Roundup: Ghanaians experience total eclipse

By GNA
Previous |  Next 
By GNA

3/29/2006 -

Accra, March 29, GNA - Ghanaians on Wednesday witnessed the rare occurrence of a solar eclipse amidst excitement, singing of songs of praise to God and prayers to Allah.
As darkness began to fall after 0800 hours, when the moon started creeping between the earth and the sun, many people rushed out of their offices and homes with their special solar eclipse goggles to watch the event.
Slowly, the moon covered the sun until it did so completely at about 0910 hours in Accra.
The siren at the Post Office sounded and street lights came on. Drivers still on the road put on their headlights. Accra experienced a total eclipse for about three minutes. The last time Ghana experienced such an event was in 1947.
The National Planning Committee had sensitised the public about the eclipse and on how to ensure an incident-free event.
It also created awareness of the importance of protecting the eyes, as observing an eclipse with the naked eye could cause irreversible eyes damage.
Ghanaians from all walks of life equipped, with their eclipse goggles, X'ray films, welders' glasses and other viewing devices poured out of their offices, homes, shops, classrooms onto the open to watch the total eclipse of the sun on Wednesday with fanfare, serenity and uncertainty of post-eclipse developments.
President John Agyekum Kufuor joined the millions of Ghanaians and foreigners, who observed the eclipse of the sun in Accra, describing it as "a great experience".
As the path of the sun got completely blocked, leading to total darkness, which lasted for about three minutes, the obviously overjoyed President Kufuor was seen clapping.
President Kufuor said this was the second time he was witnessing the phenomenon. His first experience was in 1947 when he was nine years old and then a school child.
"Today, close to 60 years later, it is happening. It shows the beauty and wonders of nature;" he said.
He said unlike 1947 when the event was a mystery and people thought world was coming to an end, there was now a scientific explanation. Hundreds of tourists also came to Ghana to watch the event. Hotels were fully booked as the Ghana Tourist Board took full advantage to sell Ghana.
A tour of some parts of Accra by Ghana News Agency team minutes before, during and after the eclipse revealed that in spite of the educational campaign, most people were sceptical about the event as they expressed doubts and a wait and see attitude. Others were simply not bothered about the event.
The usually busy streets, especially during the rush hours of 0700 hours to 1000 hours, were virtually empty with few vehicular traffic while hawkers, who normally took advantage of the heavy traffic to sell their goods were absent on most of the major streets. The first communities to observe the event were the coastal settlements between Assini and Busua in the Western Region with Busua Beach Hotel being one of the best places in the neighbourhood for tourists to get more than three minutes of experiencing the twilight darkness.
Other areas were Agona, Sekondi-Takoradi, Ho, Cape-Coast, Koforidua and Asikuma.
The event was also experienced at Atobiase, Bogoso and Prestea, all in the Western Region and across the Volta Lake through Jasikan and Pampawie in the Volta Region.
The South Limits started at 4.5 degrees north in the Gulf of Guinea through Saltpond, Winneba, Accra, Tema, Ada, Woe, Keta and Dzodze. Along the coast, some high grounds offered some advantages - two spots on high hills at Anomabo, McCarthy Hill overlooking the Densu Plain, Shai Hills and Aburi Hills at Peduase.
Ms Beatrice Asamani, a journalist at the Agency, said it was an awesome and a lifetime experience which she would forever remember. "Indeed I want to keep my shades as a souvenir for posterity." While some clapped with joy, others sang praises to the Lord and danced to their own music and songs. Others were also offering prayers requesting that there should be no accidents or catastrophe. Mr Kofi Ayou, 42, said: "I'm excited to be a witness to this event. Initially, I didn't believe it will happen but as of now, I see that God is really wonderful. This is the time we should believe in God. God can do anything with the world at anytime."
Some Moslems prayed and worshipped Allah saying that during the life of Prophet Mohamed he lost his son Ibrahim during an eclipse and called for a prayer of eclipse "rakat", that is, to prostrate twice and recite a long verse from the Koran.
Imam Ali Umar Kuriba of the Islamic University College said the rakat was one of prayers set aside for happenings such as the eclipse. He said the event showed that Allah was really the greatest. School children were in school by 0730 and were given a final briefing before the event by their teachers, who organised them to watch the event in groups to share the special goggles with one another. The early hours of the day at Tema, the industrial hub of Ghana, lost its usual business as people hid in their rooms while others went to work and school earlier than usual.
The town was unusually quiet as few vehicles and people were seen on the roads.
Almost all human activities in the twin-city of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis came to a standstill as thousands of curious people from all walks of life came out of their homes, offices and workplaces to observe the eclipse.
They were seen in groups along streets, beaches, parks in front of the various offices, schools and other open spaces viewing the rare celestial phenomenon.
Ghana was one of eight African countries to experience the solar eclipse. The others include Togo, Benin, Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Libya and Egypt.
At a pond in Accra where there were wetland birds, the birds flew off to perch in nearby trees.
A herd of cattle that was grazing nearby started moving toward their kraal as darkness fell.
At a drinking bar, people raised their glasses to celebrate the phenomenon.
At the High Street, staffs of the Central Bank, who had been allowed a break, were seen outside watching the event. The Chorkor fishermen did not go to sea on Wednesday because of the event.
Mr Kofi Ayou, 42, a fisherman said: "I'm excited to be a witness to this event. Initially, I didn't believe it will happen but as of now, I see that God is really wonderful. This is the time we should believe in God. God can do anything with the world at anytime." The atmosphere at the congregation Grounds of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) could be likened to that of the aftermath of a victorious performance of the national team soccer team Black Stars as people cheered and shouted when they witnessed the total eclipse of the sun.
The youth especially could not contain their joy at experiencing the phenomenon that occurred between 0908 hours and 0912 hours as the sun totally became obscured.
By 0730 the auditorium of the UCC was filled to capacity with both participants of an on-going international scientific conference on Solar Eclipse and Cultural Africa and students of the UCC and of second cycle institutions.
