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Oct 17, 2018
The major street along the Kantamanto area is gradually turning to a dump site. The heap of rubbish is increasing on daily basis. Investigations conducted by our team revealed some persons dump their waste late in the night. Traders and residents have complained bitterly about the situation and called on authorities to address it with immediate effect. They have also asked that sanctions be given when culprits are caught to serve as a deterrent for others. A similar situation is still ongoing at the Circle interchange where people have turned the pedestrian walkway under the interchange to a dump site. Heaps of rubbish are collected on daily basis at the interchange, a situation which is gradually affecting the lifespan and beauty of the facility. When contacted, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly said it has deployed men to attend to the situation.
Oct 17, 2018
At least 40 people have been killed after a bus travelling from the Kenyan capital Nairobi to Kisumu, in the west, veered off the road, police say. Many reportedly died when the vehicle overturned. Police fear the death toll may rise, with the possibility of passengers trapped in the wreckage. "The roof of the bus was ripped off," a local official said. Police said the driver had lost control and plunged down a slope at a notorious accident black spot. The bus was carrying 52 passengers at the time of the crash in the early hours of Wednesday morning, police said. Some local media reports put the total number of victims at 42. Children are believed to be among the dead. An eyewitness described hearing "a long hooting sound, then a screech that was followed by a bang and loud screams," Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation reported. The newspaper added that a number of people had been taken to a local hospital for treatment. Highway roads in Kenya can be notoriously dangerous and the World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked Kenya as one of the world's worst countries for road safety. Last December, some 36 people died in a head-on collision between a lorry and a Nairobi-bound bus on a road near Migaa in Kenya. In 2016, several vehicles were engulfed in flames in a crash involving an oil tanker in Naivasha, Kenya, which killed dozens of people. Source: BBC
Oct 17, 2018
Hurricane Michael has been upgraded to an "extremely dangerous" category 4 storm, hours before it is due to make landfall in Florida. The storm has sustained winds of 130mph (210km/h) and is due to make landfall at about midday (16:00 GMT). More than 370,000 people in Florida have been ordered to evacuate and move to higher ground. At least 13 people reportedly died in Central America over the weekend as a result of storm rains and floods. Florida has declared a state of emergency, as have Alabama and Georgia. What are the latest developments? In its latest bulletin, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Michael had become "an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane". It warned of a life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall along the north-eastern Gulf coast. Michael, it added, could see some additional strengthening before it made landfall in the Florida Panhandle or Big Bend area. At 02:00 local time on Wednesday, the eye of Michael was about 170 miles south-west of the coastal city of Apalachicola. The NHC warns that some regions of Florida may experience storm surges of up to 13ft (4m). Michael is currently moving northwards at 12mph. On the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, category 4 includes winds of up to 156mph with possible severe damage to even well-built homes and trees being felled. "Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves across the south-eastern United States," the NHC added. Florida Governor Rick Scott called Michael "monstrous storm" and urged residents to listen to officials. Despite the warnings, local officials believe a far smaller number of people have in fact moved away. Schools and state offices in the area are to remain shut this week. On Tuesday, Gov Scott said he had activated 2,500 Florida National Guard troops. Heavy rains are forecast for the Carolinas, which were drenched by Hurricane Florence last month. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told residents: "I know people are fatigued from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down." More than 300 miles of coastline are currently under threat, the National Weather Service has said. Forecasters in Alabama warned of possible tornados. President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday: "We are very well prepared for the incoming hurricane." Where has Hurricane Michael hit so far? According to the Associated Press, six people were killed in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador. Images on social media showed evacuating families wading through water to get to safety. Parts of western Cuba, which was hit by the storm on Monday, were forecast to receive up to a foot of rain. Offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated workers, halting nearly a fifth of daily production. Five drilling rigs have been moved out of the storm's path, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Source: BBC
Oct 17, 2018
