Debates of 4 Jun 2009

PRAYERS 10:20 a.m.


Madam Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings for Wednesday, 3rd June, 2009. Pages 1 - 7 --
Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi 10:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, item 7. I think yesterday when we were looking at the notes we did get to an item that had this same construction: “The following Question” and the Question itself has not been put. Madam Speaker, I am asking for education on this. Is this how it is normally put without the statement on the Question? Madam Speaker, item 7.
Madam Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon Member, that is the procedure, the Question is Question (1) on the Order Paper. So “The following Question was asked”. It is on the Order Paper - “The following Question was asked and answered . . .”
Mr. I. A. B. Fuseini 10:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, page 7, item 9, the Paper that was the subject matter of complaint by the Hon Member for Suhum, “for” has been repeated -- “for for Suhum”. It reads as follows: “The Hon Member for for Suhum, Hon Frederick Opare”. So there must be a deletion of the first “for”. It is the Ghanaian Lens and not the Crystal Lens.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Pages 9, 10, 11,
12, 13 --
M r. A . E . A m o a h : M a d a m Speaker, page 13, the Committee on Communications, they attended a meeting yesterday. I was present but my name has been omitted.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Thank you. Page
14 --
Prof. S. K. Amoako 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, under item 2, “ Attendance” , vii. The correct order of my name is “Samuel Kwadwo Amoako”. “Kwadwo” is the middle name.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Page 15 --
Mr. D. T. Assumeng 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, page 15, Committee on Works and Housing. The second name is Mrs. Amoah-Tetteh. It is not “Mr”. So the “Mr.” should be changed to “Mrs. Elizabeth Amoah-Tetteh”.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Pages 16, 17, 18,
19, 20, 21, 22.
The Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 3rd June, 2009 as corrected be adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Official Report for Wednesday, 3rd June, 2009.
Mr. Fuseini 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, column 194, line 6, “. . . words of our Standing Orders affect the dignity of this House”. It should be “words of our Standing Orders affront the dignity of this House”.
Dr. A. A. Osei 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I rise on Standing Order 48 and with your
permission I want to read:
“The presence of at least one-third of all the Members of Parliament besides the person presiding shall be necessary to constitute a quorum of the House.”
Madam Speaker, I am not mathe- matically inclined but I am convinced that there are less than fifty Hon Members of this House including your goodself and I want to draw your attention to this matter. I do not know if it is because of some special occasion that is not allowing Hon Members -- as far as I know, today is not an official holiday but there may be other reasons why Hon Members are not here.
A Colleague is raising a paper saying June 4th. Yes, today is June 4th, 2009 but this House is an august House and we must conduct business with proper -- [Laughter] -- under our own Standing Orders. So Madam Speaker, I just want to draw your attention to this. [Interrup- tions.]
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, it is quite strange that even the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament are also celebrating the June 4th; if it is about June 4th because our numbers are more than theirs.