Flight schedules at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) were not affected by today's solar eclipse because the event did not affect visibility.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, (GNA) in Accra Mrs Lawrencia Agyepong, Acting Head of Public Relations, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, said all the necessary precautions were taken to ensure that events at the Airport, especially aircraft movement, went on.
She said two flights by the Bellview and Chan Changi Airlines landed at the airport during the period of the eclipse without incident, adding that the event could in no way affect aircraft movement. The bats at the 37th Military Hospital in Accra apparently interpreted the solar eclipse on Wednesday to be dusk and were airborne between 0905 hours and 0910 hours. They, however, went back to roost as soon as the phenomenon was over.
Ms Cynthia Owusu, a resident of the Switchback Road Government Flats, which is opposite the 37th Military Hospital, told the Ghana News Agency that the bats normally flew out at dusk and returned to roost at dawn. She said they seldom flew during the day unless they were disturbed by the tooting of horns or sirens by passing vehicles. However, during the eclipse they were all airborne.
The poultry were not left out as cocks crew and returned to roost. The doves cooed.
Some residents were heard praising God for the wonderful spectacle. Two baboons were seen mating at Shai Hills in the Greater Accra Region during the total eclipse of the sun.
Mr Ferdinand Ayim, Chairman of the National Planning Committee on the Solar Eclipse, told the GNA in an interview by telephone minutes after the total eclipse that Shai Hills had a unique experience looking at the animals' reactions and how humans behaved.
"A lot of local tourists were at Shai Hills to observe the eclipse. It has really been a boost to domestic tourism," Mr Ayim said. He said Shai Hills experienced the eclipse for two hours 20 minutes with three minutes and two seconds of total eclipse.
"It was fantastic, it was as expected," Mr Ayim, who is also the Special Assistant to the Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, said.
Most of the courts in the Accra Metropolis were virtually empty during the eclipse of the sun.
The Ghana News Agency observed that at the Cocoa Affairs cluster of courts staff of the Judicial Service were at post at about 0830 hours and few of the attorneys and parties were also present. The compound and the rooms that are usually crowded were sparsely populated.
At the Accra Regional Tribunal at 0835 hours the situation was no different. The few attorneys and the court clerks were in the open watching the event with their special sunshade.
Speaking to the GNA at his chambers, Mr Frank Manu, a Presiding Judge of the Tribunal, stated that he and the panel members were ready to sit but most of the parties listed for hearing were not present. Mr Manu attributed this to the curiosity of people who wanted to watch the scene at their homes before coming to court since that might be the first in their life.
"It is my fervent prayer that the event would be a peaceful and successful one without confusion".
At the Community Centre housing the Accra District Court, Police prosecutors, the staff and litigants were patiently waiting outside to catch a glimpse of the eclipse of the sun.
Mr Chris Akumey, a legal practitioner, who arrived at the Community Centre after the event said he was at the James Town Magistrate Court during the total eclipse and the court moved into the judge's chambers to complete the case.
Mr Akumey said the scene was an exciting one and that it was indeed a "night to watch".
The usual jam of traffic on the road from GNA along Tema Station through the High Street in Accra was absent. Accra Three Ministers of State joined the public, including tourists, at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra to catch a glimpse of the eclipse of the sun.
Ms Christine Churcher, Minister for Environment and Science and her deputy Dr Ghesysika Adombre Agambilla and Mr Kwamina Bartels, Minister for Private Sector and President's Special Initiative (PSI) were entertained by the Gyen Bii Cultural Troupe who provided songs while waiting for the event.
While a section of the crowd sang local gospel tunes to ushers the event, others shouted in appreciation of it.
Ms Churcher in her address described the event as spectacular and a natural phenomenon adding, "Ghana was privileged to have witnessed this astronomical event."
"Undoubtedly, a solar eclipse is a spectacular life time event that many do not get the chance to see and it is indeed an opportunity for us to see such an uncommon natural astronomical phenomenon." According to Ms Churcher scientists as well as tourists had gathered at Cape Coast to view the event with modern and advanced technological equipment worth billions of cedis saying the equipment would be donated to the Cape Coast University on Thursday.
Mr Bartels said the event showed the greatness of God adding it had led to boost in the tourism sector.
Chief Superintendent of Police Mr Victor Tandoh, Commander of Motor Transport and Traffic Unit of the Police Service said he was optimistic that drivers would park their vehicles to watch the eclipse. According to him, most streets in Accra were virtually empty adding his outfit had not recorded any incident.
Mr Sekyere Poporo Boateng, General Manager of Happy FM, a private radio station, said they decided to organize the ceremony in order bring tourists and public together. Accra Students of the University of Ghana poured out of their lecture halls and halls of residence to watch the total eclipse of the sun amidst fanfare and the taking of pictures with camera cell phones. At exactly 0910 hours when the moon totally covered the sun, the students hugged each other, clapped their hands and wished each other a happy eclipse saying it was a rare occurrence that needed to be celebrated by all.
"This is really the hand of God at work" they echoed to one another. Others shouted "Allahu Akbar" meaning, God is great. The streets were all lighted up with streetlights, yet taxis and other vehicles on the campus parked at the side of the road during the period of the total eclipse.
The students were mainly equipped with their eclipse goggles, which they shared with each other taking turns to watch. Others also watched through X-ray films that were focused over a bowl of water.
There was so much excitement among students around the forecourts of the University of Ghana Business School, Law School, New 'N' Block popularly called the Tsumani, Volta Hall and Akuafo Hall, among many other areas.
Between the hours of 0800 and 0900, the main street on campus particularly the one from the halls to the Central Lecture Theatre popularly called "Tingitingi" was virtually empty giving an impression of students being on holiday.
Some students were glued to TV sets from where they watched the programme being telecast live.
For the period of the eclipse, academic life almost came to a halt.
Mr Godfried Nortei Nortey, a social worker and a sign language interpreter, expressed disappointment with the whole education programme on the eclipse saying the deaf and those who find it hard to hear were left out during the education.
"Some of us took it upon ourselves to educate them about the impending occurrence when we heard it. But there was no national programme geared in that direction.