The Minister for Sanitation, Hon. Cecilia Dapaah has directed the newly created Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) to ensure that capped landfill sites within their jurisdiction remain closed and prevent the sprouting of illegal dump sites. The Minister gave the directive when she embarked on a familiarization tour with the Metro Chief Executive (MCE) of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah, to the capped Mallam landfill site, Glefe 1 landfill site, the capped Glefe 2 landfill site, the mortuary road mobile transfer station, the ICGC landfill site and also inspected the Osu Alata drain yesterday, to acquaint herself with the challenges and progress made in achieving a clean Accra. Hon. Cecilia Dapaah outlined the provision of waste bins for city dwellers to store their waste, the provision of transfer stations as a temporal holding place for waste, the evacuation of the waste at the transfer stations and the treatment and recycling of waste, as long term solutions to making Accra the cleanest city in Africa. She stressed that the reclamation process of illegal dumpsites within the city would involve the mining of plastics and conversion of non-plastic refuse into manure, adding that, it would create employment for the youth and generate revenue for the country. “One of the solutions is to mine plastics because it is huge money and we are doing this for the wellbeing of Ghanaians. We can engage the youth who are willing to work to come in and lift the plastics so that we don’t have any heavy trucks moving within as quickly as practicable,” she stressed. She added that “We have seen the beautiful work done by the youth, they were sorting the paper, plastics, the glass and it is beautiful but we need to support them to encourage them. I will go and work there one of these days to feel how they work.” She reiterated that the President’s vision to make Accra the cleanest city in West Africa by 2020 was achievable and her office was working around the clock to make it a reality, and urged all city dwellers to come on board as it was a collective responsibility. The MCE of AMA, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah stressed that the Assembly has taken steps and was making significant progress in achieving the ‘Clean Accra Agenda’. He added that, tackling environmental sanitation in Accra could be categorized into six areas; solid waste, liquid waste, drain maintenance, maintenance of cemeteries, plant breeding and landscaping, and pest control, and his outfit’s concerns were to deal with those areas. He indicated that the ‘Accra Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Drainage Alleviation Project (ASDAP)’ popularly referred to as the ‘Conti Project’ was initiated to deal with the drainage system in the city but was confronted with challenges, which the Ministry of Works and Housing was working on. “Partially, some of the projects are going to be undertaken under the World Bank Project which is the Greater Accra Resilient Integrated Project (GARIP), which will dredge the ‘Odaw’ river and as well as construct some transfer stations between the city center and then have rotation so that when it rains, it does not flow straight into the river. We will place holding bays that will release the water into the Odaw,” he indicated. He stressed that, Accra was at the receiving end of all waste generated from the up streams hence the need to step up measures to curb the problem, adding that “we need to step up our work because, especially when it rains at dawn, you could see that plastic waste has been washed into the drains from the upstream Akuapem areas and then we will receive it.” Speaking on how to tackle people building and living on waterways, Hon. Adjei Sowah recalled that the Assembly has embarked on a series of demolition exercises to remove structures on waterways to curb the perennial flooding in the city but as they demolish the structures, the people further encroach on lands close to water ways. The MCE reiterated that he has evacuated over 42 illegal dump sites in the metropolis and was taking stringent steps to complete the evacuation of all illegal dump sites in Accra.
Oct 17, 2018
Political science lecturer at the Methodist University, Dr. Osei Bonsu has admonished the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). to fulfill their major campaign promises or risk losing the 2020 polls. Speaking on Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the political science lecturer touched on three major campaign promises the NPP would have to work on in order to secure their victory in 2020. He said, ‘’although the free SHS is being implemented, I will encourage government to resolve the challenges confronting the policy. Government should also ensure it fulfills the one-district-one factory policy. We have to see signs that the policy has started. The one-village-one dam should also be fulfilled. When this is done, I am sure Ghanaians would not hesitate to retain them in power.’’ He added, ‘’the NPP may have satisfied some Ghanaians but there may be some others who are not satisfied because he has not been able to fulfill the promises based on which they voted for him. If government is unable to satisfy these people, I am not sure they will vote for the party in 2020.’’ He used the opportunity to encourage voters to interrogate the promises made by politicians in order to hold them accountable. Some of the promises by politicians he said are impossible to be done hence the need for voters to subject politicians to scrutiny when they promise to do something on campaign platforms.
