Debates of 27 Jun 2006

PRAYERS 10 a.m.




Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correc- tion of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 23rd June 2006. Pages 1…7.
Mr. John Gyetuah 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page
7, No. 11, the hon. Member for Nkwanta North, hon. Nayan, Joseph Kwaku, was present. Mr. Speaker, we paid a working visit to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority offices in Takoradi. Therefore, he was present at the meeting; so the anomaly should be rectified.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Pages 8…15. [Pause.] Hon. Members, we have two Official Reports, for Thursday, 15th June 2006 and Friday, 16th June 2006.
Mr. Eric Opoku 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it
appears there are a lot of problems in the Votes and Proceedings. Page 7.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Which one are you
referring to?
Mr. Opoku 10 a.m.
Sorry to bring you back.
Page 7. Hon. Twumasi-Appiah was with us at Takoradi.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Are you going back to
the Votes and Proceedings?
Mr. Opoku 10 a.m.
Yes, please.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
If you have any queries, you can bring them to the attention of the Clerks.
Mr. Opoku 10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Hon. Members, we
move on to item 3, Questions. Minister for Tourism and Diaspora Relations. Question 397. Mr. David Tetteh Assumeng, hon. Member for Shai-Osudoku.
Mr. Alexander N. Tettey 10 a.m.

rose --
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Yes, hon. Member for
Mr. Tettey-Enyo 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the
hon. Member for Shia-Osudoku is on a delegation to the Cameroun and he has requested me to seek your permission to ask the Question on his behalf.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Go ahead and ask the



Mr. Tettey-Enyo 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank
the hon. Minister for the information given but in his Answer, he said that the development of the Dodowa forest was being hampered by land disputes, as many families were laying claims to the land. I wish to find out from the hon. Minister, what assistance his Ministry is giving for the resolution of those disputes so that the Dodowa forest is put to the appropriate land use.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the only assistance we can give is persuasion, pointing out to people the benefits of co-operating, and that we do all the time.
Mr. Tettey-Enyo 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, a week
or so ago, the hon. Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines gave this House detailed information about plans to develop the Shai Hills into a magnificent tourist
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I am aware of all the ongoing negotiations, and the relationship between the two Ministries is excellent. Indeed the Widelife Division serves as a member on the Tourism Management Committee.
Mr. Evans Paul Aidoo 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
is the hon. Minister aware of plans by the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines to construct a 400-bed room facility, a swimming pool and other recreational facilities in the reserve?
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I do not believe it is a four hundred bed- room facility. I know that the things that are going on between the Wildlife Division and the developers are intended to make sure that the infrastructure that is built there does not impact negatively on the surroundings. The architects, I believe, are working on what the final things will be. So I am sure at the end of it, the people and everybody in this august House will be privy to what comes out.
Mr. Tanko Abdul-Rauf Ibrahim 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer, he mentioned that at both ends, recreational centres could be set up, driven mostly by the community and youth associations. Is he ruling out the possibility of any initiative by his Ministry?
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rule out nothing. For us to be able to do these things would depend on the resources available. At the moment, what we are trying to do is to make sure that we get a proper partnership between the private sector, the National Government, local government, and the traditional authorities to be able to realise the tourism
potential of all the different areas. We have a 15-year development plan for tourism.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
One question at a time.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Minister for
Tourism and Diaspora Relations.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
within the 15-year development plan, which we are now expanding into our implementation plans, we are sensitising all District Assemblies to realise the tourism potential that they have -- Every district has some rare tourist potential that it can use towards the engine of growth. So individual ones do not have to be captured within the plan, to make it work. Within the plan we are not able to say that we, as Central Government will develop every resort, will develop every centre. But we are trying to say that we as Central Government will provide the expertise to help the District Assemblies and the private sector in generating the development of tourism facilities.
Mr. E.T.Mensah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, what is the nature of the sensitisation? I am an ex officio member of the Dangbe West
District Assembly. The Forests that we are talking about are located in the Dangbe West District, but the past six years they have never come up for discussion. So what is the nature of the sensitisation that the hon. Minister has been carrying out all these years?
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I have made at least three presentations to District Chief Executives about the roles that tourism can play. And I have a very good relationship with the hon. Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment who, as you know, was previously the Deputy Minister for Tourism; and we look forward to seeing tourism play even a bigger role in development at the local level in the years to come.
The Hippopotamus Sanctuary at Talawon
Q.398. Mr. Joseph Yieleh Chireh asked the Minister for Tourism and Diaspora Relations what plans the Ministry had for the proper development of the full potentials of the Hippopotamus Sanctuary at Talawon on the Black Volta in the Wa West District.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
the Hippopotamus Sanctuary covers a stretch of the Black Volta that shares its boundary with Burkina Faso for well over 40 km.
Talawon is but one of the several settlements along the banks of the river. There is already a community-based eco-tourism facility at Wechiau, which happens to be the most popular destination on the stretch. The full potential of the Sanctuary will be developed if we develop other tourism products around it. These products include accommodation, entertainment/recreational spots (cultural performances, artefacts, et cetera).

