Debates of 7 Mar 2013

PRAYERS 10:40 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings and the Official Report, item 2 on the Order Paper.
We start with the Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 5th March,
Page 1 . . . 9
Dr Anthony A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, if you would indulge me to go back to page 7.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Item number 4, “The following Hon Members were absent.” I am sure you would recall that Hon Shirley A. Botchwey raised an issue on that day?
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
She has been marked as absent.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Which number?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Page 8, under 4 --
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
No! She was present.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
You are right. Table Office to take note.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
The Minority Chief Whip, Hon Dan Botwe was also cons- picuously sitting on the front bench, but he has also been marked absent.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Was Hon Dan Botwe there?
Dr A. A. Osei 10:40 a.m.
Yes. Conspicuously holding series of things that he never displayed -- [Laughter.] I am sure the Hon Majority Leader would attest to seeing Hon Dan Botwe here on that -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well. Table Office to take note.
Thank you very much, Hon Member for Old Tafo.
Dr Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor 10:40 a.m.
With the exception of what the Hon Majority Leader is deemed to know -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Page 8, 9 . . . 14. [Pause]
Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 5th March, 2013 as corrected are adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, we have the Official Report of Thursday, 28th February, 2013 for correction.
Hon Member for Ketu North?
Mr James K. Avedzi 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I have some corrections at column 1113, the last but one paragraph, line 3, delete “with” and insert “into”-- “the economy to the time we enter into middle-income status”. So, instead of “with” it should be “into”.
Then column 1114, second paragraph, line 2, it should be “macroeconomic” not “micro economic. “
Then again, the last but one paragraph, the same column, the second line, between “and” and “the” insert “when”. So the sentence would read, the formula
Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh 10:40 a.m.
Column 1130, last but one paragraph --
“Mr Speaker, I will end by humbly appealing to His Excellency that allocating resources for cocoa roads…”
Between “for” and “roads”, there should be “cocoa”.
Mr Alexander K.Afenyo-Markin 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect, I am sorry to take you back but on column 1084, the last but one paragraph, there is no “who” in the statement I made. I was on a point of order -- “If he says that some people make sacrifices with selfish motives…” There is a “who” before “made”.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
What is your name?
MrAfenyo-Markin 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, my name is Alex Afenyo-Markin, Member for Effutu.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
You have changed this morning; you look different this morning -- [Laughter.]I learnt it is “Better Ghana” -- that is what the Hon Member for Ketu North is saying. I am not the one saying so. Very well. Because I thought you introduced yourself to me -- so when you got up, I thought I knew you but when I could not recognise you, I made the comment. Very well.
Mr Franklin Fifi Kwetey 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, column 1134, paragraph (3) the name is Fifi and not Fiifi.
Thank you,Mr Speaker.
Mr Wahab Wumbei Suhuyini 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, column 1148, the second but last paragraph, “Mr Ignatius Baffuor-Awuah: I beg to…” the “to” are two; one should be removed. I beg to second the Motion.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
You are right. Thank you.
Mr Foster Joseph Andoh 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, column 1140, first paragraph, “Hemang Lower Denkyira”. There is no slash between Lower and the Denkyira.
Dr Kwabena Twum-Nuamah 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, column 1097, paragraph 5, line 8, the word “most” there should be changed to “some” -- “most of our ladies . . .” -- It should be “some of our ladies. . . ”
Dr Twum-Nuamah 10:40 a.m.
Then column 1098, second paragraph, third line, there is “we”; it should be cancelled. It should be “last week” and not “last we”.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Ms Ursula G. Owusu 10:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, column 1102, the third paragraph, line 7, it should read “who ought not to be”.The sentence is “so many people are suffering from these eye diseases who ought not to be”; it says “which” there. The next paragraph, the third line -- “These eye diseases wi thout knowing that merely--” not “nearly”, and so “nearly” and “by” should be deleted -- “Merely having access to medical interventions could not prevent these diseases”.
Thank you,Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Any other correction? [Pause.]
Hon Members, the Official Report of Thursday, 28 th February, 2013, as corrected, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Mr Frederick Opare-Ansah 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, let me just congratulate you and the new austerity measures you have put in. I noticed the size of the Votes and Proceedings has shrunk. Is it part of your --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member, you are out of order. [Laughter.]
Maj. Derek Y. Oduro (retd.): Mr Speaker, I also would want to congratulate the Table Office on choosing one colour for the Votes and Proceedings this time.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member for Nkoranza North, you know perfectly well that you are out of order?
