Kumasi Impactful Stories
The story highlights the suffering(including torture and detention) of Ghanaian tomato and transporters in landlocked Burkina Faso amid huge potential for Ghana to produce the commodity locally.
A week after the story was aired, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, George Oduro, met with farmers, traders and other stakeholder in the bid to address the situation. - New tomato varieties with longer shelf life will be distributed through government’s ‘Planting for food and Jobs’ program the next planting season. - Solar powered irrigation facilities to small holder farmers for the dry season farming. - Pilot farms in the Tono and Vea Irrigation Dam area of the Upper East Region have begun. - - Cold rooms will be provided in tomato growing areas to store the excesses to tackle the perennial waste. - Pwalugu tomato factory captured will be revamped for Northern belt - Approval given for a tomato processing factory at Tuobodom, one of the tomato growing areas, for the middle belt. - Interior Ministry and other stakeholders to meet Burkinabe authorities
Months later, The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intervened in addressing cross border challenges between Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Breast enhancing products.
The story looked into the source, sale and use of unlicensed and unapproved breast and butt enhancing products. They range from cosmetics, pills and injectables widely sold under cover, with senior high school students and other teenagers as well as elderly women with slim shapes said to be major patrons of the unregistered products.
The Food and Drugs authority after the report went to the market to confiscate and arrest some sellers in anticipation of finding main importers. Also, local NGO, Breast Care International has added it to areas of interest in sensitizing young women on breast cancer issues.
Violent Shepherds: It's a 7-month in-depth investigative project that looked into farmer-nomadic herdsmen clashes in Ashanti, Eastern, Bono Ahafo and parts of Volta region and efforts at resolving them.
(a) Government responded swiftly to concerns raised in the investigative project by deploying a military-police team to Agogo and Kwahu area.
The number of personnel deployed was doubled.
For the first time, 3 helicopters were deployed to aid both air and land operations of the team.
This has prevented farmer-nomads clashes which rear its head every farming season. No such clashes have been recorded ever since.
(b) Over 400,000 cattle and their herders were evacuated from Agogo and the Kwahu enclave to give respite to local communities
(c) The situation is impacting positively on the security as residents have more assured security than ever. Local farmers who hither to could not go to their farms alone but had to do so in groups now do so singlehandedly
(d) There's abundant yield as farmers are able to cultivate their land
(e) It averted a possible 'Fulani war' between local farmers in communities in the Berekum Municipality such as Kotaa where residents were piling up arms in a move to face-out with the nomads. Though they were unsuccessful in a similar move two-years earlier , they were hoping to succeed this time around.
Tewobaabi, Abisaase and Ammankokwaa. Others are Akurofuro, Mpatasie, Pepaase and Arkokrom residents also have similar intentions against the herdsmen. Similar clashes had claimed 17 lives in two weeks at Kunsu, Kawompe, Agege, among others in the Kintampo South Municipality. The then Bono Ahafo Regional Security Council acting in consultations with Municipal Security Committee acted swiftly by deploying security personnel to the conflict area . It also summoned the leadership of all communities in planned reprisal attacks into series of meetings.
(f) A businessman has set up a scholarship scheme to support children whose parents have been killed in farmer-herdsmen clashes in Agogo.
Life-threatening structures in Asante Akim North schools put lives of teachers, pupils in danger.
The report highlighted the difficulties teachers and their students who study under dilapidated, deplorable structures go through, including rape of some female students who trek several miles to attend JHS in other communities.
(a) MTN Ghana Foundation, under its Education portfolio is funding worth the construction of a 6-unit classroom block , a library , staff common room and a store for Nhyiaeso D/A Basic School at an estimated cost of GH₵ 400,000.
It will also provide furniture as well as teaching and learning materials.
(b) A US-based Ghanaian rehabilitated the Afirisere D/A Basic School, one of the schools which featured in the report.
KUMACA students die 'mysteriously', 3 hospitalised
The story delved into the death of two first-year students of Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) under mysterious circumstances and admission of three others on admission at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Hospital. Three nurses of the facility also contracted the disease. It turned out to be Swine Flu, a condition which affected more than 40 students of the school.