I am happy to note that Talawon has an eight (8) room guesthouse that is used by visitors to the area. This is an indication that Talawon is benefiting from the Sanctuary. In order to give tourists different experiences, the Ministry will advise the District Assembly and the Regional Office of the Ghana Tourist Board to assist the community to develop more rooms, entertainment and recreational spots that will make the tourists stay longer around the sanctuary.
Mr. Yieleh Chireh 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his Answer to the Question, seems to mention only the District Assemblies, the local people and the regional office -- My question is, has the Ministry any plans at all -- like a master plan that we as a community can take into consideration?
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I think this goes back to the previous statements. The development of local attractions must be championed and led at the local level. That is why we are pushing out to get a partnership between the District Assemblies, the traditional authorities at the local area and the private sector.
We at the Ministry can give technical support but we do not have the capacity to be able to develop each and every one of the many, many tourism attractions that this country has been blessed with.
Mr. Yieleh Chireh 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, my
question to the hon. Minister is that in terms of planning for realising the full potential of this facility, we will require a road network to the place, as well as other things that the hon. Minister, as a sector Minister should co-ordinate to his Ministry. I want to know whether there is
any such co-ordination plan at all.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is really for the Ministry at this stage to be doing the development of such accommodation and other infrastructure. We want to generate private sector interest. Tourism is a private sector- driven activity; it is a private sector-driven industry. So if already eight rooms are always full then somebody locally should have realized this by now and should be contacting his bankers to see if they cannot put together a facility to put up a bigger accommodation facility there. It is not for the Ministry, at this time, to do this.
Tourist Sites in Hohoe South Constituency (Improvement)
Q. 399. Mr. Joseph Z. Amenowode asked the Minister for Tourism and Diaspora Relations what plans the Ministry had for the improvement of the following tourist sites in the Hohoe South constituency:
(i) The Afadjato Tourist site; ( i i ) Taf i Atome Monkey
Sanctuary; and (iii) Logba Tota Caves.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, currently, work is ongoing to provide a visitor receptive facility centre through the instrumentality of the community. Visitor accommodation is available at Liati, Wote and Gbledi, both communities around the site.
Plans are advanced by the communities to add to the number of guestrooms. A footpath is to be constructed for people who are interested in climbing the mounting, which is the highest in the country.
Mr. Amenowode 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister for his choice of adjectives to describe the tourist sites in my constituency -- the highest mountain in Ghana, the monkey sanctuary which harbours a very special monkey which is endangered, and in his own words, “the Logba Tota area is of extraordinary scenic beauty”. I want to thank him for that but one phrase that occurred repeatedly in his Answer was that the communities “would be encouraged”, -- the people would be encouraged to do this, encouraged to do


