of people wanted to take this country hostage. So Ghanaians should allow those people to perpetrate crime against humanity,’’ he said.
He told host Kwame Tutu that, some doctors at the Ministry of Health are directing the minister of health to take decisions on behalf of other health workers.
‘’When you go to the Ministry of Health, there are a lot of doctors surrounding the minister and they decide what they do for the rest of health workers. Please the health sector is on time bomb and will explode if care is not taking. So those doctors must be mindful. Ghanaians should watch them critically. They are destroying the health system… If care is not taking, all of us will die. Should anybody die in this process, the blood of these people will be on the heads of those doctors and the minister.’’
He said authorities are also using unlicensed people which is a threat to the public but ''we will resist'' that attempt.
The lab technicians are crying over what they say are salary discrepancies detected from 2012 till date.
The discrepancies happened as a result of implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), which was instituted to correct salary disparities.
The National Media Commission (NMC) has said there is nothing wrong with the media being used by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
A statement from the NMC said: “The National Media Commission (NMC) finds current discussions regarding the permissible scope and methods of investigative journalism, which have been rekindled by the most recent expose by Anas Aremeyaw Anas healthy and necessary for the qualitative growth of media in support of consolidating Ghana’s democracy.”
NMC noted that independent professional journalism based on independently verifiable facts plays a vital role in the government giving account to the public and also informs the people on the government’s wrongdoings and provides the public with a space to participate in decision making.
The NMC has also called on the various security agencies to protect journalists against threats.
According to the NMC, “The NMC believes that society grows when there is respect for contending ideas and tolerance for differing attitudes. Hence, our nation’s path towards growth has no place for the use of violence in processing claims on society.”
“We, therefore, urge that anybody who has concerns regarding the media, or any journalist and how they carry out their functions, should seek redress at the Commission, in the law courts or through any methods prescribed by Ghanaian law.”
Three military officers who part of the Operation Vanguard team have been placed under arrest for allegedly extorting money from illegal miners.
A statement issued and signed by Public Relations Officer for the Ghana Armed Forces, Col. Aggrey Quarshie said the three officers are currently being investigated.
“The attention of the Military High Command has been drawn to the involvement of some soldiers in illegal operations while on duty with Operation Vanguard. The report has it that the soldiers numbering three with some alleged accomplices tried to extort money from some illegal miners in the Wassa Akropong general area.”
The incident according to reports occurred at Wassa Atieku on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.
The statement said, the soldiers involved have been suspended from their duties with Operation Vanguard and “placed under close arrest at the 2nd Battalion of Infantry in Takoradi.”
“Detailed investigations are being conducted into the case, and stern disciplinary action would be taken against them if found culpable.
The Ministry of Communications have serve notice it will sanction telcos that will fail to connect to the Common Platform operated by Kelni GVG by June 11, 2018.
The Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful addressing parliament on Thursday said government would not hesitate in punishing the telcos that fail to adhere to the process.
She explained, implementation of the Common Platform is in line with the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013, Act 864.
“I am happy to announce that Vodafone and Glo are in the process of being connected as we speak. The others are expected to be connected by the 11th of June. Any operator who fails to comply will be sanctioned.”
“They cannot have any legal objection to the execution of this exercise. They have up until the 11thof June to connect to this platform or the sanctions will kick in.”
“I can look them in the eye and say that we will enforce those sanctions.’’
Meanwhile, Imani Africa Founding President Franklin Cudjoe has posited that the threat directed at the telcos proves the deal stinks.
“In one breath, they [government] seem to be saying that all the telcos have signed up, they are happy, and they have had conversations with them.” “I don’t think President Nana Addo will yield to this contract because the contract smells and stinks and doesn’t hold up for proper transparency. It is sad, very very sad.”
Massive US tariffs have come into force as condemnation of the Trump administration's move intensifies.
Criticism of the import tax on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada and Mexico was joined by top congressional Republicans.
Leaders from affected nations reacted furiously, setting out tit-for-tat tariffs on the US, ranging from steel to sleeping bags and ballpoint pens.
France's president told Mr Trump by phone that the US move was "illegal".
Emmanuel Macron told him the EU would respond in a "firm and proportionate manner", the Elysee Palace says.
The French president normally enjoys a good relationship with his US counterpart.
Mr Trump has justified the tariffs, which came into force at midnight Washington DC time (04:00 GMT Friday), by arguing that US steel and aluminium producers are vital to national security and threatened by a global supply glut.
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, rejected the claim that his country posed a national security threat to the US.
What are others saying?
UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the 25% levy on steel was "patently absurd", adding: "It would be a great pity if we ended up in a tit-for-tat trade dispute with our closest allies."
Gareth Stace, head of trade body UK Steel, said the tariffs were "no way to treat your friend" and called on the government to safeguard the industry's 31,000 jobs.
Germany's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, hoped a decisive EU response would make Mr Trump reconsider his decision and said Europe may work with Canada and Mexico.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said his country would also impose duties: "We will continue to defend the interests of Mexico, just as we have done until now."
Opposition to the tariffs was also voiced by prominent Republicans. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the most influential Republican in Congress, said the move "targets America's allies when we should be working with them to address the unfair trading practices of countries like China".