“STOP DUMPING REFUSE INTO THE SEA” … Urged TMA Waste Management Boss at Zoomlion Sanitation Durbar

15 Feb
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JOINT STAKEHOLDERS DISCUSS HOUSEHOLD WATER TREATMENT, STRATEGY IN GHANA

1 Jun

By Ernest K. Chanani

Joint multi-stakeholders and Professionals in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector have met in Accra to discuss the way forward for successful Household Water Treatment and Storage (HWTS) in the country.

The WASH Resource Centre Network (RCN) in collaboration with Local Government and Rural Development Ministry (MLGRD), Water Resources Works and Housing Ministry (MWRWH) has held the 26TH National Level Learning Alliance Platform (NLLAP) on the Theme: “Household Water Treatment Storage Strategy in Ghana.”

The objective of the meeting was to share and disseminate the HWTS Strategy Document. NLLAP is a WASH sector multi stakeholder platform with overall goal of improving sector learning and dialogue.

The EHSD-MLGRD in collaboration with UNICEF Ghana led the discussions.

A number of stakeholder concerns were raised which included Management Plan, Monitoring and Evaluation, and overall recommendations. Adopting approaches to hygiene promotion covering social life was very important to discussants.

During lively discussions and opinion sharing, participants made suggestions and recommendations. On the issue of rain water harvesting, participants contended among other issues that even though President Mills pledged in his Statement of the Nation’s Address to take a critical look at it, much has not been achieved.

Mr. Fredrick Addai, Director, WD-MWRWH noted that there was the need to develop a detailed scope in the scheme of things which include Situation Analyses, Prioritizing Behaviours, Behaviour Analyses, Strategic Approach and also bearing in mind the necessary tools and strategy.

In terms of strategic approach to HWTS, Mr. Naa Lenason Demedeme, AG Director, EHSD-MLGRD stressed the need for a strategy which should be combined with creating an enabling environment, encompassing appropriate and advocacy including capacity building and sustained financing scheme.

RCN Ghana is a network of institutional partners seeking to promote Knowledge Management in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector in Ghana. The vision is a dynamic knowledge-driven WASH sector providing improved and sustainable pro-poor services.

 GHANA NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR HOUSEHOLD WATER TREATMENT AND SAFE STORAGE

1. Background and Rationale

Unsafe drinking water, along with poor sanitation and hygiene, impose a heavy burden of disease in Ghana. Contaminated drinking water contributes to an estimated 10,000 deaths annually from diarrhea disease, the third largest killer of children under 5 years of age in Ghana. (JMP 2008).

The government of Ghana recognizes the essential role of safe water and sanitation in promoting health and development, and is committed to increase access to safe water, especially among rural populations, the urban poor, those affected by floods and other emergencies, and those living in remote areas. This commitment needs to be reflected in the National Water policy, the National Sanitation policy and the Community Water and Sanitation Strategic plan, all of which aim to advocate for a demand-responsive approach to establish the link between water and health.

The Ministry of Water Resources,Works and Housing and Ministry of local government are designated as the lead Ministries for coordinating the implementation of water supply and sanitation respectively.  Other key ministries involved in the promotion of health through safe drinking water, include the Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service among others.

Ghana has made significant progress in extending the coverage of improved water sources, with an estimated 93% of urban populations and 76.6% of rural dwellers having access to ―improved water supplies‖ according to JMP (2008).

However, while most urban dwellers have household connections, the main water supply for rural

populations are wells, rainwater collection systems, dug outs and surface sources (rivers or streams). Water quality monitoring suggests that water supplies in Ghana rarely meet national standards for drinking water quality, especially for sources used predominantly by rural populations.

 Providing safe, reliable, potable water to every household is an essential goal, yielding optimal health gains while contributing to the MDG targets for poverty reduction, nutrition, childhood survival, school attendance, gender equity and environmental sustainability. While committed strongly to this goal and to incremental improvements in water supplies wherever possible, the Government of Ghana together with

development partners, private sector, NGOs and others have called for interim approaches through Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS) that will accelerate the heath gains associated with safe drinking water for those whose water supplies are unsafe.

Interventions to treat and maintain the microbial quality of water at the household levels are among the most promising of these approaches. This is particularly true in settings, Outreach and Coverage of Services and Products.

Collaborations between government institutions, particularly ministries and nongovernmental

organizations, are good examples of public-private partnership. For purposes of  this strategy, public-private partnership (PPP) is seen as a as the means to bring together a set of actors for the common goal of improving the wellbeing of a population through mutually agreed roles and principles that appears more appropriate to promote household water treatment and safe storage.

3. Commercial/Business approach

A commercial approach, unlike nonprofit programs, which rely on external grants and subsidies, commercial ventures sell goods at prices that cover all of their costs—making the approach inherently more sustainable. The potential for profits also creates an incentive for more companies to enter the HWTS market.