My Question is, what is the nature or type of encouragement that these communities would be provided with to help them develop the sites?
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
he is speaking about the encouragement. Let me first give praise where praise is due, to the Hohoe District Assembly and the District Chief Executives that they have had.
Hohoe became the first district in this country to have tourism as its major source of income. It is the first district to actually establish a tourism website of its own. Tourism is alive and well in Hohoe and we are doing everything we possibly can to encourage it to grow even further to be an example to all the other districts as to what they can do, what revenue they can generate and what poverty they can eradicate through the use of tourism.
Mr. Amenowode 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
do accept the quality of scenery sites that we have but what I am trying to ask is, what encouragement is going to be given to them. Is it going to be financial encouragement or something else; because the sites are there but they are not being developed.
We have the websites, the visitors would come, but they would not see anything because they have not been developed. What encouragement are they going to be given? Is it going to be loans, grants to develop and pay back, or what? That is what I wanted to hear.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
the material encouragement that we are able to give at this stage, we are able to do so with the support of this honourable House. The honourable House passed the
Legislative Instrument (L.I.) for Special Incentives for the Tourism Industry. Those incentives are available for anybody who wants to invest in providing tourism facilities. At the moment, that is what we have been able to do.
We are examining other things that can be done, such as the Tourism Development Fund. And then also, generally, we have been talking to the banks and the other financial institutions for them to realize that tourism is a very profitable area and that it is time they started actively encouraging the private sector by providing the necessary financial support to the private sector to invest in tourism facilities. But most of the encouragements we give are more of this nature.
Mr. Amenowode 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, one
other phrase that kept on occurring in the Answer was “will be”. The footpath to the highest mountain in Ghana which people would want to climb, “will be constructed”. The Tafi Monkey Sanctuary, the trails, “will be”. I want to ask the hon. Minister when these “will be”.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I am not able to give a definite answer to that question; but until I can say “has been”, the answer will continue to be “will be”.
Mr. S. K. B. Manu 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
given the endangered state of the monkeys in the sanctuary just talked about by the hon. Member, would the hon. Minister consider advising the people of the area to stop killing and eating the monkeys?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ahafo
Ano South, this is only an advice. This is not a question. [Laughter.] Hon. Member for North Tongu?
Mr. C. S. Hodogbey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in
the Answer given by the hon. Minister,
he made mention of reafforesting the degraded portions of the mountain. But my worry is that most of our forest reserves, including this one, are being encroached upon, also including Achimota Forest for prayer camps.
What is his Ministry doing to prevent this type of encroachment and the turning of our forest reserves, including this very one which they plan to reafforest, from being used by people as prayer camps?
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
in many of the cases that are being raised, we do not as a Ministry have direct facilities to implement. So we have to implement indirectly by advising others who are responsible about what is happening.
The Achimota forest is one area that we already have a keen interest in, because Accra does not have lands. So we have to see them being developed and preserved to give Accra some lands. We have a moral and persuasive influence and that is really where we are limited to.
Mr. A. K. Agbesi 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister, with regard to the Afadjato Tourist Site, Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and Logba Tota Caves, how much so far his Ministry has given to the communities to be able to develop the sites.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Minister for
Tourism and Diaspora Relations, would you want the question to be repeated? Hon. Member, for Ashaiman, kindly repeat the question.
Mr. Agbesi 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wanted
to know with regard to the three sites mentioned, how much by way of assistance his Ministry has given to the communities -- he kept on referring to the community
Mr. Agbesi 10:30 a.m.

-- How much so far has the Ministry given to the communities to assist in development of the sites?
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
as far as I am aware, the Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourist Board has been assiduous. He has been working with the communities in the Volta Region to develop the different sites in that region.
Mr. G. K. B. Gbediame 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to ask the question but before I do so, I want hon. Balado Manu to know that those monkeys are sacred and they are not being killed. [Interruption.]
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member for Nkwanta South, if you have a question, please ask the question.
Mr. Gbediame 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, looking at the tourism potential in these areas being discussed, will the hon. Minister be able to give us his programme of action for the short-term, the medium-term and long- term for the area?
Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, regrettably, I cannot give him a programme of action for specific districts in the long- term, short-term or medium-term except that we are within the framework of the implementation plan, assisting in the best ways that we can, wherever we can.
Apam Castle (Rehabilitation)
Q. 551. Mr. Joe Kingsley Hackman asked the Minister for Tourism and Diaspora Relations when the Apam Castle would be rehabilitated and designated as one of the Tourism and Diaspora Relations sites in the country.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Apam Castle is already designated as an important tourist site in view of the role
it played in the infamous slave trade that sent millions of Africans to the diaspora.
Indeed, it is one of the world's heritage sites, as are all the other slave forts and slave castles in Ghana. We are informed by GMMB that the Castle is earmarked for rehabilitation. But in the interim, minor repairs are to be carried out for conservation purposes.
Mr. J. K. Hackman 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, would the hon. Minister be kind enough to specify indications as to when the minor repair works would begin, and specifically which contractor has been awarded the contract to start with the minor repair works?
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I am very much afraid that I cannot give an answer to that but I will give an answer if the hon. Member so desires; I will find out for him.
Mr. Kojo Armah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I know the Apam Castle very well. I know that there were about six rooms there that were being given out for guest accommodation anytime they visited Apam. But for a long time even those six rooms have deteriorated. There are a lot of leakages and rains have devastated a lot of the places.

