Institute of Global Health (IGH), a USA based non-governmental organization is sponsoring some selected municipalities in the northern part of the country during the lockdown period, aimed at containing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It is expected that over 100 vulnerable female kayayei (female head porters) who will be traveling to various parts in the northern regions due to the lockdown directives will benefit from the sponsorship.
President/CEO of the Institute Dr. Yussif Mijirah Dokurugu speaking at a brief ceremony in Tallahassee, Florida said, the Institute is compelled to take immediate steps to support these vulnerable people in the light of this pandemic and also to complement the efforts of the state agencies during the period of quarantine.
We are anticipating that a lot of people in those communities and municipalities will benefit from the items including toiletries, detergents, food items among others. Our main target is the vulnerable, kayayeis and poor in society. Not less 100 people are expected to benefit from the project.”
He said: “This vacuum and need compelled us to take immediate steps to support these vulnerable people in the light of this pandemic and to complement the efforts of the state agencies during the period of quarantine.
The government last week issued a directive to lockdown the capital cities including Accra and Kumasi which began on Monday.
As a result of this lockdown directive, majority of the female porters have been heading towards home--Northern region due to the fact that their operations are adversely affected during this period of trial and for public health reason, all these Kayayes heading towards North will have to be quarantined mandatorily whether the state is prepared to cater for them fully during the period of quarantine or not. The quarantine is expected to take up to two weeks.
These vulnerable people who have nowhere to sleep and depend solely on their daily earnings are most likely to be hit so much since the lockdown has been declared in these two capital cities.
According to data from www.csis.org there are an estimated 160,000 kayayei residents in Accra. For eleven or so hours of work per day, in the sweltering heat, the kayayei move goods throughout Accra’s bustling markets for wholesalers, traders, and shoppers in exchange for a few cedis.
The Institute’s Executive Director at the Northern Region, Issah Toha Shamsoo explained that the target is to assist vulnerable and needy in the society who will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to promote the adherence of the safety precautions such as hand washing by providing buckets, toiletries while completing in the efforts of state agencies in the fight against coronavirus pandemic.
Explaining about the sponsorship and operations, Mr. Shamsoo said the items will be delivered specifically to the needy and whiles, “our operations will be based in North-East Region--one of the five Northern regions and when resources are available all the five regions will be supported. North-East is expected to host six mandatory quarantine centers since the region has six administrative districts.
The West Mamprusi Municipal Chief Executive, Arimiyaw Basintali Somo Lucky educating the public about the pandemic urged to adhere to the government's proposed strategies to forestall the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
He used the opportunity to educate the general public to avoid over-crowding, adhere with the 2-metre distance protocol and avoid the congregational prayers in the Mosques and Churches.
He warned that those who flouts the laid down rules could be forced to dance to legal tunes accordingly adding that owners of all public places must ensure that the general public visiting those places go by the regular hand washing strategy, to reduce hands contact with the virus by providing soap with running water for them to regularly wash their hands.