Oct 17, 2018
Government has given financial clearance for more than 145,000 jobs as part of efforts to create more economic opportunities for citizens. Information Minister Designate Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah who announced this in Accra said government will continue to deepen its job creation initiatives in the Private and Public Sector. “As we have consistently said, the first priority of this government has been to revive the Ghanaian economy and return it to a stable footing from the crisis of 2016. To this end we have spent the first one and half restoring the macro stability a fact to which now all economic observers attest” Oppong-Nkrumah told Journalists at a news briefing. Giving a breakdown of the figures, the Information Minister Designate said 24,033 of the jobs are health workers, 9500 are educational workers and 4,000 represent Police recruits. The rest are 3,527 representing Security Personnel, 2,700 Agricultural extension workers, 1,049 Local government workers and 20,000 afforestation workers. Update on NABCO 100,000 of the jobs given clearance are NABCO trainees. Oppong-Nkrumah said government was creating jobs across the private and public sectors and across all 254 districts through Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCO). “Currently over 90,000 beneficiaries have already accepted their postings and we are expecting the 10,000 remaining beneficiaries to complete their acceptance within the next week” he said. President Akufo-Addo is expected to commission the trainees to start work before the end of October. The Minister added that all the over 145,000 beneficiaries are expected to be at post before the end of this year. Oppong-Nkrumah said even though 145,000 is a significant number, the extent of the unemployment challenge created within the last eight years means that more people are still looking for jobs and government will continue with actions aimed at providing opportunities for them as government continue to improve economic conditions and government finances.
Oct 17, 2018
Former President Jerry John Rawlings is not pleased with the documentary on the murder of some three judges-produced by the Multimedia Group Limited. The former President in a series of tweets on Tuesday, questioned the rationale behind the documentary titled, Who Killed the Judges'. The documentary by the media group took viewers down memory lane on how three judges and a military officer were killed in 1982. Mr Rawlings believes the issues should not be turned into a “political-media circus.” Mr Rawlings said persons who were found to have killed the judges were punished severely as compared to the murder of the late Yaa Na. He described the killings as “an unfortunate tragedy”, and went ahead to state that the “hard, swift justice done to perpetrators” of the judges murder with “the organized assault and killings of the Yaa Naa and his 39 elders, for which those perpetrators are yet to see justice.” “That is the fundamental difference - one group of four saw justice, the other group of close to 40 did not and has not!” He stressed that the killings of the Ya Na, Yakubu Andani II, then king of Dagbon in March 2002 and 39 others during the administration of John Agyekum Kufuor have not been punished. According to him, while a section of politicians point to the killings of the judges and the Major and paint some in society as murderers, the same people are happy to jump at the next opportunity to flag his name when he says something that rubs off them positively. “We have rehashed and recooked history to make innocent people look murderous. And in the next breath using the same name to endorse yourselves because Rawlings has said he is cultured (compared to his predecessors). This is vicious and callous political opportunism. “We cannot reduce the harm and pain caused families and the whole country by turning this matter into a political-media circus,” he posited. According to the documentary, On 30 June 1982, the three judges – Justices Kwadwo Adjei Agyepong, Poku Sarkodie and Mrs. Cecelia Koranteng-Addow, and a retired Major in the Ghana Armed Forces, were abducted and branded “enemies of the revolution” under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) led by Mr Rawlings. Lance Corporal Amedeka, Tony Tekpor and Dzandu, all soldiers, had taken their captives to the Bondase military firing range and executed them. The murderers carried along a gallon of petrol with which they set fire to the bodies to destroy all evidence. But it rained that night, so the bodies did not burn as they murderers had wanted. Following a public outcry, the PNDC set up the Special Investigation Board (SIB) headed by former Chief Justice Mr. Justice Azu Crabbe to unravel the mystery. thewatchshopgh It turned out that all the three judges were sitting reviewing cases brought to them by aggrieved citizens in connection with the treatment meted out to them by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council junta led by Mr Rawlings after the 4 June 1979 coup. The army officer, Major Sam Acquah, was the head of administration at GIHOC who had signed letters that led to the dismissal of some agitating workers, including a PNDC member Joachim Amartey Kwei. Their services were terminated after they invaded Parliament House and destroyed property. The SIB established that the abduction and murder was a plot hatched with the connivance of members of the PNDC. The Board found that the plot was master-minded by Capt. Kojo Tsikata, PNDC Member in charge of National Security. The PNDC rejected that aspect of the report and let Capt. Tsikata and four others off the hook for lack of evidence. The remaining four of the nine suspects were jailed. When on 19 June 1983, there was a jail-break at the Nsawam Medium Prisons and the Ussher Fort Prisons, L/Cpl Amedeka escaped from captivity and has since not been seen. But his three accomplices, Tony Tekpor, Dzandu and Hekli, as well as ex-PNDC Members Amartey Kwei, were executed by firing squad.