Let us go there now and see what is going on. What accounts for the empty seats on the other side of the House - [Interruptions.] It is not true. It was over two hours ago. I was there -- As for the traffic, it has always been a problem.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
I thought Standing Order 48 says after an interval of ten minutes?
Dr. Osei 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I was only drawing your attention to our own rules, Standing Order 48. I was not trying to assign -
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Have we had ten minutes since you raised the matter?
Dr. Osei 10:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, yes.
Madam Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Do we not then ring the bell to call Hon Members?
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
our problem was the red herring that he threw in, the June 4th thing, otherwise, the bell can be rung for us to come --
Papa Owusu Ankomah 10:40 a.m.
Speaker, he mentioned that comment from this side of the House. He was saying that probably Members on this side of the House were also celebrating June 4th. I can assure him that that is not the case. We are a very conscientious group here and if Madam Speaker would take note, we are here most often, punctual.
Madam Speaker, I live at Achimota, the eastern part of Accra; coming here, it was a great difficulty because the police had blocked such a major, major road. Even coming from Spintex-Adenta, I took over two hours before getting here.
I believe we all appreciate that, yes, because of certain things we may delay but to say that we were celebrating June 4th, giving the impression that on this side of the House, we did not know our priorities as a country, it is something that cannot go without comment.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, he
has taken my intervention out of context. It was Hon Akoto Osei who indicated that it is because of June 4th that -- if because of June 4th -- [Interruptions] -- he mentioned June 4th as being one of the reasons we are not here and I said then “you look at your place, your seats are empty”, then probably, probably so, if you are not being disingenuous, you would have known that I qualified my statement. I said probably, I qualified it and then you -- I just came from the medical screening, they are still doing the medical screening and I said that is also an issue that should not be done.
There are people out there who are attending to people there and we should also know that we are very serious people on this side of the House, we are very conscientious. When you were here and
you were not even coming, we were in here and were doing business. So we appreciate what government business means even if we are on the other side of the House. So you need to mind your words when you are making interventions.
Thank you very much.
Dr. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, with all
due respect to my Senior Brother, Hon E. T. Mensah, the Hon Majority Chief Whip, I did not say that June 4th is the reason why -- I said today is June 4th. I only made mention of the date; if he believes that because his side of the House is celebrating June 4th, he should say so. I did not give that as a reason, he should say so. I was just reminding us that as conscientious Members of this House, we have a duty to go by our own regulations, Order 48. And he being a Majority Chief Whip, I thought he will agree with me because we are helping him do his work so that he can --
Mr. I. A. B. Fuseini 10:40 a.m.
Speaker, I thought all this hullabaloo is ‘much ado about nothing'. An objection has been raised by Hon Akoto Osei on a quorum. I thought the procedure was simple and straightforward by our Standing Orders. When an objection is raised, ten minutes is allowed to lapse and then Madam Speaker takes the count. If Madam Speaker comes to the conclusion that we do not form a quorum, so be it. All the talk are incidental to the objection and they mean nothing to the objection.
Madam Speaker, the objection has been raised and I pray you to address the attention of this House to the Members who are present and if after ten minutes we have formed the quorum then business continues.
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Yes, I think the ten
minutes will start running after we take a count of this House at this stage. So Clerk,
how many people are in the House?
Dr. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, the minutes
start after the bell had been rung when the objection was raised - Madam Speaker, you ordered that the bell be rung -- [Interruption] - Madam Speaker ordered that the bell be rung when I raised the objection, so that was some minutes ago.
An Hon Member 10:40 a.m.
Are you the ‘Bell
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
But I did not rule
Dr. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, you asked
that the bell be rung.
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
I did not rule on it.
Mr. Sampson Ahi 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
I think we do things orderly in this House and a Member can stand up to talk only when Madam Speaker has called him or her. But in this case, Hon Dr. Akoto Osei just stood up and started talking without Madam Speaker calling him. So I want to draw your attention that -- [Inter- ruptions] He has been doing that and I think he should refrain from doing so. It is unparliamentary, he should wait for Madam Speaker to call him before he is given the floor to say whatever he wants to say.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr. John T. Akologu 10:40 a.m.
Speaker, thank you very much. I think that the Hon Member would have helped this House if he had given statistics of the Hon Members here now to back his position but I do not think he provided that. He did not provide that; he only looked at the empty seats and started talking.
I can assure him that the numbers that
we have at the time he started talking and even now exceeds one-third and we can do business. So Madam Speaker, his question does not even arise but because we did not provide the statistics we could not raise this issue.
Then again, I want to crave the indulgence of Hon -- I believe you have to help me, is it Papa or Paapa or what -- Owusu Ankomah, the Hon Member for Sekondi -- [Laughter.] In this House -- Please, sit down when somebody is talking, you do not get up -- [Interruptions.]
Madam Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Shall I rule now?
Shall I give my ruling now?
Mr. Akologu 10:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, we
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
I think you better correct it. Is it Papa or Paapa? [Laughter.] Is it Papa or Paapa?
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you very much. Madam Speaker, the right pronunciation is Papa. It is not Papa or Paapa, but I am not too finicky about that. Madam Speaker, we do not need to worry ourselves with this.
The Standing Order says that Hon Members should be referred to by the constituencies which they represent and the Hon Deputy Majority Leader is now
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Acting Majority Leader or Deputy Majority Leader -- [Laughter.]
Mr. Akologu 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, and
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
I think we got what
we wanted. He says he is “Papa”.
Mr. Akologu 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, It
is Papa; but I just wanted to say that the easiest way is to identify ourselves by our constituencies but if we can identify ourselves by the names, it is even better, and that is what reflects even in our Official Report. We are identified by our names in our contributions here.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Shall I rule on the objection that there is no quorum -- [Interruption.]
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, he has just
misled the House and I want to correct a point he made.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
All right, correct then.
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, when
he spoke, he said that at the time I was speaking I did not give any statistics. He is grossly misleading this House. The Hansard will attest to the fact that I said the number is below 50, and the Clerk heard it. So for a Majority Leader to grossly mislead this House, is not very good. I gave a statistic, unless of course, that statistic either he does not understand the word “statistic” or he did not hear me. But he is a leader.
The Hansard will capture it. I said less than 50, and the Clerks can attest to that fact. Madam Speaker, if you believe
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Hon
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
It is a statistic Madam
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, I
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, with
respect to the Chair, may I ask for a formal count?
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
At this stage? Yes, why not. If you want a formal count.
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am not challenging -- [Interruption] -- I can request for a formal count under our Standing Orders.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Granted. Clerk, how many people are in the House now? I had 81 a long time ago -- but if you want -- I had 81 but I am sure it -- [Interruption] -- We can do it but a few minutes ago, I had 81 and more people have joined in. But if you still insist -- as a statistician, please, look round and tell us.
Dr. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I accept the Chair's ruling.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
So Hon Members, you see that we all have to be here earlier. There was a time where time for Sitting was challenged even with apologies, they were not taken. So please, let us all try and be here early. No excuses. I can see that the Hon Members will accept no excuses

except their Bible which says that we should be here and have a quorum, and I appreciate that. So we should all try and be here and have a quorum before work starts.