Mr. Speaker, I am saying that my knowledge of the Apam Castle is that there were about six rooms that were being used by guests, but for a very long time those rooms have leaked very badly and therefore cannot be used. So I am

only urging the hon. Minister to impress upon the GMMB to act rather fast on it otherwise the castle will fall into ruins. It is not a question; it is only a suggestion to the hon. Minister.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Hon. Member is that a question?
Mr. Armah 10:30 a.m.
No, Mr. Speaker, I am only giving some advice to the Minister.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
No, you are out of order.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member for Gomoa West asked when the Castle would be rehabilitated to be used for tourism purposes. But the Answer talked about minor repairs for conservation purposes. I want the hon. Minister to tell us whether he has plans to rehabilitate that Castle for purposes of tourism.
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) has come out with a strategy for the development and maximization of all the forts and castles in this country, and as resources allow it is working within these resources to implement the strategy that it has set for itself.
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Minister for Tourism
and Diaspora Relations, thank you very much for appearing to answer these Questions. You are discharged, at least for the time being.

Mr. Tettey-Enyo 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Minister when the report was submitted to Government.
Sheikh Quaye: Mr. Speaker, the report was first submitted to the RCC by the committee and sometime last year, the report was submitted to Government. But as I said, the key to resolving the problem is to cool down tempers; and that is what we have done. So very, very soon you will have the report.
Mr. Tettey-Enyo 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the concern being shown by the RCC and the moves initiated to solve some of the problems arising from the disturbances. But may I know from the hon. Minister whether the RCC has plans to repair the damage done to the chief's palace and other properties during the disturbances.
Sheikh Quaye: Mr. Speaker, I think that our objective is ominia prima -- first things first; this is Latin. When the report is finally released, then of course we shall
look into the solution, or putting in place properly the chief's palace and whatever -- the damages caused to them.
Nii Amasah Namoale: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Greater Accra Regional Minister whether he knows what is “divide and rule”, and how far he is implementing it in the Asutsuare area?
Sheikh Quaye: Mr. Speaker, as far as I am aware, there is no divide and rule policy going on there, but I think whatever is necessary, whatever it takes to be able to put the people together, we shall do it; and that is what is happening.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister in his answer said that the Government was seriously studying the report, but in spite of that he has taken certain measures. What I find here, for me, are very theoretical. On the ground, the ground is still not the best. So my question is, when will the Government come out with the report so that you go whole hog, ask RCC, to address the concerns on the ground?
Sheikh Quaye: Mr. Speaker, the report will be released as soon as possible; and I mean the soonest.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon. Minister for Greater Accra Region, thank you very much for appearing to answer this Question. You are discharged. Hon. Members, we will come later on to item 4.
PAPERS 10:40 a.m.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs (Mr. F. K. Owusu 10:40 a.m.

Annual Report of the Internal Audit Agency for the year 2005.