These companies may compete for market share by reducing prices, improving the quality of their products, developing innovative technologies, and heavily promoting their products. All of these strategies may tend to heighten public interest in sales of HWTS products. With more companies manufacturing HWTS products, it may also be easier to improve production and distribution, reach different geographic areas and serve diverse market segments.

Guiding Principles: 

 The strategies and actions taken under the National HWTS strategy will be governed by the following principles: Health is the primary driver of all HWTS initiatives undertaken within the

framework of the national strategy for HWTS. Any program or project involving HWTS will be considered and evaluated on the basis of its contribution to health.

As a matter of priority, HWTS initiatives should target populations that do not currently practice effective HWTS on a correct and consistent basis.

HWTS products and technologies should be introduced in Ghana only after they have been shown to be safe and effective. Wherever possible, householders should also be given choices in HWTS options that meet national standards, and sufficient information on which to make informed choices.

Consistent with national strategies and target programs, HWTS initiatives should follow a demand-response approach, with users deciding from a range of certified methods, products and technologies, with users paying the cost.

MTN MOVIEMANIA HOLDS VIEWERS SPELLBOUND

31 May

By Ernest K. Chanani

MTN Ghana on Friday held its loyal customers spell bound with much excitement as they watched “MTN MOVIEMANIA” interesting movie at the Silver Bird Cinema in Accra.
The viewers were glued to their seats while they enjoyed their Coca cola drink and popcorn sponsored by MTN in a relaxed mood.
“MTN MOVIEMANIA” is the company’s entertainment programme in treating its loyal customers with monumental excitement.
An opportunity is given to early MTN subscribers who have been using the network right from its inception including those who have also been using the network for some time, picked at random to watch “MTN MOVIEMANIA” interesting movies at the Silver Bird Cinema in Accra.
The movie, Titled: “The Vow,” demonstrated the ordeal of a married young lady who couldn’t remember the events surrounding her marriage life with her husband due to memory loss she experienced through a fatal car accident.
Her precarious condition complicated her marriage issues as she left her matrimonial home and rather lived with her family and old friends.
The couple after several months of separation re united even though she couldn’t regain her memory.
The interesting and thought provoking movie suddenly ended with much expectation which became the cause of sensation at the Accra Mall.

ZOOMLION DONATES 10 NEW WASTE MANAGEMENT TRUCKS

31 May

ZoomLion Ghana Limited in its quest to rid the country of filth has once again donated ten brand new waste management trucks and other environmental sanitation equipment to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Upper East Region. The company believes this is a strategic move to help the MMDAs in their operation.
The brief handing over ceremony took place at the forecourt of the Regional Coordinating Council in Bolgatanga on March 28, 2012.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Lucy Awuni, said Zoomlion Ghana limited has taken up the task to provide effective sanitation services to the nation and due to this it has been able to rid our cities and towns off a considerable amount of waste. She went on to add that “as we are commending the work of Zoomlion, we should not forget that our support is needed to complement their work”.
Hon. Lucy Awuni also added that the bad sanitation habits of Ghanaians are costing the nation huge sums of money. This she said is because the resource that the country spends on managing incidence of sanitation-related diseases such as cholera and malaria could be channeled into a national interest venture such as infrastructural development.
She therefore called on the people of Bolgatanga to support the Assemblies and Zoomlion to rid of filth in the Region.
On is part, the Deputy Upper East Regional Manager of Zoomlion, Mr. AbubakariIssaka, charged the Municipal and District Chief Executives to ensure that the vehicles are put to good use and also maintained properly to enable the community obtain the maximum benefit of the trucks.
He went on to appeal to the Chief Executives devote some time during various Assembly programmes to educate the public more on the need to keep their environment clean.
The District Chief Executive of Bawku Central, Mr. Musah Abdullah, who received the trucks on behalf of the Assemblies, described the donation as a timely one as the region is faced with the urgent need to undertake massive evacuation of waste. He commended Zoomlion Ghana Limited for such collaboration with the government.

Newmont named to Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens List”

28 May

ACCRA, May 28, 2012

Newmont Mining Corporation, the parent company of Newmont Ghana, has for the fourth consecutive year been named to Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens List” for 2012.

Newmont was one of only two mining companies in the top 50 on the list of leading companies in corporate responsibility. The company ranked number 42 out of 1,000 U.S. companies that were evaluated.

The “Corporate Citizen List” represents many sectors and a variety of companies from the Russell 1000 stock index, and uses ‘publically available information’ to evaluate 1,000 leading U.S. companies in performance areas such as environment, climate change, human rights, employee relations, corporate governance, philanthropy and finance. Newmont joins respected businesses such as, Bristol-Myers, Microsoft Corporation, Coca-Cola, IBM and Hewlett-Packard on the “100 Best Corporate Citizens List.”