Anyway, shall we continue? We did not finish with the Official Report.
Prof. S. K. Amoako 10:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you. Madam Speaker, I would want to refer to the front cover of the Official Report of Wednesday, 3rd of June. The little note in paragraph 2 from the Hansard Office; I think for the longest time, they have been making this mistake and I think I should point it out so that it is corrected since your historic election to the Speaker's Chair. Madam Speaker, and I quote:
“Correction of errors of substance may be made only on the floor of the House with the permission of “Mr. Speaker. . . .”
Still “Mr. Speaker”, I believe it should be changed to “the Speaker”. It has been there for the longest time and the correction should be made.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Thank you. Any more corrections on the Official Report?
Hon Members, the Official Report of Wednesday, 3rd June, 2009 as corrected represents the true record of proceedings.
Question time. There is a Question standing in the name of the Hon Member for Bosome-Freho. Hon Member for Bosome-Freho, may you ask your Question, please? Am I permitted to call him Hon Yaw Ofori-Kuragu?
Mr. J. T. Akologu 11 a.m.
Madam Speaker,
the Hon Minister is not in the House to answer the Question. The reason being
Madam Speaker 11 a.m.
I believe there is
nobody here to answer the Question. We will stand it down. Do you want it stood down or rescheduled?
Mr. Akologu 11 a.m.
Madam Speaker, to be rescheduled; I said the Business Committee will reschedule the Hon Minister to come.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11 a.m.
Madam Speaker, just taking a cue from what the Deputy Majority Leader has told the House. He is aware that just as Ministers who are unavailable to answer Questions could have Questions answered for them by their Deputies with the indulgence of the House, he is aware that in the same vein, a Member who is unavailable to

ask a Question which he has filed could authorize another Member to hold the fort and ask the Question on his behalf. So his insistence that the Member to ask the Question is even not in the House was a very unnecessary abjunct.

But Madam Speaker, we are told that the Hon Majority Leader, when he spoke to the substantive Minister who had indicated that he was not going to be available, tasked his Deputy to hold the fort for him. By extension of reason, the Deputy undertook to be in the House to answer the Question on behalf of the substantive Minister. And so this information -- and indeed, on yesterday's Order Paper, the Provisional Order Paper indicated that this Question was to be asked today. And here we come and he is telling us that the Deputy who had undertaken to answer the Question is unavailable.

Madam Speaker, we do know that there are two Deputies and the Deputy we are told who accepted to do this business on behalf of the Hon Minister upon which assurance the Majority Leader, as the Chairman of the Business Committee went ahead and had this Question filed, we are being told today that, that Deputy Minister is also unavailable.

And somebody has the tenacity to ask me, “you and who”? I am speaking on behalf of this House as an institution. [Hear! Hear!] I am speaking on behalf of this House as an institution, that Ministers

must respect this House as an institution and I believe that we have to understand it in that vein.

Madam Speaker, I am done for the time being.
Mr. Akologu 11 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I know that when the Hon Minority Leader gets a platform, he can fly very well but in this instance, he has unnecessarily delayed this House. Madam Speaker, you had ruled on the matter and he has just taken us back and I do not understand. So we will consider these things in the future.
Madam Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon. Members,
we move to item 4 -- Statements. There is a Statement standing in the name of the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma Central - Hon Theophilus Tetteh Chaie.
STATEMENTS 11:10 a.m.

Madam Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Yes, Hon Asiamah,
your comments on the Statement?
Mr. Isaac K. Asiamah (NPP --
Atwima-Mponua): Thank you, Rt. Hon Speaker, for this golden opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor.
Madam Speaker, I thank the maker of the Statement. Indeed, it is coming at a very opportune time just after this Administration celebrating its one

hundred days in office as captured in their manifesto pledge, to clear the filth of Accra and indeed, the country within one hundred days. Obviously, that pledge has woefully failed, totally failed and that should be put on record.

As we speak now, it is getting to about six months of the administration of the President, and Madam Speaker, the filth is still there. It is even worse than they met it. It is building up every day. Madam Speaker, is it backward movement or forward movement - [Pause] -- Or sideways? We do not even know where we find ourselves. So it is important that we commit ourselves to whatever we promised the people of this country.

Madam Speaker, he did mention the issue of indiscipline. The highest level of indiscipline could be attributed to politicians who over the years, have always undermined genuine efforts to clear the streets of filth so that we have proper sanitation.

Madam Speaker, it would be recalled that when a genuine attempt was made by the former Mayor that is Hon Agyiri Blankson, to clear the streets of Accra, we had then opposition elements - today, they find themselves in government -- politicizing that bold attempt by the former Mayor to clean the city. I am happy that he did mention indiscipline; that is the highest level of indiscipline they can talk of.
Mr. Haruna H. Bayirga 11:10 a.m.
-- rose --
Madam Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Member, are
you rising on a point of order?
Mr. Bayirga 11:10 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am up to make a point of order here. When my Hon Colleague - [Interruptions] -- Hon Asiamah rose up to talk, he said, “woefully failed.” And before one can make such a statement indicating that something has woefully failed, he has to show evidence that it has really woefully failed, something he has not been able to do. And so I want him to show how it has woefully failed.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:10 a.m.
Thank you,
Madam Speaker. Maybe, he wants to catch the eye of the President. I wish him well -- [Laughter.] Just about six months ago, he was with us; today, he wants to remain a permanent Majority member - [Laughter.] He should be there and enjoy his permanent status but we will live in a very principled politics. We will always -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Bayirga 11:20 a.m.
On a point of order. Madam Speaker, he is still making such very loose and wild statements. “To catch the eyes of the President”, does it mean that our President has not got the wisdom and the eyes to catch better people? [Uproar.] This is a very loose statement.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I have not said that His Excellency does not have good eyes to see but if - [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Let us restrict ourselves to comments on the Statement -- nothing that will provoke debate, please. So comment on the Statement that is at hand.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I admire you so much when we come in here - [Laughter.] When you come in, I just admire that. You are a role model, so I admire you for that.
Madam Speaker 11:20 a.m.
I also respect you too much, that is why - [Laughter.]
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, maybe, I will come to your office to talk about the other domestic business.
Madam Speaker, I think it is critical that sanitation is given the priority that it deserves. For me, so far, six months into the administration of the President, I do not think it has been given that importance it deserves.
Talking of decongesting Accra, it is important that as politicians we also look at the other effects of the decongestion exercise that would be carried out. When the previous Administration was doing the decongestion, for example, we made alternative arrangements.
We provided some satellite markets, market centres where those people who were affected by the exercise could go and do their trading. As we speak, six months, there is no bold attempt by this Government to make sure that there is an alternative arrangement for the people who would be affected. That is my worry.
Two weeks from now they are going to begin the exercise. What kind of arrangement have they made to make sure that those who would be affected, at least, will also have their livelihood intact? It is important that if we claim to be social democrats, if we claim to fight for the ordinary man or woman on the street, whatever policies we intend pursuing are thought through and that they are human- centred policies, policies that will touch the lives of people and not policies that will go and erode the small gains that they have made.
So it is important that we alert the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA)