"My problem is with the issue involving the fake goggles in town. No programme went out to alert the deaf who find it difficult to hear of the dangers involved in purchasing such goggles."
He appealed to the authorities to always have people with disabilities in mind when issues of national importance come up. The main road from Legon to 37 Military Hospital, noted for its heavy traffic in the mornings, was almost free with traffic flowing. Accra Most School children at Osu were made to stay in-doors by their parents for fear of getting blind after watching the eclipse of the sun. Views gathered by the Ghana News Agency from some parents indicated that the parents were misinformed about the effects of the eclipse as some thought even with the eclipse shades it was not for their children to watch.
Ms Gladys Asiamoah, a mother of four, said, "I was afraid to allow my children to go to school because someone said even with the shades my children could still be blind".
She said the shades were expensive and "when I got the money to buy it yesterday, I was told it was finished".
When the GNA visited the Osu Bethlehem Primary and Nursery School, about 50 per cent of the students were absent. Ms Dora Ampofo, Headmistress of the School, said as at 0700 hours only 50 students had reported.
She said the school had only two of the shades and the pupils took turns to watch the eclipse. At the St. Peter's Catholic School, there was full attendance and some children were guided to watch the eclipse while the rest were watching the event on television.
Roberta Apraku, Assistant Headmistress, said the school educated the students on the eclipse of the sun and advised them not to watch it with their bare eyes.
At the Christian Council most workers were outside the office watching the eclipse.
The Rev. Dr. Nathan Iddrisu Samwini, Director of Programmes at the Christian Council, said the eclipse was a natural phenomenon created by God and there is no need for people to read other meanings into it. He cautioned Christians against attributing the eclipses to supernatural beings such as witches and others who were interpreting as the end of the world.
He advised Christians to pray and study the Bible to understand what the Holy Book says about such events. At the La Transport Station, the Head of the Honest Union, said most drivers were not in and expressed the hope that they would do so after the event was over.
Accra
A visit by the Ghana News Agency to some Churches and Mosques around Bubiashie, North Kaneshie and Adabraka during the solar eclipse did not see much activity.
At the Bubiashie Pentecost, Cable and Wire Assembly, the Church was closed with nobody around the premises.
However, residents of the area were very happy to be witnessing such a spectacular event for the first time in their lives since most of them were not born at the time the 1947 solar eclipse occurred in Ghana. They switched on the lights in their homes and streets at around 0912 hours when the area had become dark as a result of the total eclipse.
Some came out of their rooms with their solar shades to watch the natural phenomenon, others chatted and threw firecrackers to celebrate. Others stayed indoors watching the whole process being broadcast live on the various television stations.
The situation was not much different at the Good Shepherd Methodist Church at North Kaneshie where the main gate to the church compound was opened but there was no worshiper in sight.
Mr Kwame Arhin, caretaker of the church, said the church had not taken any decision to organise any church service because of the eclipse.
At the Alhaji Junction Mosque, Bubiashie Ayigbe Town, there was no worshiper as most of the residents were indoors watching television. There were a few young men outside using the sunshades to view the solar eclipse. Some of the young men who spoke to the GNA said they had their early morning prayers and were just waiting to witness the solar eclipse for the first time. Science Eclipse Cape Coast 3 Cape Coast Many businesses including shops, stalls, drinking bars and beauty salons still remained closed at Nkanfoa, also in the Cape Coast municipality, more than two hours after the event. Vehicular traffic was also light and pockets of people were still seen discussing and sharing their experiences and views about the celestial event.
George Williams Crentsil, a 46 year-old plumber told the GNA that he was excited and happy, but also " shocked" to see the total eclipse the first time in his life.
He said when the atmosphere became dark he had to put on the lights at home. "I felt the power, greatness and good works of God," he said and lauded the precision of the prediction of the event by scientists. Mrs Mary Sempe, a 36 -year- old food vendor, also said she was happy and that the phenomenon showed the greatness of God almighty, and has increased her faith in the works of God.
Ms Jemima Quainoo a 16 year-old JSS One student at Nkanfoa said she could not go out to watch the eclipse, because she did not have the shades but had also felt the greatness and wonders of God, when the weather became dark, and prayed that, there should be another eclipse some time in the future by which time, she said, she would be able to buy herself the shades to enable her watch.
Mr Thomas Kweku-Sam, a 43-year-old carpenter also said he did not have the shades to watch but viewed it on television, and also said he felt the wonders and greatness of God when the weather darkened. He said the experience made him to believe in the work of scientists who forecast the occurrence of the eclipse.
At Abura, a suburb of Cape Coast, Mr Kwesi Seidu, a 55-year-old security man said it was beautiful to watch the event. "In fact I have never felt happy like this in my life time. God is really great and wonderful".
He also commended scientists for doing a wonderful job, by educating the public on the event.
Mr Kweku Frafra, a 44 year-old stone-cracker, expressed his happiness and said he now believes in the work of scientists and that God really exists.
Mr Emmanuel Agyir a shop owner said he was excited and felt very happy that the event took place in his lifetime and stressed that God was wonderful.
Mrs Cecilia Agyir, saleswoman, she would will never forget the day in her lifetime and would give it as testimony to her younger children and grandchildren in future. "Nothing equals God's power," she declared.
Some Moslems prayed and worshipped Allah saying that during the life of Prophet Mohamed he lost his son Ibrahim during an eclipse and called for a prayer of eclipse "rakat", that is, to prostrate twice and recite a long verse from the Quran.
Imam Ali Umar Kuriba of the Islamic University College said the rakat was one of prayers set aside for happenings such as the eclipse. He said event shows that Allah is really the greatest.
The Rev. Kofi Okyere of International Central Gospel Church and Head of Religious Programmes at Happy FM, said it was the act of God. "Its God's creation and its not supposed to scare us. It also shows the power of God. God has the power over the moon and the sun; power over the affairs of man and in God's own time makes things beautiful." Mr Atta Danso, a 55-year-old tailor, described it as historic adding that he would share his experience with his two children. Praises welcome the Eclipse Accra, March 29, GNA - Many people, mostly women, heralded the eclipse of the sun in Ghana's capital with singing and dancing praising God for the experience that they regarded as a wonderful act of God. Women were shouting praises from their lotto kiosks and "space to space" tables all giving thanks to God.