Hon Members, I have admitted two Statements today but I would want to take the Motion before we take them.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, before you go to the commencement of public business, I am taking your mind back to the issue you raised the last time about the Petroleum Funds. We have just received a copy of the report --
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
I noticed that somebody reacted to an earlier issue I raised last year and obviously, you were right. So, I would want the records to reflect what is coming to us and when we come to debate it, we would raise the issues that had been raised earlier.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
I would prefer that-- You know, we are fashioning our process; this is a new development? You know very well that when you were at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, you did not have this type of situation where you had to present something with the Budget? So, it is important that Leadership fashions out how we handle this type of situation.
This is because if you look at the language of the Act and based on the concerns that were raised and we decided to decouple the Report from the Budget Statement properly so called-- how we would do it and how we would take it. We may have to fashion a way acceptable to the House how to proceed. This is
because the document is now available and I have been advised that we should send it to the Finance Committee. Are you going to wait for the Finance Committee to bring a report for us to debate or you will make reference to it before the Finance Committee brings a report before you debate it?
These are some of the grey areas that I would like the Leadership to let us meet and see how we can fashion -- This is one of the areas where we are masters of our own procedure -- so that we would fashion out something that will be acceptable to the House as a House.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I was actually commending you for addressing the problem which was raised in last year's Budget --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
I just wanted to thank you.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Thank you very much.
Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, we have been looking at this issue of the novelty that you have drawn attention to. There is one that is dealing with funds which properly should be handled solely by the Finance Committee. But we also do see embedded in it, some policy implications for the future and our Committee on Energy might also be of help. But we have not finalised how we would structure this particular new innovation. I guess we would do that in consultation with the two Hon Ranking Members and Chairmen of the various committees.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Thank you very much Hon Members.
We move to item number four (4).
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
I think last week, the Hon Majority Leader advised us that sometime this week, we would be going into joint caucus but I noticed he has been very silent thus far. If there are no new developments, he could, maybe, advise this House, so that we anticipate when that caucus might sit. I understand the Speaker has some information but since I am not close to his bosom, I do not know how to extract that information.
Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess the Hon Member is pre-empting the Business Statement of tomorrow. He must have heard one or two things; it is some high level consultation with the various Caucus Leaders. It is taking place to actually indicate the context, issues and specific time for that meeting. It is also not very clear whether it would be a close sitting, a joint caucus, or one which will be a Committee of the Whole.
If we are going to have a joint caucus, it may not properly find its way into the Business Statement but if we decide that it would be a Closed Sitting or Committee of the Whole; that would be done, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Very well. Item 4.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointment's Committee?
Yes, Hon Member for Suhum?
Mr Opare-Ansah 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Motion contained in item number four is a procedural Motion but this Paper or Report was laid over 48 hours ago. So, I am really wondering about the relevance of this Motion.
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Member for Suhum, you are absolutely correct. I think that this Paper was laid -- Clerks-at-the-Table, when was it -- [Pause.]
Dr A. A. Osei 10:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, 48 hours have not elapsed. Yesterday, we did not Sit, so I do not know how the Hon Members on the other side of the House are counting the 48 hours. It was laid about 11.30 a.m. on Tuesday. So, if he says that 48 hours is today -- It is not 11.30 a.m. yet. So, I do not know why --
Mr Speaker 10:50 a.m.
The Paper was laid on Tuesday and technically, it is 48 hours; that is the advice. So the question -- [Pause.] Hon Members, the Table Office is right. You can refer to Standing Order 80 (1), it does not include holidays. So they are right to put it there.
Dr Kunbuor 10:50 a.m.
For the guidance of this House, I am surprised that the Hon Member has raised this significant issue. I thought this was one of the “forbidden fruits” that he had also undertaken not to eat and so, the sudden interest in this particular Report is exceptional, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member, he said that it is a procedural issue except that the procedural issue touches on the “forbidden fruit.” [Laughter.] That is on the lighter side.
Mr First Deputy Speaker?
Suspension of Standing Order 80(1)
Mr Ebo Barton-Odro 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no Motion shall be debate until at least, forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the Motion is given and the date on which the Motion is moved, the Motion for the adoption of the Seventh Report of the Appointments Committee on H.E the President's nominations for Ministerial Appointments may be moved today.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
MOTIONS 11 a.m.