that Ghanaian men and women, boys and girls whom they promised of better jobs, of better housing, of money in their pockets, plenty money in their pockets, food on the table -- So far, what we are experiencing is taking money away from our pockets. Everyday money is being taken away from our pockets because the cedi is all the time running away, running away.

The cedi is depreciating and it is affecting prices of foodstuffs on the market. Ghanaians are suffering, Madam Speaker. [Interruption.] Ghanaians are indeed suffering today. They are suffering today more than ever. There is no food on the table. We cannot buy petrol -- no fuel.

Madam Speaker, today, as we speak, now, we are counting pepper, one, one. Pepper that we lump together and sell; today, we are counting pepper. When you want to buy pepper, they will count them -- one, two. . . This is the state in which we find ourselves now.
Madam Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Member, your time is up. Sit down now.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:20 a.m.
Meanwhile, we have money, buying diapers left and right.
Madam Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Baffour, can I hear you? Hon Member, your time is up.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I have more to say but since other Hon Members want to contribute, I will end here by thanking the Hon Member who made the Statement.
Madam Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Comment on the Statement that we have.
Mr. F. F. Baffour (NDC -- Ablekuma South) 11:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, it is always good to have a little comic relief. [Laughter.] It lightens the tension. I am an expert at that

Madam Speaker, I rise to support the Statement so eloquently made by my Hon Colleague and neighbour, the Hon Member for Ablekuma Central.

Though I commend the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive for his initiative to decongest and improve the sanitation of Accra, there are certain considerations that have got to be taken into account. [Interruption.] One, I do not necessarily have to read. When it comes to that I know how to do it.
Madam Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Member, it is not your maiden speech, so do not read.
Mr. Baffour 11:20 a.m.
Madam Speaker, all
right. [Laughter.] I do not have to read. I said though I commend the Chief Executive for Accra for his initiative in trying to decongest and improve upon sanitation in Accra, there are certain considerations that we have to take into account. One is that the two weeks given for public awareness is not enough. We need to give them more time because the traders and hawkers and those who are going to be affected by this exercise should be given the opportunity to arrange their affairs so that they do not suffer. On that one, I will concede to Hon I. K. Asiamah for what he said. We are social democrats and we have to look after our people.
Secondly, the amount stated -- this one I will have to refer -- is over ¢289,000 to be used for the exercise. I think we have to look at it a little because it is too high and we have to look at it and itemize it so that we can avoid budgetary attrition.
Thirdly, I would like to state that the security agencies and the ancillary services that have offered to provide help

and support to this exercise should be well briefed and trained so that they can effectively support the exercise.

Before I sit down, I would like to also remind Hon Members that we have missed an opportunity to help one of the great public institutions in this country the School of Hygiene. The School of Hygiene, which was founded in 1925, has been at the forefront of the battle of this nation to improve sanitation and the public health of her people.

So I am saying that this organization, at the moment, does not have any laboratories, it does not have computers, it does not have vehicles, it does not have staff housing and most of the housing for the students are very, very dilapidated. So we have to look at it and I am putting that before Hon Members to consider at a later stage so that we can help in making the institutions that are going to push forward this battle for us to improve the sanitation and bring environmental sanity to this country to the fore.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Hon
Ms. Grace Addo (NPP - Amansie West) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity given me. I am also making a contribution to the Statement made by the Hon Member about sanitation in our urban centres.
I am also talking about sanitation in our rural areas because I am coming from a rural sector where mining laws have not been very favourable and have been creating problems for my constituents.
Madam Speaker, wha t i s the Government also doing about this problem whereby our water bodies have been polluted? In fact, the pitches that the
Ms. Grace Addo (NPP - Amansie West) 11:30 a.m.

Please, if the Hon Member is talking

about decongesting our urban cities, I am also talking about that of the rural sector. They also face problems more especially on sanitation. In the President's cause to ensure a balance between the regional as well as district levels, and also as he made a very humble statement during his inaugural speech, that he is going to be a father of all, it means he is thinking about the nation, so he should also realize that there are so many places in the rural areas where they also face problems.

As a caution to the sector Minister, please, Madam Speaker, I am contributing to this because so many people in the rural areas have been suffering from dangerous and deadly diseases such as buruli ulcer and malaria which have been killing us over a long time. So if we talk about decongestion and sanitation, it is not only in the urban centres but they should also have a look at the rural areas where our people are suffering. Most often it is the rural people who do not sweep and do other things to survive in the urban centres. So they should consider my people over there.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I support the Statement on the floor.