Drivers tooted their horns while they sped to reach their destinations before being caught up in the darkness.
The general feeling and expression was that God is great and had manifested Himself in another magnificent way as Mrs Zenaira Adum-Asante a journalist at the Gnana News Agency (GNA) said, "It was incredible to experience the night during the day and the exercise had really renewed my faith in God".
When the phenomenon started at about 0830 hours in some areas of Accra, joy was virtually written on many faces and people did not hesitate to share their excitement from the experiences. As Miss Yaa Oforiwah Acquah, a Deputy News Editor of the GNA, walked from the Ghana International Press Centre to the ministries, a walk of about 15 minutes, and excited observers willingly shared their experiences with her.
Though the usual human and vehicular traffic was missing during the time, there were cluster of people of all walks of life happily watching the event.
There were no differences in class, religion or ethnicity at play as scholars, hawkers, traders, workers and drivers mixed to discuss the act.
Aishetu Billa, a porridge seller on the roadside, was the first to alert the journalist with her kind comment, "Madam, the thing has started, do you want to view from my sun shades? Mr Harry Hammond, a taxi driver asked, "Madam why are you walking at this time... are you combat ready," he asked. He wondered if Miss Acquah had the special shades.
He told the GNA he would never forget the experience and the excitement that came with it, saying, "My grand and great grand children will surely hear about this". Schools organized pupils to watch solar eclipse Koforidua, March 29, GNA - Teachers in basic schools in the Koforidua municipality on Wednesday organized their pupils to watch the solar eclipse in turns with the approved shades on Wednesday. At Adweso, a suburb of Koforidua, teachers brought out pupils in turns to watch the solar eclipse, while at the Wesley International School a teacher, Mr Justice Obeng, used the occasion to educate the pupils as they queued from the classrooms to watch the phenomenon. Similar exercises were conducted at St Dominic Catholic School, Trinity Model Early Childhood Development Centre and Adweso Mile 50 School and the Effiduase Methodist School.
However, at the Trinity Presbyterian Model School, all the pupils having the special eclipse shades were outside the classrooms watching the scene while those who without them were in the classroom. One of the pupils without the shade said they were waiting for their friends who had them to borrow them to also have the opportunity to watch the eclipse.
At the Trinity Model Early Childhood Development Centre, the Headmistress, Ms Victoria Tinkorang said only 45 of the 85 pupils were present at the school.
She explained that parents of such absentee pupils who might be concerned about the safety of their wards might have preferred to keep their children in the home.
Science Solar Eclipse (Schools) 2 Koforidua
At Adweso Mile 50 School, food vendors near the school deserted their wares and rushed to the school to seek refuge when the weather started getting dark as one of them told the GNA that they were afraid of the sudden weather change.
At the Koforidua Polytechnic hostel, some of the students who were in celebration mood, gathered along the road and shouted on drivers moving during the dark period of the eclipse to switch on their headlights.
At Kwakyia, a suburb of Koforidua, some young men who were using broken louver blades darkened with sooth from paraffin lamps watched the eclipse.
One of them, Mr Richard Akpalo, 23, said he got the idea from his 70-year-old father who told him that when the eclipse occurred in 1947, he and his friends used the method to watch the event.
At the Effiduase Methodist Basic Schools, the school acquired 10 eclipse shades and allowed pupils to watch the eclipse in turns. At Nkawkaw, pupils of the Presbyterian Basic Schools were gathered in the Presbyterian Church building to watch the eclipse on the television while other schools organized their pupils to watch the event using the shades in turns.
Science Eclipse Flights
Residents of Odorkor were overwhelmed and bestowed praises on God when there was total solar eclipse at exactly 0910 hours. Describing the event as a miracle, some told the GNA that they doubted the occurrence of the event and were therefore surprised to see it unfold.
The heavy traffic that often characterised the Kaneshie-Odorkor-Mallam road was absent, with most shops and kiosks closed as only few traders went about their normal business. Mr Samuel Quaye, a driver at the Odorkor lorry park, told GNA that most drivers were not educated by the Odorkor branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union since they thought the event was a mere speculation. As the event occurred, most drivers belonging to the Union parked their vehicles at the station, whereas their colleagues who were not members of the union went about their business. When the GNA visited some schools, most students were kept indoors, while those with the eclipse shades were allowed to view it under the supervision of school authorities. At the St Peter's Methodist School at Odorkor, Ms Eva Owusu Ntow, a teacher, said the pupils were kept indoors and were allowed to watch the event in batches, after which they would be asked to narrate what they saw to the teachers and friends. Mr Mark Yawson, School Prefect of St Luke Anglican JSS at Kwashieman, also told GNA that most students shared the shades with friends and were supervised to remain indoors. At the Kaneshie 8 Primary and the St Joseph Anglican Preparatory School at Bubuashie, some pupils the GNA interacted with said they also shared their goggles with friends, and were allowed to watch the sun when the total darkness occurred. Ms Pearl Kom, Acting Headmistress of Odorkor 1 Basic School, said the event disrupted morning classes. A trader at the Kaneshie Market said most traders were around to sell as early as 0600 hours adding that commercial activities were ongoing even when the eclipse occurred. Meanwhile some people devised their own shades with materials such as videotapes plastered on cards, films of cameras and darkened louver blades. Some people could not interpret what they saw in their shades at the initial stage. One tro-tro apprentice diver said: "I don't understand what I am seeing with my shades. Does the diminishing size of the sun mean the eclipse would appear or not?" MORE TMA/DK 29 March 06 Sunyani experiences eclipse of the sun Sunyani, March 29, GNA - Many residents of Sunyani, particularly the youth, shrieked in excitement on first sighting the half eclipse of the sun as early as 0815 hours on Wednesday as they scurried and scrambled to retrieve their solar shades from their bags and wherever they had kept them for a better view of the natural phenomenon. Groups of people could be seen chattering and discussing about the "great miracle" of God, whilst some who had doubted the veracity of the "great happening" bowed their heads down in shame and conceded the might of the Creator of the universe and all that is in it. Local FM radio stations continued to warn people to only use the solar shades to view the eclipse and urged those with the shades to share use with friends and others as the device had been in short supply in the municipality. Some workers as usual took undue advantage of the event to either report late to work or did not make the attempt to report at all with the excuse that they did not possess the shades and for fear of getting blind if they viewed the phenomenon with the naked eyes. It was not total darkness in Sunyani and environs as the sun only dimmed between 0900 hours and 0925 hours when the moon covered about three quarters of the sun.