Dave Schummer, Regional Senior Vice President for Africa Operations in a congratulatory message to employees said, “This award has been due to the tireless efforts of Newmont Ghana’s employees and those from other Newmont operations around the globe, and I congratulate them for demonstrating leadership in stewardship of the environment and social responsibility and applying best practices in their work.”

This achievement by Newmont coincides with the launch of its 2011 Global Sustainability Report, “Beyond the Mine.” The report contains Newmont’s initiatives on Sustainability Performance in the areas of safety and health, human resources, environmental protection and community and stakeholder engagement.

Newmont Ghana, in contributing to this achievement, has been executing sustainability programs in partnership with host communities and other stakeholders. Major partnership projects include the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Program, which produced the 2010 National Best Plantain Farmer and the Ahafo Agribusiness Growth Initiative. Newmont Ghana’s continuous improvement effort in environmental compliance and application of best practices has also been recognized by the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, which confirmed achievement of a Blue AKOBEN Rating for the Ahafo Mine for 2010.

Newmont Ghana is committed to high standards in environmental protection, health and safety measures and social responsibility in its efforts to be the most valued and respected mining company through industry leading performance.

For more information on the 2012 “100 Best Corporate Citizens List” visit Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s Website and on Newmont and Newmont Ghana’s 2011 Global Sustainability Report visit Beyond the Mine.

About Newmont Ghana

Newmont Ghana is one of five core operating districts for Newmont Mining Corporation (www.newmont.com), one of the largest gold companies in the world. Newmont Ghana operates the Ahafo Mine in the Brong-Ahafo Region and also has a development project, the Akyem Project in the Birim-North District of the Eastern Region. Newmont Ghana employs approximately 4, 600 employees and contractors, with the majority working at its Ahafo Mine. Newmont’s industry leading performance is reflected in Newmont Ghana’s high standards in environmental management, health and safety for its employees and creating value and opportunity for its employees, host communities and Newmont’s shareholders.

45 DAYS TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR GHANAIAN ARTISTS ENDS IN GHANA

28 May

By Ernest K. Chanani

A 45 Days training workshop series for Ghanaian artists under smARTpower sm initiative has ended in Ghana.

The smARTpower sm is an initiative of the U.S Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the Bronx museum of Arts with additional support from Roberts Sterling Clark Foundation, and Lori Schiff Chemla and ALTOR, partnered in Ghana by The Foundation for Contemporary Art Ghana, FCA-Ghana.

The FCA-Ghana is an active network of artists created to administer and streamline an alternative platform for the presentation, development and promotion of contemporary art in Ghana.

It also organizes exhibitions, seminars, workshops and issues publications to raise awareness of and develop critical thinking about contemporary art and artist in Ghana.

Rochelle Feinstein, a New York based International artist and Director of Graduate Studies of Paintings/printmaking, who was hosted by FCA-Ghana, to train the participants under the initiative, facilitated a training series of workshops for the Ghanaian artists, art students and community youths in Jamestown including public presentations.

The training module constituted the selection of 5 community youths from Jamestown in printmaking in and College of Art, KNUST, as well as SAATP-Tarkoradi, after which she facilitated a one-day workshop with art students with focus on the ideas behind their work including a presentation on her work.

Participating artists constructed new work based on introduction or re-examination of art making and the relation of reception to specific experience, including performative work, painting, and other work.

Information presented by the beneficiaries varied from visual, historical specifics through the media, statements manifestos, and films.

Through this accumulation, each participant created new works with an altered understanding of a recent past of their present.

“The artists in this exhibition have participated in a month-long exchange of ideas, based upon readings, discussion, visual presentations, and the creation of new works.

For the final project, each artist wrote a two page Chronology, 2002‐2012. This is a highly edited compilation of the personal and public events that have made a significant impression upon their lives. Two questions emerged from document: what experiences are core to an individual artist’s viewpoint? And, how are these transformed through a visual syntax? The artworks that appear before you were generated by these questions and the results of this investigation.

I have had the privilege of working with a hearty, talented group of artists, each willing to navigate the mysterious territory that lies just beyond where they have been. It has been gratifying adventure.

Nothing has happened until it has been recorded,” stated Rochelle Feinstein.

STANBIC BANK SECURES $300M LOAN SYNDICATION FOR MTN

21 May

 By Ernest K. Chanani

 Two members of the Standard Bank Group, Stanbic Bank Ghana and Stanbic Bank South Africa have successfully secured $300-Million (GH¢ 410 million) in medium-term funding facilities on behalf of its client, MTN Ghana.