Mrs. Elizabeth Amoah-Tetteh

(NDC-- Twifu-Atti Morkwaa): Madam

Speaker, I just want to add a little to what other Hon Members have said.

It is true; we are all aware of the fact that our immediate past Vice President talked about discipline. I think that if we are all disciplined, sanitation problems will not be there. At home, the Bible says, teach the child the way he should go and when he grows up, he is not going to depart from it. I believe strongly in that. Parents at home, how do we teach our children to get rid of rubbish we create?

If it goes on like that we will not have any problem and be using all this time to talk about how to get our environment the way we want it. I believe that no amount of talking -- Let us start to discipline ourselves at home, in school and wherever we go. With discipline at our finger tips, I think we will not have any problem with sanitation.
Madam Speaker 11:30 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Member. Hon Members, I have another Statement to be read and we have altogether one hour for Statements. So can I move on to the next Statement which stands in the name of Hon Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi, Member of Parliament for Techiman North?
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi 11:30 a.m.
Madam Speaker, reactions to the first Statement appeared to be bordering on -- [Inter- ruption.]
Madam Speaker 11:30 a.m.
No, you are to read your Statement. I have closed the first Statement; I am moving to your own Statement.
World Environmental Day
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi (NPP -- Techiman North) 11:40 a.m.
Madam Speaker, tomorrow, the 5th of June is the World Environment Day, a day which was established by the General Assembly of
the United Nations in 1972. To refresh our memories, this day marks the opening of the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment. It is a worldwide event which draws our attention to problems facing the environment and indeed, calls on all of us to come up with policies that will help us deal with the problems that are facing us.
Madam Speaker, the theme for the year 2009 is “Your plant needs you -- Unite to Combat Climate Change”.
Madam Speaker, to talk about climate change, I will first want to talk about the situation which is with our forest in this country. Madam Speaker, about a century ago, Ghana, the Gold Coast boasted of forest cover of some 8.2 million hectares. Today, this has dwindled all the way to 1.6 million hectares, a decrease of some 80 per cent.
Madam Speaker, as we all know, logging and farming have contributed immensely to the depletion of our forest and if we are not careful by the next century, Ghana will be a member of the Sahelean group of countries.
Madam Speaker, talking about forest cover, the teak plantations that emerged during the brief Prof. Busia's era is also disappearing.
I think they are disappearing without
replacement, a practice which we have indulged ourselves in as we look at logging and if we do not come up with pragmatic programmes and policies and we continue to encourage logging, chainsaw operators, Madam Speaker, this country is going to be a Sahelean country.
Madam Speaker, s t i l l on the environment day, I would want to touch on a topic that we have engaged ourselves
in, in the past few minutes, that is, human waste. Accra generates about 75,000 tonnes per 30 day-month and with all the efforts put together we still have a deficit of some 6,000 to 15,000 tonnes of rubbish per month. Kumasi generates about 45,000 tonnes and succeeds in getting rid of or collecting just about 25,000, again, leaving a huge deficit. Sekondi-Takoradi generates about 16,500 tonnes and succeeds in collecting 11,000 to 12,000.
Madam Speaker, I am not talking about collection, not disposal and I will urge Government to come up with policies that will encourage entrepreneurs to set up industrial facilities that can convert the rubbish into something sensible. We can even generate energy from the rubbish that we generate.
Madam Speaker, still on another source of pollution to our environment, let us talk about vehicular population. In 2004 the number of registered motor vehicles stood at 59,548. By the end of 2008, this number had risen to 101,498, almost twice. Madam Speaker, many of us are aware of what comes out of the emissions of motor vehicles.
Some of these gases are contributing immensely to the depletion of the ozone layer. Again, since we cannot drastically reduce the population of vehicles, I will suggest strongly that we either enforce the laws on emissions, or if such legislations are not available, we should put some in place. Again, otherwise, in a few years to come our ozone layer is going to get further depleted leading to the climatic change that we have been talking about.

M a d a m S p e a k e r , c l e a r l y , environmental issues are multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary in nature and must therefore be mainstreamed into all our
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi (NPP -- Techiman North) 11:50 a.m.

developmental agenda. There is an urgent need to build adequate capacity across the natural resources, management related enforcement agencies and in particular the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Madam Speaker, recently, EPA put out an advertisement asking the public to cooperate with it as they assess the levels of hydro fluorocarbons in the system. Madam Speaker, these are chemicals that further cause the depletion of the ozone layer. They come in the forms of foams, they come in the forms of chemicals that are in our refrigerators, air-conditioners and so on.

And I would plead with the public to cooperate with the Agency because by the year 2030, we should have brought it drastically down and by the year 2015 to 2020, we should not be talking about this compound at all. This requires, again, legislations on what we bring in, in terms of vehicles, in terms of refrigerators, in terms of computers and so on. Apart from the waste management issues, some of the goods that we are aware of, the second hand goods do contribute to health hazards. We are talking here of electronic items that are very difficult to dispose of and the fact that these are also taking up spaces in our environment.

Madam Speaker, plastic waste deserves a special mention. Recently, a colleague professor recommended stoppage to the use of sachet in the sale of mineral water; that is the desperation mood and I do agree. But it is being done because till date, we have no means of checking the levels of these sachets in our streets, in the water ways and in the environment in general. We all know that these sachets are not bio-degradable and hence they tend to stay in places forever and ever; and they are causing considerable damage to our


Madam Speaker, we either have to enforce the legislations that are available or we have to come out with new regulations on how we keep water in containers for sale to the public.