Residents went about their normal activities, with stores, drinking bars, restaurants and hotels opened whilst commercial and other vehicles operated without any hindrance.
Others were glued to their television sets as they watched the live telecast of "the great happening in a lifetime". The last eclipse that occurred in the country was some 59 years ago when most Ghanaians were not born. Eclipse halts activities in Tema Tema, March 29, GNA - In the early hours of Wednesday March 29, 2006, Tema, the industrial hub of Ghana, lost its usual business as people hid in their rooms while others went to work and school earlier than usual.
The city was unusually quiet as no vehicles were seen on the roads nor people passed.
Cooked food sellers did not show up by the roadside and shops, restaurants and even some offices were closed at the time Ghana News Agency went round the municipality.
Those who were excited about experiencing the eclipse of the sun were seen either with the solar shades on while others created other alternatives using films from tape cassette, welder's goggles among others when the eclipse started in the municipality at around 0800 hours.
Pupils of the Padmore Street 2 Primary were kept in their classrooms to prevent them from watching without the solar shades and teachers guarded those who had them to watch.
At Twedaase Primary and Junior Secondary School in Community One, students reported to school as early as 0600 hours and went to their classrooms at 0715 hours.
Classes were interrupted as students were outside watching the eclipse and a student told GNA that he was not too excited after watching the eclipse.
Mr Edward Amegbey, a teacher at the Dorsons Complex School, assisted the children to watch the event with their shades in turns so that every one could have the privilege of watching it. At the Tetteh Memorial Creche, the Propriestress, Mrs grace Tetteh, positioned the children to watch it on television because they were difficult to control.
At exactly 0910 hours when Tema experienced the full eclipse of the sun, the municipality was filled with screams from every house and schools with the few cars on the road having their lights on and blowing their horns.
Those who had camera mobile phones took pictures of the event. As darkness appeared some were seen praying to God and telephone calls did not go through. Bats interpret eclipse to be dusk Accra, March 29, GNA - The bats at the 37th Military Hospital in Accra apparently interpreted the solar eclipse on Wednesday to be dusk and were airborne between 0905 hours and 0910 hours. They, however, went back to roost as soon as the phenomenon was over. Ms Cynthia Owusu, a resident of the Switchback Road Government Flats, which is opposite the 37th Military Hospital, told the Ghana News Agency that the bats normally flew out at dusk and returned to roost at dawn.
She said they seldom flew during the day unless they were disturbed by the tooting of horns or sirens by passing vehicles. However, during the eclipse they were all airborne. The poultry were not left out as cocks crew and returned to roost. The doves cooed.
Some residents were heard praising God for the wonderful spectacle. Dozens throng Busua Beach Resort to watch eclipse Busua (W/R), March 29, GNA - Several Ghanaians watched the eclipse of the sun from the Busua Beach Resort and the number included Mrs Pamela Bridgewater, the US Ambassador in Ghana. At the Busua Methodist primary school, school children had the glasses reported at the school at 0650 hours while those who did not have remained in their classrooms.
Janet Yankey, a class six pupil, said she was not aware that Pepsi cola had mounted a special promotion to encourage more people to have access to the glasses. Western Region observes total eclipse Takoradi, March 29, GNA - Almost all human activities in the twin-city of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis came to a standstill as thousands of curious people from all walks of life came out of their homes, offices and workplaces to observe the eclipse.
They were seen in groups along streets, beaches, parks in front of the various offices, schools and other open spaces to have a better view of the rare celestial phenomenon.
As early as about 0700 hours people who have eclipse sunshades were seen looking for signs in the bright early morning sky. The usual hustle and bustle in the centre of the town and the various commercial areas as well as early morning traffic jams at some parts of the city were absent.
At about 0828 hours hundreds of people were seen gazing at the skies with awe as the moon gradually began to cover the face of the sun resulting in the change of the weather. A lot of people who could not get eclipse sunshades were glued to televisions in stores and other places.
There was total darkness in the twin-city and its environs and streetlights were switched on while vehicles found on the streets had to put on their headlights.
The highest intensity of the eclipse that was experienced within the corridors of the Sekondi-Takoradi and Axim and its environs in the Western Region lasted for about five minutes. The eclipse was observed in about 192 towns and villages in the Western Region.
This lasted for nearly five minutes and the sun was seen in the sky again. At Axim, total eclipse was observed at about 0905 hours and lasted for five minutes. There was total darkness and people had to put on lights in their homes and stores as the moon and stars appeared amid wild jubilation. Anxious students await Eclipse of the sun Accra, March 29 - GNA - Anxious students and teachers of Private Odartey Lamptey Two Junior Secondary School (JSS) in Accra on Wednesday awaited the eclipse of the sun with mixed feelings. At "silence hour" when the pupils were to be in their classrooms reading, there was noise in the classrooms and the compound with active discussion of the eclipse.
Some pupils on their way to school were heard discussing the event asking whether it was God coming from Heaven.
One of them asked: "Is God coming from heaven and who told you?" The colleague said he heard of the eclipse on radio.
Mr Samuel Saka, the Head Teacher, told the Ghana News Agency that the school authorities had put measures in place to control the pupils. The measures included locking up those without the shades in the classrooms and monitoring the movement of those with the eclipse goggles.