Referred to the Public Accounts Committee.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon. Members, item (c) is deferred. We now move on to item 6 -- Motions -- Minister for Health.
Mr. Felix Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am advised by the Chairman of the Committee that the Minister for Health would want to have some second discussion with the Committee, so we may have to defer this item.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Item 6 is deferred. Item 7 -- Attorney-General and Minister for Justice -- [Pause] -- Majority Leader, is the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice in the House?
Mr. Owusu-Adjapong 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, he seems not to be immediately available, so if we can look at item 4.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Item 7 is deferred. Hon. Members, we would go back to item 4 -- Statements.
STATEMENTS 10:50 a.m.

Mr. David Hennric Yeboah (NPP - Afigya-Sekyere East) 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement which is on the need to
construct fence walls around our schools, particularly those in the rural areas.
These days, Mr. Speaker, school lands which have not been secured provide avenues for nuisance to flourish. It encourages incompatible land use and encroachment as well as expose students and tutors to certain risks. Such schools provide easy access to outsiders to enter the school either to steal or have illicit relationships with the female students.
Students in such schools are offered the opportunity to easily sneak to town and engage themselves in nefarious activities such as smoking of Indian hemp, sexual promiscuity, drunkenness and other anti- social activities. Such activities go in no small way to destroy the lives and the future of otherwise brilliant students.
Mr. Speaker, an incident in a school in my constituency merits recounting. Mr. Speaker, on Monday, 6th February, 2006, an aborted foetus was discovered at a place between the girls' dormitory annex and the dining hall. The headmaster of the school suspecting that it might be one of the female students who had committed such a crime, started an in-house investigation.
When the investigation drew a blank, it was decided that pregnancy tests be conducted on all the female students of the school. The Salvation Army Clinic conducted the pregnancy test on 165 senior secondary school (SSS3) girls. The test established that six (6) female students were pregnant. That was quite revealing. Mr. Speaker, judging from the number of unapproved routes leading to the school, it has become extremely difficult, particularly in the night, for the security men to provide adequate security to school property and monitor the movement of

Mr. Speaker, another regrettable incident took place in one of the secondary schools on the Kwahu Ridge. A group of students were returning from the dining hall after lunch and lo and behold a mad man from nowhere started pursuing them. In the ensuing melee, a number of the students sustained bodily wounds. This unfortunate incident would not have happened if the school was fenced. It is said that “a stitch in time saves nine”; we should take preventive measures to save the future of our young boys and girls. We should not by our omissions and failures expose them to the bad side of society.

On this note, Mr. Speaker, may I crave your indulgence to make a few recommendations as a way forward. Firstly, it should be made obligatory that in future any school being built should have fence wall as an essential part of the building plan which must be undertaken at all cost.

Mr. Speaker, it is also recommended that a programme to systematically fence existing schools should be undertaken. In this regard, may I urge the various District Assemblies to champion this crusade by providing funding and support. A vigorous pursuit of these recommendations will lead to a situation in the near future where all our senior secondary schools will be fenced.

When this is achieved, such vices as smoking, drunkenness, sexual pro- miscuity, absenteeism, roaming in town without permission amongst students will be brought to the barest minimum. In their place will appear discipline, high morality, abstinence from smoking and drunkenness, effective monitoring of activities of students, et cetera. The net effect of these virtues is academic excellence and moral discipline.

Mr. Speaker, it is not too late; we need to

start from somewhere and end elsewhere, remembering that with commitment and dedication nothing is impossible.