Oct 17, 2018
South Africa's finance minister Nhlanhla Nene has quit after admitting meeting members of the Gupta family, who have been accused of corruption. President Cyril Ramaphosa said he accepted the resignation "in the interests of good governance". The Guptas have been accused of working with former President Jacob Zuma to secure government contracts and determine cabinet appointments. Both the Guptas and Mr Zuma deny the allegations. Mr Nene has been replaced by former central bank chief Tito Mboweni. This is the fifth change of finance minister since 2014. Last week, Mr Nene told a judge-led inquiry into the alleged influence of the Guptas, known as the Zondo commission, about meetings that he had previously denied. There is no suggestion that he had done anything illegal in meeting the businessmen during his stint as deputy finance minister and finance minister in Mr Zuma's government, but he has been under intense political pressure to step down since making the admission. Mr Zuma sacked him as finance minister in 2015, but he was reappointed by the current president in February. Rumours of his intended resignation on Monday led to a fall in the value of South Africa's currency, the rand, but it has since recovered its value. What was so controversial about the meetings? Mr Nene met the Guptas at their businesses and home at least six times between 2009 and 2014. On the face of it a finance minister talking to top business people may seem normal, but the Guptas have been accused of using meetings, in their residence in a posh suburb of Johannesburg, to influence political decisions. Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has told the Zondo commission that in 2015 he had been offered 600m rand ($41m; £32m) if he accepted the post of finance minister at a meeting at the Johannesburg mansion. The Guptas denied the allegation. After revealing the details of his own meetings, Mr Nene issued a public apology saying: "I am human too, I do make mistakes, including those of poor judgement." Is this a blow to Mr Ramaphosa? Mr Ramaphosa, who became president in February, brought Mr Nene back into the cabinet in order to restore confidence in the reputation of the country's economic management. It had received a battering under Mr Zuma's presidency. In his speech accepting the resignation, Mr Ramaphosa said that Mr Nene had "defended the cause of proper financial management and clean governance". But he had accepted the resignation because Mr Nene feared his testimony "detracted from the important task of serving the people of South Africa as we work to re-establish public trust in government", Mr Ramaphosa said. Who are the Guptas? The Gupta family relocated to South Africa from India in 1993 and began to build up a business empire with interests in mining, air travel, energy, technology and media. Using its wealth, the family was accused of wielding enormous political and economic influence under the presidency of Mr Zuma in what is known in South Africa as "state capture". Who are the Guptas? Both Mr Zuma and the Gupta family have denied wrongdoing but the corruption allegations added to a sense of South Africa's decline under his presidency. He resigned as president in February and people hoped Mr Ramaphosa could repair the damage. According to South African media, some of the Guptas now live in Dubai. Mr Ramaphosa's government signed an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates in September. This fuelled speculation that South Africa may try to have them extradited once investigations into alleged corruption are concluded. Source: BBC
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