He said some pupils with the goggles had agreed to share with those who did not have the shades. Mr Saka said as at 0630 hours most students were already in school to observe the event. Western Region experiences total eclipse for three minutes Busua (W/R), March 29, GNA - Anxious spectators at the Busua beach experienced the total eclipse of the sun at exactly 0907 hours on Wednesday.
Spectators mostly Ghanaians had taken positions at the beach of the resort to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.
Between 0838 and 0900, dark clouds begun to gather and the crowd started shouting and looked at the sun with their solar glasses. While majority of the people used solar glasses a few others were not bothered and just watched the event through discs, film negatives and some even used their cameras without filters to capture the event. Mr Asamoah Boateng, the Deputy Minister of Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City, said the event was wonderful. Ms Pamela Bridgewater, the US Ambassador in Ghana, said it was the very first time that she had seen the eclipse and expressed her surprise and wonder.
She said such occurrences were very rare and expressed her appreciation and admiration of the large number of people who had gathered to observe the eclipse.
The police and army sent in large detachments to prevent any incidents from occurring as people viewed the eclipse. Ghana experiences total eclipse of the sun Accra, March 29, GNA - Ghana on Wednesday experienced a total eclipse of the sun with scores of communities in five regions going through the rare phenomenon.
The moon completely covered the sun for some three minutes just after 0900 hours.
The siren at the General Post Office sounded to announce the total eclipse that was experienced in the Western, Central, Eastern, Volta and Greater Accra Regions.
At 0820 hours when people started to view the eclipse there was so much joy and excitement in all the neighbourhoods in Accra. At the Ghana News Agency and the Registrar General's Department almost all the workers were out to experience and enjoy the phenomenon.
Miss Beatrice Asamani, a journalist at the Agency said it was an awesome and a lifetime experience which she would forever remember. "Indeed I want to keep my shades as a souvenir for posterity."
While some clapped with joy, others sang praises to the Lord and danced to their own music and songs. Others were also offering prayers requesting that there should be no accidents or catastrophe. The much anticipated eclipse of the sun began on Wednesday with scores of excited people viewing the phenomenon.
Many people rushed out of their offices with their special solar eclipse goggles to watch the event as the moon began creeping into the path of the sun.
Millions of Ghanaians in the Western, Central, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta Regions experienced a total eclipse while those in the other regions saw a partial eclipse.
Ghanaian officials used the opportunity to sell the country to the outside world.
Ghana is one of eight African countries to experience the solar eclipse. The others include Togo, Benin, Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Libya and Egypt.
As predicted by Scientists the duration of the solar eclipse on March 29, was between the hours of 0830 and 0930.
To experience this rare phenomenon, hundreds of tourists arrived in the country and most hotels along the coast of Ghana on the path of the solar eclipse were fully booked.
Along the coast, some high grounds offered some advantages - two spots on high hills at Anomabo, McCarthy Hill, overlooking the Densu Plain, Shai Hills and Aburi Hills at Peduase.
Accra experienced the passing shadow for about two minutes 58 seconds.
The National Planning Committee had sensitised the public about the eclipse and on how to ensure an incident-free event. It also created awareness of the importance of protecting the eyes, as observing an eclipse with the naked eye could cause irreversible eye damage.
The siren at the General Post office was sounded to alert the public about the occurrence of the eclipse and the need for everyone to watch it with the prescribed solar shades to prevent damage to the eye.
At the University of Ghana, there was excitement as the total eclipse happened.
Students at the Volta Hall and School of Business Studies shouted for joy as the moon covered the sun, praising God for His wonders. They wished one another "happy eclipse" and those with camera cell phones took photographs.
At Akuafo Hall, the students arranged to watch the event in a bowl of water and X'ray films.
Some students went round the campus with loud speakers asking colleagues to share their special goggles with one another. A social worker said the education of citizens forgot the deaf. Accra At Chorkor, as darkness fell, drivers put on their headlights and the street lights went on. Hundreds of school children were seen jumping and singing praises to God. They were uncontrollable as they experienced the eclipse. At a pond where there were wetland birds, the birds flew off to perch in nearby trees.
A herd of cattle that was grazing nearby started moving toward their kraal as darkness fell.
At a drinking bar, people raised their glasses to celebrate the phenomenon.
At the High Street, staffs of the Central Bank, who had been allowed a break, were seen outside watching the event. The Chorkor fishermen did not go to sea on Wednesday because of the event.
Mr Kofi Ayou, 42, said: "I'm excited to be a witness to this event. Initially, I didn't believe it will happen but as of now, I see that God is really wonderful. This is the time we should believe in God. God can do anything with the world at anytime." Eclipse experiences in Bawku Bawku (U/E), March 29, GNA - Commercial activities in Bawku virtually came to a standstill as people came out in their numbers to watch the eclipse of the sun on Wednesday. Though Bawku was not in the path of a total eclipse, most residents stayed indoors glued to their television sets to catch a glimpse of this rare natural phenomenon.
Most of offices were closed and the few people were seen outside using their sunshades to be part of the experience. The directive from Ghana Education Service (GES) that the day was not a holiday and for that matter children should be in school was not heeded since most of the schools visited in the municipality were under lock.
Pupils of the Presbyterian school who were initially put in the church building to avoid watching with their naked eyes, had to rely on the benevolence of a senior ophthalmic nurse to be part of the experience.
The streets that hardly take a respite from its heavy vehicular traffic was for some few minutes quite to also observe the phenomenon.
Most people said even though they were initially sceptical of the event ever taking place, it was a nice and soul-inspiring experience never to be forgotten.
However, most complained that the planning committee did not tell residents in the area about how to view the sun but concentrated only on towns that would experience it. As at the time of filing this story at 011 hours, the Bawku Municipal assembly's 4th session of the 3rd ordinary meeting scheduled at 0900 hours delayed because only 10 of the 35 members had reported.
