Thursday, December 8, 2011

Flood Wrecked Northern Ghana

floods in northern Ghana (Central Gonja)
   about 700, 000 people have been displaced by floods following the over flow of Volta river. 800 houses were also submerged and thousands of acres of farmlands and crops were now under water. the government officials led by the Interior Minister Martin Amidu expressed shock about the damage caused by the flood and described as national crisis. the extend of damage the minister said would cost more than the government can bear and however appealed to external agencies and governments to come into their aid. the floods which the officials blamed on climate change resulted in the activities of human and natural causes said time has come for immediate action to deal with effects of climate change. the government agency, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) whose officials look helpless are supposed to handle situation of human and natural disasters but is under resourced. the agency that supposed to be independent however fall on the government for assistance which is not forthcoming at times on needs hence the agency is always behind in response to disaster situations.
the officials of NADMO descirbed the situation as worst in 20 years looking at the extensive damages caused. though rains continued to fall regularly the government had not been able to put in place contigent plans to deal with the situation to prevent its recurring. 

suspected effects of climate change as people bear the brunt of it

Assembly women aspirants face socio-cultural challenges

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Francis Npong, Gulinkpegu
The Assembly women aspirants in culturally-torn or segregated society particularly in northern region where women play “shadow role” or neglected and deny opportunity to take part in decision making process and in development are being prepared to face a unique challenges during the upcoming district assemblies’ elections as they face their male counterparts.
With funding support from European Union (EU), under the “Support for Women in Elections, (SWOPE)”, Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), a gender and development sensitive Non-governmental organization has organized ground-breaking community platforms for some women aspirants in the Yendi Municipality not only to disabuse community minds about women in leadership but also to showcase their talents and achievements. The assembly women aspirants in the region are faced with various challenges including financial, socio-cultural and transportation difficulties that impede the campaign activities.
Speaking to the Enquirer in an interview after a durbar of chiefs and people of Gulinkpegu Electoral Area in the Mion Constituency, the field officer of GDCA-SWOPE programme Madam Alhassan Faidatu pointed out that women face unique socio-cultural challenges that prevent them from taking part in decision making processes in society. Women she said are spite in male dominated society of the region, a situation that needs a lot of time, energy, and resource to correct to pave way for women with leadership potentials to vie for both local and national leadership positions.  
“Socio-cultural factors particularly in northern region put off women potentials because women are not allowed to practice their ideas gear towards transformation of society. They are barred by socio-cultural norms to take up leadership positions or to participate development programmes. This however affected physical and spiritual development of women in north Ghana”, she stressed.
Madam Faidatu indicated that women are good and influential leaders and could support the development of the nation when given the chance to participate in decision making processes at local and national levels. The discrimination, marginalization and exclusion of women in local and national platforms were partly responsible for the lack of development in the country, she argued. She said it was against this background that GDCA in collaboration with SWOPE is supporting the course of women and advocating for increase number of assembly women for equal representation of gender in decision making processes saying the disparities in leadership in Ghana was too wide and needed to be closed.
The Yendi Municipal Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) Alhaji Alhassan Sulemana appealed to chiefs and people to desist from criminalizing and attacking women who aspire for a position. He observed that the situation was not encouraging girl child education and women development. He however urged community members to support women to aspire higher position because women were sensitive to development and would be able to move the development of the community forwards when given the chance. The Assembly woman aspirant for Gulinkpegu Electoral Area Ms Adam Habiba who complained of physical and verbal attacks and various accusations that put fears in them promised to champion.
She pleaded with community leaders to ensure a fair play ground for all aspirants including women to the forthcoming district assemblies’ elections. She said the constant intimidation, harassment and physical and verbal attacks from her male counterparts do not promote democracy where respect, responsibility, accountability and community interest is key.
She thanked GDCA for the support and urged her colleagues women not to be deterred by the threats and accusations to declare their interest in the forthcoming district assemblies elections.  

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