Chairman of the Committee (Mr Ebo Barton-Odro) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Seventh Report of the Appointments Committee on His Excellency the President's nomination for Ministerial Appointments.
1.0 Introduction
In accordance with article 256 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, His Excellency the President, John Dramani Mahama communicated to Parliament for prior approval, the nomination of the following persons for appointment as Regional
1. Mr Julius Debrah -- Minister- designate for the Eastern Region.
2. Dr Avea Ephraim Nsoh -- Minister-designate for the Upper East Region.
3. Hon Helen Adjoa Ntoso -- Minister-designate for the Volta Region.
Pursuant to Order 172 of the Standing Orders of the House, Mr Speaker referred the nominations to the Appointments Committee on Tuesday, 12 of February, 2013 and Tuesday, 19th of February, 2013 respectively for consideration and report.
The names of the persons nominated were subsequently published in the media in accordance with Order 172 (3) of the Standing Orders of the House and memoranda were invited from the public on the nominees.
2.0 Reference Documents
The following served as reference documents to the Committee during its deliberations and public hearing of the nominees:
i. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
ii. The Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.
iii. The Curricula Vitae of the nominees.
3.0 Procedure
On appearing before the Committee, the nominees subscribed to the Oath of a Witness and answered questions relating to their records of office, the positions to which they have been nominated and issues of general national concern.

REGION 11 a.m.