Staff of the Tourism and Health Ministries joined other colleagues in and around the Ministries to usher in the solar eclipse between 0830 and 0930 hours.
The two lead Ministries involved in the education of the public and planning of activities to prepare Ghanaians for the event did not hold any special programme to commemorate the event.
When the GNA got to the Ministry of Health around 0810 hours, Mr Dan Osman, Head of Public Relations, said the Ministry had not put in place any special programme for the day because the Ministry had already held a press briefing last week to educate the public about the dangers associated with viewing the solar eclipse with the naked eye.
He said it was to be expected that staffs of the Ministry would abandon their work for some few minutes to experience the event at first hand.
As early as 0815, one could see sections of the staff outside their offices in groups discussing the event as they waited. It was no different at the Ministry of Tourism as a large group from the Ministry and that of the Ministry of Science and Environment huddled in groups to await the event.
Mr Kwesi Agyemang, a staff of the Tourism Ministry, said he was very happy to be part of the event since his mother had told him of a similar one years back.
The umbra of the moon tracked eastwards at dizzying speed across Africa and the Middle East before expiring in Asia, covering a distance of 14,500 kilometres (9,000 miles). Accra Ghanaians from all walks of life equipped, with their eclipse goggles, X'ray films, welders' glasses and other viewing devices poured out of their offices, homes, shops, classrooms onto the streets to watch the total eclipse of the sun on Wednesday with fanfare, serenity and uncertainty of post-eclipse developments.
A tour of some parts of Accra by Ghana News Agency team minutes before, during and after the eclipse revealed that in spite of the educational campaign, most people were sceptical about the event as they expressed doubts and a wait and see attitude. Others were simply not bothered about the event.
The usually busy streets, especially during the rush hours of 0700 hours to 1000 hours, were virtually empty with no vehicular traffic while hawkers who normally took advantage of the heavy traffic to sell their goods were absent on most of the major streets.
Mr Lord Bekoe and Ms Dora Anane of O'Reilly Secondary School at Adabraka in Accra told the GNA that about 80 per cent of the student population had bought the special sun shades while those without it had been advised to stay indoors or alternate the viewing with their colleges.
They explained that the school's Social Science Department organized a pre -eclipses workshop for the students to equip them with the scientific and practical knowledge of an eclipse.
"We have been teaching them theories about eclipse, but Divine smiled on us with an opportunity to have a practical geography lessons on the movement of the sun and the moon," Ms Anane stated.
Students and teachers at Accra Academy Secondary School greeted the eclipse with shouts of joy and the turning on of all lights on the school compound.
Master Fredrick Preprah, Senior Prefect, told the GNA: "It is unbelievable to witness an eclipse of the sun which until today had been a textbook stuff. We have theoretical understanding of the eclipse but to experience it is spectacular.
"Is today still Wednesday or Thursday?" Master Preprah asked, and urged the authorities to organize post eclipse lectures for students to have the opportunity to interact with scientist. Other Schools visited expressed similar sentiments. Solar eclipse watched with glee in Koforidua Koforidua, March 29, GNA - Residents of the Koforidua municipality went into transient hibernation as the total eclipse of the sun enveloped the municipality at about 0910 hours. But the lull and quietness that was experienced moments before the eclipse that lasted for four minutes soon ballooned into merriness as groups of people cheered.
Most residents in the municipality stayed indoors, resulting in virtually all stores, chop-bars and workshops being closed as people clustered on building tops or congregated in groups at offices and on verandas to watch the event.
By 0800 hours, most of the streets were getting empty as public transport in the municipality was grinding to a standstill. Most commuter vehicles were packed at the lorry stations with only isolated taxis and saloon cars moving.
At 0815 hours, some revellers had spotted the sun beginning to be eclipsed by the moon and those in possession of the special shades jostled to catch the moment. When the total eclipse eventually came at 0908 hours, the onset gripped the sky watchers within the business district of the municipality with momentary awesome feelings that could only be expressed in the eeriness, the chattering, the clasping and clapping of hands towards nature. Koforidua In an interview with some students and market women soon after the eclipse, they all expressed gratitude to God for allowing them to witness "this once in a lifetime experience" which lasted for exactly 4 minutes.
They described it as a beautiful event and commended the scientists for their accuracy in the timing of the event. Some students of the All Nations University said although they knew it was a geographical phenomenon and therefore not strange, the event had deepened their belief in the scientists who predicted the eclipse. They also pointed out that the event, which manifested the sovereignty of God, had equally reinforced their belief in the second coming of Christ and had no doubt that with this experience, "the coming of Christ would be another event more exciting."
Moments after the eclipse, sounds of music were heard from all directions with local lyrics all in praises of God's greatness and faithfulness for the wonderful event that had been experienced. Sunyani People rushed out of their offices and houses to catch a glimpse of the historic solar eclipse with curiosity-seekers moving from one point to the other all in a frantic effort to position themselves well for a good view of the eclipse.
"I can see the moon covering the path of the sun with a very thick yellow layer. I am not sure this marks the end of the world because there has been similar occurrences", said Mr. Kwesi Twum, a taxi driver. Most people described the phenomenon as wonderful and a sign that God exists.
"The sun looks so red. I haven't seen this before. I'm so excited. God is a wonderful God", Lucy, a teacher quipped.
When the Ghana News Agency visited the Early Childhood and Preparatory school at 0800 hours, the schoolchildren were gathered in a classroom to watch the event on television. The science teacher, Nii Annan Joseph, took the children through a lesson to explain the process of the eclipse of the sun as it was simultaneously telecast on the television.
Mrs. Agatha Taah-Amoako, the Proprietor of the school, stated that due to insufficient solar shades the children were allowed to watch the real scientific pass in groups. Mr. John Apaah, the Headteacher, said, "this eclipse is more pronounced than the previous one that occurred in 1947 and this is very visible".