The story created the necessary awareness, put health officials and school authorities on their toes to conduct further investigations into the deaths which occurred a day after President Akufo-Addo attended the school's Speech and Prize Given Day. Many students were already infected by this condition on the blind side of school and health authorities. Following investigations which diagnosed Swine Flu as the cause of death etc, students and teachers of KUMACA were vaccinated. Health workers at KNUST Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Manhyia and Kumasi South hospitals also received vaccination.
14-year girl defiled by 5 men; suffers life-threatening complicationsd
It highlighted the plight of sexual abuse victims and ordinary people who suffer pain while perpetrators go scot-free.
Three out of 5 suspects in the case were arrested and prosecuted by the Nkawkaw Divisional Police. She underwent a six-month specialized care at KATH after contemplating suicide. It came through support from a listener who donated GH₵ 2,000 for her treatment A good Samaritan is supporting the education of the 14-year old girl in Accra. Through cash donations from philanthropists, the granny of the victim was set up in petty trading.
Cancer patient racing against time
The story is about 31-year old Paulina Owusu who has been battling cancer for nine years, despite multiple surgery by local experts. She needed 17 thousand dollars or between 85,000 and 90, 000 Ghana cedis for treatment in India within one month or the disease will eat into her bones.
Paulina has since received about 60,000 Ghana cedis of the amount through voluntary donations. She is preparing to embark on the trip for the surgery.
Chronicled diverse cases of child abuse, exposing the lapses in child protection systems in Ghana. One-and –a –half year old Junior has lost all five fingers on the left hand, as a result of torture by his father and step-mother.
Three children were rescued from abusive care. An association of female lawyers in Ashanti region adopted Junior him and have since been taking care of him. The couple was arrested and are still facing prosecution. Seven-year-old Belinda was rescued by our news team and personnel from the social welfare department. She was physically abused by the step mum and was not allowed to o to school. She had a deteriorating hand wound which they treated with an oily cream instead of sending her to the hospital. After the documentary, I pursued justice and testified in court. The abusive parents were convicted and fined. He child has been reunited with her biological mother and she is now in school. Seven-year old Adwoa, whose body bore marks of torture from her biological father was rescued, I testified in that case. The father was convicted and sentenced to 24 months in prison. She got medical help and is now in the Kumasi children’s Home.
CHILD MARRIAGE AT KENYASE ABIREM
Layla, 15, a JHS 3 student was scheduled to be married off by her uncles and her parents to a 43-year-old man in Niger. She approached me with a plea that we should help her stop the marriage, We notified the police and went in to rescue her on the wedding date.
Marriage has been called off. Father faces prosecution and a social worker has been assigned to check on her progress. She is now continuing her education.
40-year-old classroom block collapses, classes held under trees
The first report on a dilapidated 40-year-old classroom block which housed the PSK M/A Primary school in the Asante Mampong municipality, was in February 2017. A month after my report the classroom block collapsed. Fortunately it occurred on a Sunday when the children were not in school.
IMPACTI followed up with another report and it got the Municipal assembly to react. The children were moved to a nearby church building temporarily whilst a new classroom block was constructed for them. After the reports, the pupils of PSK M/A Primary school in Asante Mampong now study under a beautiful new classroom block.
KMA CIRCUIT COURT, DEATH TRAP
It told the story of a building housing the KMA Circuit Court which had been in use since the 80's without renovation. The outer walls of the court building had numerous cracks and the inner walls show that rain water seeps into the courtroom anytime it rains. Some litigants who spoke to me said a part of the roof caved in while proceedings were ongoing.
The court was closed temporarily and rehabilitation works done on it. It has recently been closed down completely and the court moved to the Subin sub-metro office.
Give us computers – residents of Nsuta Ashanti cry outJunior High School students in Nsuta close to New Edubiase in 2015 when I visited were yet to see and touch a computer, despite having to write Information and Communications Technology examination, with their peers elsewhere. Teachers revealed many students confuse the mouse of the modern communication device with the rodent pest they see around.
After my report, members of "PLATFORM GH", a whatsapp platform group contributed monies to procure 10 computers for the school. The Nsuta JHS has now become the ICT center for over 12 communities in the area.
Exposed crude justice system at a village 40 kilometres away from the nearest police station in Sekyere Central District of Ashanti Region. To ensure law and order, the local Unit Committee assumed the power to arrest, prosecute and adjudicate cases amidst complaints about human rights abuses and extortion. Suspects were tied up and whipped.
DCE for the area set up a probe and the local adjudication of cases and its subsequent abuse were halted.