Madam Speaker, when we are talking about the environment, all hands would have to be on deck, partisan interests would have to be put aside because the environment we have today is always subject to changes. It is going to change by the day and it is the rate at which these changes come about which will determine whether or not we are going to have long life.

Madam Speaker, tomorrow is the World Environment Day and I entreat my Hon Colleagues to join in the crusade to try and maintain this environment at least, the way we are meeting it today for years to come.

On this, Madam Speaker, I hope we all observe World Environment Day tomorrow.

Mr. Clement Kofi Humado (NDC

-- Anlo): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by the Hon Member for Techiman North (Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi) on the celebration of the World Environment Day.

Madam Speaker, indeed, the theme of the World Environment Day for 2009 is “Your plant needs you, Unite to Combat Climate Change.” Indeed, on an occasion like this, I believe that it will not be out of place to emphasize the linkage between plants or vegetative cover and climate change and to show how these two affect the very existence of life on earth.

It appears to me that this linkage is

not getting home to most of us in Ghana and elsewhere and that is why we do not seem to take the issues of climate change very seriously.

Madam Speaker, God in His infinite wisdom and His creation of the world created both the plants and the animal kingdom. The animal kingdom of which humans are part need oxygen for life processes and in the process they turn out carbon dioxide.

Over concentration of this carbon

dioxide as a result of animal life processes can create a problem in the stability of the world. Fortunately, the plant kingdom uses the excess carbon dioxide that is produced by the animal kingdom, turns it round through photosynthesis and produces the very oxygen that the animal kingdom requires to survive. And that is the linkage, that is the interdependency and anything that goes to disturb that interdependency or equilibrium threatens the existence of life on earth. And that is why it is said that, when the last tree dies, the last man does. That is the import of the theme for the World Environment Day Celebration for 2009.

Madam Speaker, to go beyond that,

the over concentration of the production of carbon dioxide is linked to climate change in this way. The over concentration creates a blanket in the atmosphere which prevents the heat from earth to leak into the atmosphere, and as a result, it creates increase in temperature.

That is what we call the global warming. Global warming has various disastrous effects on life, on earth and that is the linkage. Therefore, we need to take the theme of this World Environment Day celebration very seriously because it is something that threatens the very

existence of life on this earth.

Now, at the global level, Madam Speaker, this climate change is resulting in various problems. It either creates floods in certain areas of the world or it creates extreme drought in certain areas of the world. Two years ago, we heard about the floods in East Asia where we have the rice basket of the world. And because of this flood, particularly in Myanmar near Vietnam, the rice stock of the world reduced and it is simply because world prices of rice soared up and that is why we, in Ghana are also suffering from part of those increases in prices of rice.

A year ago in Australia, there was extreme drought, and Australia is the wheat basket of the world and because of that extreme drought, stocks of wheat in the world declined and prices went up. That is why flour for our bread and all the confectionery, their prices have gone up. So these are issues that we must not toy with.

Coming back home in Ghana, there

are various effects of climate change that we see around but sometimes we do not draw the linkage.

In Ghana, we have uncontrolled removal of vegetative cover through bush burning, through cutting of trees for firewood and charcoal and other activities. In my constituency, for example, there are obvious signs of climatic change and global warming. Our coast lines are subject to high tidal waves which are destroying the coast line. Even two weeks ago, I had to rush there to see what can be done.

Some communities that live along the lagoon and river bodies -- the water level is rising. And some of the communities
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, wind up.
Mr. Humado 11:50 a.m.
We need to factor in our youth programmes that we should have
Green Clubs.
Also, we need to encourage our planners in our towns and cities to make space available for green parks, space available for trees along our roads and all that.
These are the only ways in which we can be sure of implementing all the protocols that we sign at the international level.
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, wind up, please.
Mr. Humado 11:50 a.m.
Yes, I am winding up.
Madam Speaker, I support the Statement made by my Hon Colleague and wish to stress that the import of this Statement lies at the very heart of our existence on earth.
Madam Speaker, with these comments, I support the Statement.
Thank you.
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Thank you, Hon Member.
Mr. D. B. A. Nitiwul (NPP - Bimbilla) 11:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you for finally catching -- [Pause.]
Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to congratulate the Hon Member who made the Statement, Hon Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, on the World Environment Day which falls on 5th June, 2009.
Madam Speaker, in contributing, I want to be very brief, so I will take one aspect of what he said and that is the filth that has engulfed this country. I will finally narrow myself to just a few areas and in that vein I will link it to the Hon Member who made
the first Statement and to congratulate him as well as a young man.
Madam Speaker, when we talk of filth, it is a big indictment on us as a country that we find ourselves engulfed by so much filth. Whether it is human filth, like human waste, whether it is filth that has been created by nature or whether it is congestion that we want to decongest, it is something that we as a country should not be proud of.
Madam Speaker, I usually use the La Accra road, that is, the coast road that runs from the Labadi Beach Hotel to Teshie. And Madam Speaker, from three o'clock to around five o'clock, as one moves from the Labadi Beach Hotel to the Firing Squad or Training Squad junction area, one can count not less than five hundred young men and women selling on the road. Madam Speaker, if we are to send these kids home on reason of decongestion -- some of them came from Kofikrom in the Ashanti Region and from Bimbilla in the Northern Region. If we are sending them home without any plan, what do we expect them to live on?
Madam Speaker, go to Ashaiman. Yesterday, I watched a television documentary and the traffic light on the Ashaiman road, towards Sena Radio, one can count not less than one thousand young men and women selling on the streets. We have not got a plan and we will be giving these young men a deadline of 15th June to go home. What do they expect them to eat?
Madam Speaker, whatever we want to do, we must be very careful.
Madam Speaker, I see this as a result of the policies that politicians make. This Government came to power on the back that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was not
humane enough and so were driving young men and women off the streets of Accra and Kumasi. But today, just six months into office, what do we see?
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Make your comments on the Statement. [Laughter.]
Mr. Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, thank you very much.
Madam Speaker, but that is the same thing that I am saying. Filth is created by human beings. So my point is directly linked to his Statement that if we have to have a healthy environment then we must control the human beings. But in controlling the human beings, Madam Speaker, we have to be very careful. And that is what I am saying that if we have to do decongestion, we need to be extra careful and do not give deadlines because that does not help us.
Madam Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Hon Member, we are not talking about government, government. Speak on the Statement. It is about environment. Please, do not generate debate -- [Uproar.] Wind up, now.
Mr. Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am clearly speaking to the point that the environment needs to be cleansed. And if this environment needs to be cleansed, we must control the human beings. And if we have to control the human beings, then we are talking about decongestion. And if we are talking of decongestion, we must be
Mr. Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.