On this note, Mr. Speaker, I once again thank you for your indulgence.
Ms. Josephine Hilda Addoh (NPP - Kwadaso) 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity to add my voice to the Statement on the floor. Mr. Speaker, indeed, we need to make it a policy to fence schools in the country, more especially the girl schools.
Mr. Speaker, Yaa Asantewa Girls' Secondary School is one of the leading schools in Ghana and in my constituency, Kwadaso. This school, though it has a big name, has so many problems but I will talk about the fencing. The school is not fenced; and therefore we need fencing as the hon. Member for Afigya-Sekyere East described in his Statement.
Mr. Speaker, talking about pregnancy in schools, I know the fencing alone will not check this. Girls go home during vacations and they can bring the pregnancy from outside. Though we need the fencing, they can still bring the pregnancy from outside. When they go on holidays, they mingle with people and that is where we think they need education to take good care of themselves and know how they relate to peers, especially the men.
Mr. Speaker, it is a sad thing to note that in secondary schools, some girls come and do not end their education there because of pregnancy. Mr. Speaker, I would call on all parents to take good care of the girls when they come home so that they do not associate themselves with certain classmates who can make them pregnant and go back to abort in schools.
On this note, Mr. Speaker, I thank you.
Mr. Lee Ocran (NDC - Jomoro) 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the statement
made by the hon. Member on the other side. Mr. Speaker, in the colonial times and just immediately after independence, large parts of land were offered to the Government to put up schools. These schools were established very far from the towns and therefore nobody made much noise about those large tracts of lands. But as the towns become urbanized and there is the need for new housing and more need for land, people are trying to encroach on the lands that were hitherto given to the schools, some of which boundaries were not properly demarcated.
In fact, Mr. Speaker, this is very apparent in Cape Coast. The area between the Ghana National and Aggrey Memorial Secondary Schools where people are building hotels is very close to girls' dormitories. These two schools have a lot of girl population with very beautiful young girls; and people are putting up hotels very close to these schools - [Interruption] - Ma menka m'asem - [Laughter.]
They are putting up hotels near these very schools and it has become the bone of contention between the Board of Governors of the schools and the hotel owners. I am surprised that the Regional Co-ordinating Council is not able to do something about this encroachment. The schools have taken the hotels to the Lands Commission but it is very difficult resolving the issue because the boundaries of the schools are not properly demarcated.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to call on the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports to take this matter very, very seriously. This is because the tendency of people sneaking out of the school with some people to the hotels is quite common and it is important that something be done to stop this.
Fencing is one solution to the problem, but some of the school compounds are so large that if the Government decides to
fence them, then of course, billions of cedis will have to go into the project. I think we have to find a way of establishing buffer zones between the schools and residential areas, especially commercial/residential areas so that the very young girls and even the young boys are protected, otherwise they may try to go and do things that are not good in the hotels. For instance, they should not drink, but they are enticed to do so because the hotel is very near.
Mr. Speaker, it is important that adult males also refrain from patronizing such hotels and stop doing things that they would not like to be done to their daughters.
On this note, Mr. Speaker, I support the Statement on the floor.
Mr. Isaac Kwame Asiamah (NPP - Atwima-Mponua) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for this unique opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor.
Mr. Speaker, I think fencing obviously will check indiscipline in our schools. But Mr. Speaker, let us also extend it to providing adequate security even on our campuses. Mr. Speaker, these days, it is common to see private investors putting up nice buildings on our campuses, sometimes few distances away from the main campus.
Mr. Speaker, I would want to appeal to some of these private hotels; there is absolutely no security for the students -- no security for the students. And this exposes students to extreme dangerous circumstances.

Mr. Speaker, when you go to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, there is a hostel called Yiadoma, and from the hostel to the main campus is so dark that students, more

especially the ladies, find it difficult to go through the compound to the main campus for studies. So our public universities should also make sure that they provide adequate security; sometimes common street lights are missing. This is an area that we need to take a critical look at. The University of Ghana, too. Legon is no exception, and all our campuses; we need to provide adequate security for our students so that they can learn in comfort.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is also important to note that providing fencing or security alone would not solve the problem of indiscipline in the schools. It is clear because these days the craze for money alone is leading most of our students into dangerous situations.

In my constituency, at Mpasatia there is a school and, how on earth could one believe that two students could plan to sell their own colleagues for money? What they said before the other students was that as soon as they completed school they were going to buy vehicles and bring them to school to show that they had money; these were the words of the students.

So the craze for money is unimaginable amongst our students these days. Fortunately or unfortunately for them, they called somebody and a pastor took the call and alerted the security people. So they have been arrested and the case is now with the police for investigation.