Mr Alfred K. Agbesi(NDC -- Ashiaman) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion and to urge other Hon Members to support the Report of the Appointments Committee and also give approval to the Ministerial nominees mentioned in the Report.
Question proposed
Dr (Mrs) Bernice Adiku Heloo (NDC -- Hohoe) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion, that this Honourable House adopts the Seventh Report of the Appointments Committee.
I would want to thank the President for ensuring that a woman is nominated to be part of the Regional Ministers.
On that note, I would like to talk about the Hon Minister- designate for theVolta Region. Hon Helen Adwoa Ntoso has a lot of experience in conflict management and we know that the Volta Region has also had its fair share of conflicts.
I am very confident, after reading all that she said during the vetting, that she would perform credibly in that regard.
I would also want to say that the issue of job creation which has plagued most of the youth would be something that she would tackle, reading from the responses that she gave during the vetting.
I would therefore, call on this Honourable House to adopt the President's choice as well as the Vetting Committee's Report.
Thank you very much.
Mr Magnus Kofi Amoatey (NDC -- Yilo Krobo) 11 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion moved by the Chairman of the Appointments Committee.
It is very significant to note that all the three nominees we are considering at this time seriously pledged to the Committee that they are going to be engaged in programmes and activities that will create jobs for the people of their respective regions, using available resources.
Mr John Majisi (NDC -- Krachi Nchumuru) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I wish to associate myself with the Motion for the adoption of the Seventh Report of the Appointments Committee.
Mr Speaker, the Report specifically focused on the appointment of three Regional Ministers but my contribution is going to focus on the appointment of Hon Helen Adjoa Ntoso.
It is obvious from the scenes of the vetting and the profiles of Hon Ntoso that she is highly qualified to man the Volta Region as Regional Minister.
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank you for this occasion since the right choice has been made for the people of the Volta Region. The Volta Region, like any other region, has peculiar conflicts and to be specific, chieftaincy disputes. Hon Ntoso's attitude to deal with the various conflicts in the Volta Region is something that is very remarkable. She mentioned that she was going to work with stakeholders who would help her solve the problems.
In order for the stakeholders to make their own decisions, I think it is very important that she continues to work with stakeholders who are involved in conflicts. Mr Speaker, the fact that the Hon Ntoso is going to heed promptly to early warning signs of conflicts, which of course, sound like an experience she acquired from disaster management in addressing conflicts, is something we need to commend.
To conclude, I am happy to remind the Minister-designate that there are three geo-political divisions in the Volta Region, namely, the north, the south and the central. These three regions have existed very well in cohesion. She needs to work hard to maintain the feeling of togetherness, which is an enviable asset in the Volta Region.
My Friend and Sister, Hon Helen Ntoso needs 99 per cent votes for the NDC in 2016 -- [Hear! Hear!] -- And she needs to learn from the experience of Hon Kamel who has passed on.
Mr Speaker, now, to the people of the Volta Region, Hon Helen Ntoso needs their unblemished support. The Nchumurus have a proverb which says Kiyi konko ma wa kopo, which means one tree cannot make a forest. It means that we the people of the Volta Region need to support Hon Helen Ntoso and I am counting so much on the Volta Caucus.
Our support is highly needed and I am sure with our support, she would be able to succeed. I believe that she is prepared to work with all to ensure the “Better Ghana Agenda” and as I have said, the support of the people is highly needed.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.
rose rose
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Hon Members, we would take two more and then I would -- Where is the Hon Member for Ho West? I saw - - [Pause] -- I would take Hon Abongo from Bongo and then the Leader.
Mr Emmanuel K. Bedzrah (NDC -- Ho West) 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, initially, I thought I caught your eye.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion that is before us and also urge Hon Colleagues to support the nominations of His Excellency the President for the various regional ministerial positions.
Mr Speaker, I would like to touch on two of the nominees-- the Hon Helen Adjoa Ntoso and Mr Julius Debrah.
Mr Speaker, Mr Julius Debrah, whom we all know to be the Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Development Company, has worked in the tourism industry for a very long time. He has
proved to know the terrain of tourism and I believe that his administrative capabilities and skills would be brought to bear in the Eastern Region to unearth the tourism potentials in the region. I am happy to say that he has decided to develop Koforidua as a conference destination where most people would have their conferences.
Indeed, most of us have been going to Koforidua for conferences and if he can make Koforidua one of the conference centres where people would have conferences, it would bring a lot of local economy to Koforidua and boost the promotion of tourism in that region.
Mr Speaker, our Sister and Hon Colleague, Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, whom we all know, has worked with the NADMO in conflict resolution areas and I believe that her going to the Volta Region would help her, being the first woman who would become the Minister in the Volta Region.
As my other two Colleagues have said, the Volta Region is divided into three geo- political areas, namely, the northern sector, the central sector and the southern sector. We all know that Volta Region has lots of conflicts and we pride ourselves that we are diversified in language but we are united in purpose.
The Volta Region has a lot of potentials. Recently, we heard that there has been exploration of oil in the region. We also know that we have cocoa, we have other minerals and a lot of potentials including tourism. I would want to urge my Sister that when she goes there she should work hard to make sure that all these projects -- the tourist projects, the minerals, especially the oil exploration that we heard is going on in the region would come to fruition, so that we can also pride ourselves in the fact that the Volta Region has oil.