very careful the way we are going about it. We must be humane.

That is what I am saying because it is clearly linked to the World Environment Day. That, yes, as we celebrate the World Environment Day, we must take steps that will help the Ghanaian. We must take steps that will not impoverish the Ghanaian. We must take steps to fulfil the promises that we made to the people of Ghana that we will be humane.
Madam Speaker noon
Thank you.
Who has not spoken today? Mr. I. A. B. Fuseini (NDC -- Tamale
Central): Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon Member for Techiman North (Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi) for making a Statement as important as the relevance of trees to human life.
Madam Speaker, it is also very important to state that, the Hon Member for Anlo (Mr. Clement Kofi Humado), has eloquently stated the symbiosis between plant life and human life.
Madam Speaker, since attending conferences elsewhere outside this country, the issue of climate change has been more relevant to me than before.
Madam Speaker, we have been told that Lake Bosomtwe might suffer from climate change by drying up. Lake Bosomtwe provides fresh, potable water for a great number of people in the Ashanti Region.
Madam Speaker, we have also been told that the desert is creeping into the Northern Region. Before long, the double
maximum rain pattern that used to have its line right in the Northern Region, around Salaga, has shifted southwards and now lying somewhere in the Brong Ahafo Region around Techiman or beyond.

Madam Speaker, this clearly shows that climatic change and the negative activities that we human beings employ on earth have a direct impact on what we do on earth.

Madam Speaker, it is precisely because of this that I am urging all Members of this House, that there is something that we can all do, that all of us stand to lose if we do not check the way we dissipate our forests.

Indeed, by the bye-laws of this country, an area has been designated a green belt zone around Accra. Madam Speaker, if you go there now people are building with impunity, regardless of whether that area has been declared a green belt zone or not.

Madam Speaker, in fact, we have been told that because of the excess of carbon dioxide on the planet the earth is becoming warm; that the ice caps in the Northern Hemisphere are melting, and because of that the seas are rising and causing untold hardships on people.

Madam Speaker, all of us are invited to take interest in this. We can, in our various constituencies, encourage the planting of trees. It will not take that much to encourage our youth; leading by example, to plant trees in our consti-tuencies along the roads, in areas that are being affected by erosion and when we do that maybe, the significance, we will not see it immediately, but that will be contributing to the restoration or minimum restoration of acceptable environmental climate that could inure to our collective benefit.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to add my voice to this

important Statement.
Ms. Shirley A. Botchway (NPP -- Weija) noon
Madam Speaker, I wish to congratulate the maker of the Statement for this very important Statement he has made on climate change.
Madam Speaker, the talk about issues dealing with climate change has been seen - we have seen summits after summits, we have heard heads of State committing themselves to issues to reduce the negative effects of climate change that we see all around us. The G8 Summit, the AU Summit, the ECOWAS Summit, but I believe Madam Speaker, it is time to move from just talk to action. This is very important because the negative effects are all around us.
It is extremely important Madam Speaker, for us to mainstream climate change issues into our development policies, especially those to do with research planning and also our budgetary process when it comes to the energy sector. This is very important. Madam Speaker, this is because climate change has a direct effect on our not being able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Madam Speaker, the first MDG talks about the eradication of poverty and hunger. Right now, we can see all around us what the droughts are doing, what desertification is doing, the effects of these bushfires on our people; the vulnerable. Madam Speaker, in most cases, the vulnerable are the women and the children, they are the people who are affected most and I believe that if we do not do something in addressing these climate change issues, very soon this world would be under stress, the people of this world would be under stress.
It will also have a direct linkage to the MDG (3) that talks about, of course, gender equality and empowering women; I have just talked about it. And also the seventh one which talks about ensuring sustainability of the environment. So these are issues that affect us directly and will affect our development if we do not take care to address them.
Madam Speaker, according to the Inter-
governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by 2100 coastal communities would be submerged in water because of the high tides and I can just imagine that we will not even have a Parliament of Ghana here because we might have -- people who would be living by then will have to relocate elsewhere and these are facts, we can see them all over us.
Madam Speaker, Africa or developing countries have not contributed to this whole thing and yet we are the people who are affected most and I believe it is time for industrialized countries to stop just talking about it and do something about it. They are doing little things to ensure that in their own small way, they pay lip-service to the issues of climate change.
These days, you will find that they are coming up with hybrid cars and the likes and ensuring that they have energy efficient appliances, electronic appliances and the like. But I think more needs to be done. We need to look at how they can help those countries that are affected. A lot of commitment by way of talk has been said on how they are going to help Africa and the developing world to combat climate change; yet not much has been done in terms of real commitment in funds.
I believe that we should not be made to suffer for what we have not contributed to. I believe that they need also to look at ways in transferring technology, looking at ways in which we can also be efficient
Ms. Shirley A. Botchway (NPP -- Weija) 12:10 p.m.