Mr. Speaker, it is unthinkable for students between the ages of seventeen and eighteen to think of killing their own colleagues for money. So let us check our moral upbringing; how are we bringing up our kids? The craze for money is so dangerous and we should be careful; it is all over the place, in the home and everywhere. The kids, I do not know whether they are learning from their parents because of the flashy lifestyle we lead today. Let us, first of all, inculcate the spirit of discipline because it is only
Minority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to have a bite before I rush to meet our dear sisters and mothers who have decided to visit us, their representatives to see how we perform in the House.
Mr. Speaker, I totally agree that there is the need for us to take a very serious look at securing the lands and institutions that educate all of us. But Mr. Speaker, I am not sure building fences or walls would be the solution. I believe that looking at the numbers involved and the size of the lands, it would not be economically prudent to be constructing walls around all our institutions. Especially when we

be unthinkable to spend colossal monies building walls when the schools rather need infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, I do agree with those who think that there is the need for us to set up some buffer zones -- I might refer to them as fire belts -- around all the lands that are housing our educational institutions. We need first to secure the lands because people are encroaching on the lands and we need to get the Survey Department to survey and secure these lands.

Now as to what protective cover to use depending on the area, even hedges could be used; we could use barb wires; we could use other means apart from fence walls which are really very, very expensive. But Mr. Speaker, we need to congratulate my good Friend (Mr. David Hennric Yeboah), the maker of the Statement for drawing our attention to a very crucial issue. I think he needs commendation.

Mrs. Elizabeth K. T. Sackey (NPP --

Okaikoi North): Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful Statement.

Mr. Speaker, indeed, our schools need to be looked at. Not quite long, just last week, I went round my constituency visiting the schools. I had to meet the teachers, and Mr. Speaker, it would surprise you to know that a teacher had her marriage broken down because she was pregnant and during school hours there were these boys playing football on the field and they hit her with the football and that ended her marriage; it was so pathetic.

Mr. Speaker, I think we need to look at this Statement very critically because though it entails a lot of money, I feel there is the need for us to, like other contributors to the Statement have said, look again at these schools which are “Open”. Most

of these schools have also been used by residents for dumping refuse, and like other contributors said, there is also this school in my constituency where ‘wee' smokers have taken over the classrooms and they dictate to the teachers what time they should start classes and close. I think it is a serious issue; it is affecting these children at school because all that they see around them are people smoking and people involved in all sorts of nuisance.

Mr. Speaker, a headmistress told me that there was a time when in class they were asked to draw and these little ones started drawing people smoking because that is what they see around them. I support this Statement and I wish the Ministries of Education, Science and Sports, Local Government, Rural Development and Environment would have plans for this so that we would have most of our schools fenced, especially those that have serious issues of discipline.

I know of Tesano 1and 2 where they have not even got a place of convenience and I am told that whenever these little ones want to visit the washroom, they need to go back home and have it done; at times these ‘wee' smokers get hold of them behind the school and then they do a lot of things to them. I hope we all understand that. It is very serious.