Mr Albert Abongo (NDC -- Bongo) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to speak to the Motion for the approval of the Seventh Report of the Appointments Committee.
Mr Speaker, I would first of all like to recognise the good work that has been done by the Appointments Committee. I sat through one of their meetings and saw the great work that they have done in getting these appointees through. One can see that they ask very relevant questions and the appointees, did so well in responding to some of those questions and displayed their intelligence and experience that would be brought to bear if they assume their positions as Regional Ministers.
In the case of these three appointees, Mr Speaker, I think that they discharged themselves so well and this House should approve all of them as Regional Ministers respectively.
Mr Speaker, in the case of Mr Debrah, he talked about tackling illegal mining and I think that, that is an important area that this country is confronted with. Illegal mining is causing a lot of damage to our environment, it causes forest destruction and pollutes our water bodies. But then it
would be difficult for us to completely get these young men who are making a livelihood in these areas out of galamsey.
I think that if he sits in there as Regional Minister, he needs to see how he can collaborate with all these strong, energetic, able-bodied men, together with the relevant authorities -- the Minerals Commission, Forestry Commission, Water Resources Commission and all other agencies that are affected by their operations.
He should be able to sit down together with these people to see how the minerals can be extracted with minimal destruction to the environment. I think that he has a task to ensure that the environment is not destroyed as a result of illegal mining.
Mr Speaker, Dr Ephraim Nsoh, is my constituent and I know him very well. This is a hardworking personality, a professor in Ghanaian languages; he is somebody who is on the ground, he knows the communities very well; he has done a lot of research in these communities that he is going to superintend and I think that experience would be brought to bear on the discharge of his functions as an Hon Regional Minister.
He also talked about poverty alleviation and particularly took note of the fact that poverty could be reduced with funding mobilization strategy being put on the ground. That is very important to support the hands that are involved in these small businesses at the various communities, particularly women.
Women are into this “Bolga basket” business and I think that one of the handicaps that they have in ensuring that their business flourishes is the ability to come by funds. And so, his ideas, if brought to bear, will bring a lot of support to these poor women.
I must also say that the potential in the region is also in the area of irrigation. We have quite a number of dams that need to be rehabilitated and I think that as Regional Minister, he should focus on getting these dams rehabilitated, so that in the dry seasons, the youth will have some job opportunities to get themselves engaged in.
With these few words, Mr Speaker, I add my voice to this House for the approval of the Motion to appoint these three Hon Ministers.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader, the last contribution.
Minister for Government Business in Parliament/Majority Leader (Dr Benjamin Kunbuor) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to support this Motion for approval of the three nominees by His Excellency the President for Regional Ministerial appointment.
Mr Speaker, permit me to say that I have gone over the Committee's Report and I have had a closer look at the CVs of the three Hon Nominees and a number of very significant things strike me.
One, all of them are quite clear about the role of Regional Ministers in relatively deprived communities. All of them are certainly aware that the cutting edge agenda today for the NDC Government is putting people first; and the background of most of them has given them quite a lot of experience to be able to engage the task that is ahead of them.
Quite significantly on such occasions, it has become the norm to wish them well and to say very, very good things about the nominees. Mr Speaker, I think it is also significant that we amplify the possible challenges that the three Hon
Members could be faced with and how collectively together with the local communities they can address these issues.
Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
And I am not sure whether possibly, the Hon Deputy Minister that might be coming for the Upper East Region might be “an Akologu from Kologu” -- [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker, I say this because I have had a very, very long association --
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Member for Wa West --
Mr Chireh 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg, on a point of order.
There is no village called “Kologu”; so there cannot be “an Akologu from Kologu”.
Dr Kunbuor 11:20 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to draw the Hon Member's attention that the secondary school he attended -- Navrongo Secondary School (NAVASCO), the village directly behind it is called “Kologu” -- [Laughter] -- And I have had the privilege of working with that community.
But on a more serious note, I appre- ciate seriously Dr Nsoh's appreciation of what seems like a cultural diversity that accounts for the tensions that we see in the Upper East Region which has entered the category of so-called ethnic conflicts.
Mr Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon Members, that brings us to the conclusion of the debate. I will put the Question.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
Resolved accordingly.
Mr Speaker 11:30 a.m.
The Motion is adopted and accordingly, the House has approved the following nominees for appointment as Regional Ministers in accordance with article 256 (1) of the Constitution --
Mr Julius Debrah -- Eastern Region.
Dr Avea Ephraim Nsoh -- Upper East Region.
Hon Helen Adjoa Ntoso --Volta Region.
Hon Members, may I take this opportunity to congratulate all the nominees for receiving the approval of the Honourable House.
Hon Members, I have admitted two Statements; one standing in the name of the Hon Member for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, Mr Bright Edward Kodzo Demordzi and the other standing in the name of Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Hon Member for Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abrem.
STATEMENTS 11:32 a.m.