"People thought the world was coming to an end during the first one and this led them into church rooms and shrines and there was confusion all over the place", Mr. Apaah added. He appealed to people to read more about geography to help them demystify the notion that people have about the eclipse. Sunyani All activities grounded to a halt at Dormaa Ahenkro as people gathered in their rooms to view the historic eclipse of the sun on the television as the solar shades with which to view the natural phenomenon was in short supply.
There was partial eclipse resulting in a very cool weather at Aboabo near Dormaa Ahenkro.
As at the time of the event, schoolchildren and their teachers had gathered around television sets in their schools to watch the event. In a GNA interview with a cross section of the people after the eclipse, some described the event as exciting and one in a lifetime experience.
Some of them noted that science had indeed played a considerable role in the life of man and must therefore be treated with all seriousness.
Reacting to recent media reports that a religious leader at Drobo in Jaman South District had dared Ghanaians to beat him up if the eclipse of the sun should occur, those who saw the eclipse condemned such fake pastors and urged their followers to use their freedom of association judiciously. Oda residents stay indoors Akyem Oda, March 29, GNA - The normal hustle and bustle associated with early mornings at Akyem Oda was absent today as residents chose to stay indoors to await the eclipse of the sun.
By 08 hours the central market including major streets were all deserted with shops closed.
However the situation came back to normalcy after the eclipse of the sun was sighted at about 08.15 hours to 09.15 hours when a total eclipse came and lasted for about three minutes. Meanwhile, the Birim South District Assembly prior to the event organised a musical show at the forecourt of the assembly which was attended by dignitaries among them Mr Felix Owusu Adjapong, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
He narrated to the crowd his experience when he witnessed a similar event in 1947 when he was a young boy.
Mr Frank Kwame Busumtwi, the District Chief Executive reminded the people that the extra ordinary occurrence of the solar eclipse was an indication that "we are one people". He therefore stressed the need for Ghanaians to bury their differences and to come together to build a strong and united nation. Cheers, jubilation at UCC as people viewed eclipse Cape Coast, Mar 29, GNA - The atmosphere at the "congregation grounds" of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) could be likened to that of after a victorious performance of the national team soccer team as a throng of people cheered and shouted after they had witnessed the total eclipse of the sun on Wednesday.
People, particularly the youth, could not contain their joy at experiencing the phenomenon that occurred between 0908 hours and 0912 hours as the sun totally became obscured.
By 0730 the auditorium of the UCC was filled to capacity with both participants of an on-going international scientific conference on "solar eclipse and cultural Africa" and students of the UCC and of second cycle institutions.
The gathering had become jittery by 0800 and was visibly eager to go outside to watch the event live with their solar shades. The organisers of the event had no option but to bring a planned demonstration of "how the solar eclipse occurs" to an end as the audience quickly filed out and rushed to the congregation grounds. His Eminence Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, the Archbishop of Cape Coast, Professor Francis Allotey, former chairman of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) and the deputy central regional minister, Nana Ato Arthur, were among dignitaries who joined in witnessing the spectacular event.
The event, which began with intermittent clouding of the sky by 0803 hours before the sun was fully covered at 0908 hours, also saw some birds flattering around and seeking refuge in some of the trees on the grounds.
During the eclipse itself it was sheer joy and visible excitement with exclamations of 'oohs and aahs' from the crowd, mostly the students as some of those without solar shades, borrowed from their friends. Cape Coast 2 Cape Coast Asked how the they felt experiencing it, Francis Brefo, told the "He has just in a few minutes changed something in our lives." Other people the GNA spoke to also expressed similar sentiments and Dr Jarita Holbrook, of the University of Arizona, which is organizing the conference in conjunction with the UCC, summed it all up by describing the event, as "exciting".
Commemorative stamps to mark the 'International year of physics 2005' were also launched as part of the conference while Prof Allotey took the audience at the auditorium through "why it is dark at night", briefing them about the workings of the galaxies and of the universe in general.
Earlier, during a drive through the principal streets of the town, the GNA detected that drivers and traders had heeded to warnings not to operate until after the phenomenon as there was hardly any vehicular traffic, especially with regard to commercial vehicles, while many of the shops were closed.
At Elmina spontaneous and 'thunderous' shouts also greeted the darkness that the total eclipse brought with people giving thanks to God for the experience, which they described as "the wonderful work of God". Many people told the GNA that the experience of the phenomenon had "increased their faith in God and that He truly controls the affairs of the universe".
Mr Emmanuel Mensah, a fisherman, said he saw it occur between 0903 and 0907 hours and added that mankind should fear God because He was the ultimate.
Mr Joseph Elias Bentum 61, a ticket seller, Maame Kramo 80, Josephine Addae, a hairdresser and Mr Francis Nichie, unemployed said they were frightened because they could not envisage what would happen next but praised God afterwards.
Kweku Atta a taxi driver described it as "simply beautiful and an experience of a lifetime", most of the streets were deserted but by 1100 hours people, were seen emerging from their homes to go about their businesses, while some school children were going to school.

It is not every leave that the goat chewest.
By: Bismark Nkum

Cure For Ebola Virus Found In Ghana

Accra based Jerusalem Pentecostal Church, Bishop Prophet Laud Sowatey Lomotey Tuesday, September 16, 2014

[B]By divine intervention and persistent prayers God has revealed to one of His ...
read more »

CHRAJ Boss Must Face Military Punis

Friday, September 19, 2014

[B]A former Ghana Army Chief, Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah, says the Commissio ...
read more »

7 apply for Kwasi Appiah's job

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seven coaches, all of them foreigners, have so far applied to coach senior natio ...
read more »

Rev Owusu Bempah Accuses T.B. Joshu

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rev Isaac Owusu Bempah, the General Overseer of the Glorious Way Chapel, has onc ...
read more »

We Can't Arrest Asamoah Gyan – Poli

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Police Administration has downplayed calls to arrest Asamoah Gyan, the capta ...
read more »

Gunmen kill fetish priest, two othe

Monday, September 15, 2014

Police in Ejisu in the Ashanti Region are holding a fetish priest after unidenti ...
read more »