Mr. Speaker, on this note, I would support the Statement and I wish that all suggestions and proposals made here would be taken into consideration.
Mr. G. K. B. Gbediame (NDC -- Nkwanta South) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made and to also look at the area of protecting school lands.
Mr. Speaker, in the last Parliament,
there was a Statement made on the floor of this House for the need to secure school lands. I remember very well that schools like Accra Teachers' Training College, Presbyterian Boys Secondary School (Presec) and other schools complained bitterly about encroachment on their lands and your Committee on Lands and Forestry then was supposed to have met to take a decision and made recommendations to this House. Unfortunately, the Committee never finished its work and that Parliament was dissolved; the composition of the Committee also changed.
Mr. Speaker, I wish at this point in time to take the opportunity to remind you of the need to refer this issue of encroachment on school lands and how to secure these lands to your Committee on Lands and Forestry for some review and suggestions.
Mr. Speaker, one of our hon. Colleagues said it might be very expensive trying to build a fence wall around the schools. But I believe that taking into consideration the cost of the land involved and the need for future development, it is still very important that a form of demarcation and for that matter either a fence wall or some form of fencing should be carried out in the schools especially those in the cities.
Mr. Speaker, it is very important because schools like Presec, as I said, because the land is not secured, day and night intruders enter; some of them steal students' property and all those things. I believe that if a fence is built, it will protect students and their property.
Mr. Speaker, before I take my seat, I would also want to say that in line with this, there are some schools which have been built on some lands and proper demarcations have not been made and as a result of that it is even very difficult to identify the boundary. I want to suggest
Mrs. Agnes A. Chigabatia (NPP - Builsa North) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, like the hon. Member said, fencing of schools is a laudable idea and we thank him for drawing attention to this most important thing.
Mr. Speaker, most schools are fenceless, which encourages all sorts of idle men to the schools, especially girl schools to cause a lot of havoc to the girls.
Mr. Speaker, I am of the view that when schools are fenced it is going to protect the students. Normally, when a school is not fenced it is turned into a farmland which breeds a lot of mosquitoes, snakes and other dangerous reptiles to the disadvantage of the students and the teachers.
Mr. Speaker, as I am talking now, for example, a school in my constituency, Sandema Technical School is more of a jungle than a school. This is a school which has no gate, and which has no way; everyone can walk in at any time to the disadvantage of the students regardless of whether they are studying or not.
So I think this Statement should be looked into seriously in order that all senior secondary schools will be fenced to prevent the students from dangerous people and dangerous reptiles and then to get rid of the mosquitoes as malaria is one killer disease in the country.
On this note, I thank the hon. Member who made the Statement.
Nii J . Tackie-Kome (NDC - Odododiodioo): Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the Statement on the floor.
Mr. Speaker, it is not only in the secondary schools that we have these problems. In my constituency in particular, all schools have been encroached upon. If you go to the Ayalolo cluster of schools, part of the school has been turned into a market whilst teaching and learning go on.
Mr. Speaker, if you go the District Education Office, part of it has been encroached upon and this is a problem for the district directors, having to sack the people always from the place.
Mr. Speaker, I think it is time the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports fenced all these schools. But Mr. Speaker, fencing of these schools is not the problem; I am saying this because encroachment is not limited to the schools alone.
In Accra we have pavements in most of the places where people are supposed to walk instead of walking on the streets. Right now, the Department of Town and Country Planning is allowing people to occupy these pavements. For instance, when you go to the Awudome cemetery, the pavement has been encroached upon.
Mr. Speaker, I think it is time we went by the rules and regulations. We have to see to it that places that are reserved for public purposes are not encroached upon.
With this, I wish to support the hon. Member who made the Statement.
Mr. Akwasi Afrifa (NPP - Fomena) 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Statement which has been made is quite interesting. It is true that for the safety of our students and also to ensure the continued protection of school lands, fencing has become a necessity.
Mr. Speaker, I think that probably it may not be only sandcrete and cement and whatever that can be used in fencing a school. As much as I am in favour of it, I will in my own small way recommend that fencing could be done with flowers or plants so that hedges are put in place or barbed wires as the hon. Minority Leader was also talking about.
Mr. Speaker, I am saying this because if you go to most schools including the basic ones, our primary and junior secondary schools, you will find that they lack classroom infrastructure. Again, libraries are not even in place in the second cycle schools. In the same way, Mr. Speaker, where are the science laboratories? These are things that we must concern ourselves with so that if money could be found in any quarters, then they could be used in providing basic school infrastructure like classrooms, libraries, science blocks and so on and so forth to promote teaching and learning.
So if there is the need for the fencing, let us use hedges and barbed wires.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Leadership, at this stage any indication of adjournment?
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I think we can adjourn. But before I move, I wish to express our support for the national team - the Black Stars -- in their historic encounter with Brazil.
Mr. Speaker, it is the wish of all hon. Members that the composure and dexterity which they have so far displayed will even be more prominent to make victory certain.
Mr. Speaker, on that note, I beg to move that we adjourn proceeding to enable hon. Members watch the live telecast of this great match.
Mr. E. K. D. Adjaho 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to second the motion. But I thought the hon. Deputy Majority Leader would have given us a hint as to the status of item 7 on the Order Paper.
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, that item is deferred.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader (Mr. Adjaho), are you supporting the motion for adjournment?
Mr. Adjaho 11:10 a.m.
That is so, Mr. Speaker. I second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:10 a.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 11.20 a.m. till 28th June, 2006 at 10.00 a.m.