Regional News of Saturday, 1 November 2003
Odumase-Krobo, Nov.1, GNA - The chiefs and people of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area have embarked on various HIV/AIDS awareness strategies to fight the spread of the pandemic in the area noted to be among the highest prevalent areas in the country.
The Manya Krobo Queen Mothers, the Klo Drivers Alliance and the Krobo Youth Volunteers Group, who are spearheading the campaign are being supported by the Family Health International, the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), the UNICEF, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and medical personnel.
The Konor of Manya Krobo, Nene Sakitey 11, announced this at a grand durbar on Friday to mark this year's celebration of the Ngmayem Festival at Odumase-Krobo.
The Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, accompanied by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, the Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah and his deputy, Mr Gustav Narh-Dometey were among the dignitaries who attended the durbar.
According to the Konor, records indicated that the vigorous campaign was yielding a reduction of the prevalence rate, which official records put at seven per cent, down from nine as at 2000.
He reiterated his appeal to the government to upgrade the Upper Manya constituency to an additional district, if population and revenue generation were the deciding factors.
Nene Sakitey, who said the district lost much of its farmlands due to the Akosombo Hydro-electric project also claimed that other lands were also lost to the creation of other neighbouring administrative districts leading to the impoverishment of the people.
He called on the government to review the Krobo lands issue by publishing the Nathan Quao Committee report to promote peace and order in the area.
Nene Sakitey announced that the Konor's Educational Endowment Fund he set up last year was able to yield 15 million cedis, which was used to grant scholarships to 52 needy children.
He called on Krobos, home and abroad, to contribute generously to the Fund towards the education of their children, pointing out that the cocoa and oil palm plantations of the past were no more available to be bequeathed to their children, except education.
Earlier, the Alhaji Mahama had announced that the Manya Krobo Secondary School was selected among 25 others, which would be upgraded in the second batch under an African Development Bank facility in the first quarter of next year.
He commended the local queen mothers for championing the crusade against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the area.
The Vice President announced that about 9 billion cedis had been spent on various development projects by the Manya Krobo District Assembly and donor partners, while the Assembly and the KFW of Germany are spending 2.5 billion cedis on Asesewa area water project.