in terms of our practices.

Madam Speaker, one area that I believe is quite controversial, is in the area of nuclear energy. We see it all over that any country that tries to come up with a nuclear energy plan, the first thing is for the big powers to suspect you. But I think that nuclear energy is renewable and we really need to look at it and though it is expensive, just like the other renewable energy sources are expensive, you have solar and wind power and all the others; but I think it is about time that we also looked at it.

I know the Atomic Energy Commission has started something, but I believe that we have not ratified some protocol that we need to do in order for us to be able to explore those options. But we can also explore other options such as the use of bio fuels and other options that are available and maybe, solar. Unfortunately, I am told that the initial capital is very high and that is what deters most governments from using it. But looking at the effects of climate change on the Akosombo Dam, because the rain patterns are not as they used to be and therefore, reliance on hydro becomes a problem.

I think it is about time that we started looking at ways in which we can have alternative sources of energy so that we can develop as we should.

Madam Speaker, a lot has been said here this morning. One thing that really bothers me is the fact that, in all cases, when we are talking, even at the level, heads of State, at the level of Parliament, we use big words as carbon emissions, CO2 greenhouse effects, and all these things.

Madam Speaker, these are issues that affect the poor especially and we need in our public education, to simplify the language that we use to make it so simple and break it down to the point where the ordinary person will actually see and understand what climate change is and how it negatively affects his or her life. How cutting down trees to make firewood does affect his or her life adversely. I think it is extremely important that we stop talking above people's heads, simplify it to the point where we all are aware of its effects and do something about it.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for the opportunity. I support the Statement.
Mr. Mathias K. Ntow (NDC - Aowin) 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor. Let me first thank my Hon Colleague for the Statement that he has made this morning concerning the environment.
In fact, as it has been rightly put or said, environment is no respecter of persons. It does not know barriers. Ghana as a country has attended and appended her signature to a lot of these conventions on environment and so on and so forth. But the question is, what practical and pragmatic steps has this country taken to ensure that the environment is well protected?
Madam Speaker, I wish Hon Members of this House will accompany me over the weekend to my constituency, at a place called Akwei Allah where we have the biggest forest reserve, to experience how this forest is being depleted day in day out. Farmers do have no respect for this forest reserve; they encroach into it and yet when it is reported no steps are taken to ensure that our forest is protected. Madam Speaker, all of us are affected.
When the Hon Member was speaking she said it is the poor that is affected. Not only the poor, even the rich. One day we shall be driving our flashy cars and there will not be any good oxygen for us to breath and that will be the end of all of us.
So this morning, Madam Speaker, to add my voice to this again, I want to say that, this year, education must start right from Parliament here to the grassroots and every citizen of this country must contribute, do something to ensure that our environment is well protected so that we do not be the end users.
Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity.
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Thank you Hon Member. One more from this side. I want new faces. [Laughter.]
Mr. Justice Joe Appiah (NPP -- Ablekuma North) 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity. Madam Speaker, I would be most grateful if I can refer to my notes while am contributing. [Laughter.]
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
You have only a few minutes.
Mr. Appiah 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, in the mid-1990s, a biologist named Rachel Carson was afraid that some day there might be no birds. Why? Because farmers were using DDT to spray their fields, killing insects. Rachel Carson feared that DDT would also get into people's food that they eat. Madam Speaker, this pollution will also cause harm to people's health.
Madam Speaker, pollution can kill, it can also irritate people's lungs. Air pollution also comes from cars and other vehicles that burn gasoline. Big ships
Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
I think we have to move on. Statements time is ended. We have already spent one hour on Statements time.
Now we move to the Commencement of Public Business.
PAPERS 12:10 p.m.

Madam Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Hon Deputy Leader
-- 12:10 p.m.

Mr. J. T. Akologu 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, as can be seen, we have come to the end of Public Business with the exception of committee sittings and by our own decision here committees will sit only when the House has adjourned. I, therefore, move, that this House do now adjourn till tomorrow at ten o'clock in the forenoon to enable the committees go into meeting immediately.
Madam Speaker, I beg to move.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
Madam Speaker, I rise to second the motion but to just add that there are committee sittings as the Deputy Majority Leader has indicated. There are eight committees programmed to sit after adjournment. Often times we see perusing of the Votes and Proceedings that not too many Hon Members attend the committee sittings. So I will plead with Hon Members to attend these programme meetings of the
eight committees programmed for this afternoon.
Madam Speaker, I second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 12:10 p.m.