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06.08.2009 Regional News

Head porters in Sekondi-Takoradi cry for help

By gna
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Takoradi, Aug 6, GNA - Head porters in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis have expressed concern about neglect by social planners and lack of facilities and other opportunities in the metropolis.

They said lack of permanent residential address coupled with their shabby dresses made them to appear neglected and marginalised in the society.

Mr. Abubakari Tanguah, President of the Takoradi Market Circle “U 84” Head Porters Association, told the GNA that, “Some of us come to big cities to look for employment and occasionally return home to engage in farming and harvesting,” he said.

He said lack of employment opportunities, poor rainfall pattern and the drying up of many water sources including ponds, were major factors that contributed to the migration of many young people from the northern parts of Ghana to the south.

Mr. Tanguah said it was sad that many of them came to the big cities with high hopes of overcoming their poverty but rather ended up sleeping in front of kiosks and other unauthorized places.

“Many of us have been arrested or associated with criminals around the central business district and it is embarrassing and humiliating,” he said.

He said they must be seen as a vulnerable group and assisted with health care, evening school opportunities and other services that could reduce the idleness, boredom and other negative activities.

Mr. Tanguah said if irrigation and other modern farming techniques could be introduced, it would motivate the teeming youth to return and engage in serious agriculture.

He said it was difficult for many porters to rent rooms and therefore appealed to the metropolitan assembly to assist them secure affordable housing units.

He said they earned between three Ghana cedis and seven Ghana cedis a day and that their daily earnings were not enough to enable them to save, to cater for their children or remit their families back home.

Mr Tanguah said their association “screens” anyone who joined them to prevent criminals and other deviants from infiltrating their ranks.

“We do not entertain people of such character and we appeal to the general public to regard us as citizens who are also contributing their quota in transportating goods and services.”

He said it was sad that some unscrupulous individuals cheated, harassed and sometimes raped the young women among them and attributed the increasing number of street babies by female head porters to rape, deception and abuse.


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