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29.03.2011 General News

President Directs Assemblies To Deal With Polythene Menace

By Kweku Tsen & Benjamin Xornam Glover - Daily Graphic
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President John Evans Atta Mills has directed metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to put in place measures to deal with the menace of polythene materials facing the country.

He noted with concern that apart from the unpleasant sights polythene materials created, their non-biodegradable nature made them hard to decompose.

The result, he said, was that some of the polythene materials had become breeding places for germs which sooner than later cause disease outbreaks and epidemics in communities.

President Mills gave the directive at two separate events at Garu in the Garu-Tempane District and Zabugu-Natinga in the Bawku Municipality during his working visit to the Upper East Region.

He bemoaned the unpleasant sight of polythene materials which had been littered all around the country and urged district chief executives to find a solution to the problem.

At Garu, the President launched a special campaign to revamp the cotton industry in the northern parts of the country.

Addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people, he said the campaign, known as the “White Gold”, was aimed at creating jobs, rekindling farmers activities and ultimately reducing poverty in the northern belt.

President Mills said the government had done so much and would continue to do more in various parts of the country to improve the lot of Ghanaians. He, however, appealed to the chiefs and people of Bawku and its environs to maintain the peace of the area to facilitate development.

Expatiating on the campaign, Agriculture Minister, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, said the government had embarked on the Cotton Sector Revival Programme and taken two major policy decisions in that regard which were currently being implemented to re-energise the cotton industry.

First of all, he said the cotton belt had been zoned into three areas and assigned to three companies for the production of cotton.

The first zone is the north-eastern, which has been allocated to WIENCO Ghana Ltd in partnership with Geo-Cotton, a French company and covers, Kassena-Nankana, Talensi Nabdam, Bawku West, Bawku Municipality, Garu-Tempane, Bongo, Builsa, West and East Mamprusi, Bunkpurugu, Gushegu, Saboba, Chereponi and Zabzugu districts.

The second and third zones are the north-western and north central, which are being allocated to Olam Ghana Ltd and Plexus in partnership with Amajaro Ghana Ltd and cover about 23 municipalities and districts in the Upper West and Northern regions.

These companies, Mr Ahwoi explained, would produce cotton through smallholder farmers who would be given funds and inputs.

The next major policy he said was that the Ghana Cotton Company (GCCL) would no longer be involved in the production of seed cotton.

Rather the GCCL and other ginneries previously involved in cotton production would concentrate on ginning cotton supplied by the three raw material producers under tolling arrangements.

Mr Ahwoi said the three companies had been directed to make sufficient arrangement with the existing private ginneries to gin the seed cotton purchased from farmers.

“The target this year is to get 100,000 farmers involved in cotton production and to benefit from the impressive world market prices of lint cotton.

“In the medium term, our target is to produce 250,000 metric tonnes of lint cotton and this requires 500,000 cotton farmers across the three regions of Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions,” he said.

The Managing Director of WIENCO Ghana Ltd, Mr Marc Kok, thanked the government for investing funds in the cotton industry and promised that they would do their best to ensure the success of the campaign.

President Mills also cut the sod for work on a 10-kilometre road from Tempane through Yabrago to Woriyanga in the Garu-Tempane District.

He also inspected work on an administration and classroom blocks at the Tempane Senior High School.

At Zabugu-Natinga in the Bawku municipality, President Mills witnessed the commencement of work on a borehole project for the areas.

The Chief Executive of the Community Water and Sanitation Programme, Mr Clement Bugase said, the project forms part of a 791-borehole project for the region.

He said each of the facilities was estimated at GH¢12,000, adding that funding for the project was from the World Bank through the IDA with the Government of Ghana providing counterpart funding.

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