The initiative of the two banks was geared towards supporting Telecom Giant MTN Ghana in its bid to create job opportunities in its operations in the Ghanaian economy.

In addition to the GH¢ 410 million, a large sum of US$60Million which received a positive take-up was raised by the syndication team comprising of 16 local banks and four international banks.

The amount which was raised in the local Ghanaian market is the largest local currency deal in Ghana’s history outside the annual COCOBOD syndications transactions usually in foreign currency.

However, Mr. Alhassan Andani, Stanbic Bank Ghana Managing Director has disclosed in Accra that MTN has been a business leader over the years and Stanbic Bank was delighted to be playing a lead role in mobilizing the funds.

He noted that Standard Bank of South Africa is the Facility and Security Agent, adding that Stanbic Bank Ghana had led the execution of a number of high profile transactions leading to the bank being voted as Best Investment Bank in 2011 by the prestigious EMEA Finance magazine.

He explained that this landmark transaction is a testament a collective drive to support the Ghanaian economy which will create jobs and give hope to the people of Ghana.

The Stanbic Bank Ghana MD noted that MTN Ghana appointed Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited and Standard Bank of South Africa as the Global Coordinator for the deal and they ran the entire syndication process to secure the funding.

Mr. Andani stressed that there was a positive take-up by financial institutions and as such the Ghanaian Cedi facilities and USD facility were oversubscribed by 35% and 92% respectively, an indication of the financial strength and quality that local and foreign banks see in MTN Ghana and its operations.

MTN Ghana he indicated wanted a bank with a proven international and African footprint to facilitate and participate in the transaction as there has not been a local currency syndication of this size before.

“Of course the Standard Bank through its African and international network was able to demonstrate its ability to secure funding from multiple sources in both local and foreign currency,” he emphasized.

The funds raised in the bond issue according to him, will be used by MTN to expand and improve its network in Ghana going forward.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Ghana, Mr. Michael Ikpoki, reiterated it is a demonstration of how MTN saw its business in Ghana. “By looking within to raise this amount of money, we are indicating to the people of Ghana that we have absolute confidence in the economy and more importantly, the Ghana Cedi. This financing will help up us take our business to the next level where the consumer will be the ultimate winner,” He stated.

Mr. Kwamina Asomaning, Director of Stanbic Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking unit said “as a leading emerging markets bank, specifically Ghana’s Best Investment Bank. Stanbic bank is serious about playing a transformative role in Ghana’s corporate sector in partnership with government, organizations such as MTN and other likeminded institutions across all sectors.”

He further stated that as a member of Africa’s largest Bank, Stanbic Bank Ghana was in the best position to harness resources across the group to deliver results that impact on the lives of Ghanaians.”

Adding, he stressed that the requirement by MTN Ghana was for a global bank with a strong African footprint and that Stanbic bank’s appointment was consequently an endorsement of Standard Bank’s strategy to have Africa at its core as the bank extend and deepen its business across the continent.

This is the first time a multinational company in Ghana has raised capital in Ghanaian Cedis on this scale.

Mandated lead arrangers for the syndication are: Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited, Ghana Commercial Bank Limited, Ecobank Ghana Limited and Ecobank Capital, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited and Barclays Bank of Ghana Limited. Mandated Lead Arrangers in the USD Facility are: FirstRand Bank Limited acting through its Rand Merchant Bank Division and Export Development Canada.

ZOOMLION ORGANISES PROJECT MANAGEMENT TRAINING FOR DISTRICT SUPERVISORS

18 May

As part of its efforts to build the capacity strength of its staff, ace waste management company, Zoomlion Ghana limited has organized project management training for its District Operations Supervisors for the Southern Sector.

This consists of the Greater Accra, Eastern, Central, Western and Volta Regions.

The week long certificate awarding training programme which was organized by the College of Project Professionals was aimed at equipping the district operations supervisors who are mainly at the grassroots level with communication and interpersonal skills so as to offer better services to clients and also help the company achieve its strategic objectives.

In an address, The Chief Executive Officer of Zoomlion Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong said the company sees the year 2012 as a year of capacity building and thus would ensure that all staff of Zoomlion across the length and breadth of the nation would have an opportunity to be trained.

He also charged them to take opportunities surrounding them to make themselves better and not to always rely on the company to organize training programmes before they learn.

The Dean of the District Operations Supervisors on behalf of his colleagues expressed their sincere gratitude the CEO and Management of Zoomlion for reposing confidence in them and promised to replicate what they have learnt to ensure the survival of Zoomlion.

Some of the course they were taught included proposal writing, project scope management and project time management.

Other Officials of Zoomlion who addressed the gathering included the Director of Administration Mr. E. O Okomeng, other heads of departments of the Company as well as project coordinators.

A similar meeting is being held in Kumasi for supervisors from Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.