Mr Bright E. K. Demordzi (NDC -- Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro) 11:32 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to make a Statement on the perennial flooding in Ghana, particularly in our urban centres.
Mr Speaker, flooding has become a seasonal phenomenon in the country, particularly in our major cities of Accra and Kumasi. Attendant to these floods, is the loss of life and property and obstruction of commercial and social activities. The floods also wash away the

top soils of farmlands which tend to affect the yields of these farms and the livelihoods of our farmers. We are also aware of the destruction of school infrastructure by the floods and the pushing out of the schools, pupils who otherwise, should have been in school.

Mr Speaker, the flooding in the cities can be attr ibuted to poor drainage infrastructure, particularly inadequate storm drains and the silting of the few drains in the system. For instance, in my constituency, Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, apart from the drains from the Old Barrier to Aplaku town, there is no drainage system in the constituency. Communities like Amanfro, Galilea, Machigani, Top Town and American Farm are all flood prone areas, yet there are no drains in these communities.

The poor drainage system in our cities, Mr Speaker, is also the result of poor planning of our cities, building of residential and commercial properties without the appropriate building permits, including building on waterways and the inappropriate disposal of solid and liquid waste in the few available drains.

Mr Speaker, inappropriate farming practices such as farming along river banks and valleys, and galamsey activities are some of the causes of the flooding in small towns and villages. Sight is also not lost of the effects of climate change on the rainfall pattern such as torrential rains and the attendant floods.

Mr Speaker, as indicated early on, the effects of these floods can be disastrous. The Government is always called upon to assist victims of these floods by either resettling or providing relief aid to the victims. Government response to these calls often amounts to vying resources from one sector in aid of the victims as

these are often unplanned expenditures. The consequence of this is that, some planned programmes and activities of the Government are postponed. The long-run effect is that it retards our development.

Mr Speaker, the sad observation is that these floods are caused by our own actions and inactions -- We refuse to abide by the laws and regulations relating to climate change. We refuse to obey the bye-laws of the respective Assemblies in relation to the siting of buildings and waste disposal; we refuse to respect our environment; but we accept the use of our limited resources to mitigate the effects of our unpatriotic behaviour.

Mr Speaker, the time has come for the planning departments of our Assemblies to be proactive in their responsibilities. Our cities need to be properly planned and zoned. The Assemblies need to be brutally tough and strict in their building permit regime and on waste disposal and management. Additionally, the Assemblies and the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Roads and Highways need to step up their efforts in the construction of storm drains to be in tandem with the pace of development in our urban areas.

The two bodies should also abolish the concept of open drains in the urban centres and ensure that all drains constructed in these areas are covered.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I wish to call on the Ministry of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation, the En- vironmental Protection Authority, the Minerals Commission and the respective Assemblies to double their efforts in the regulation and monitoring of the activities of galamsey operations.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity.
Mr Albert Abongo (NDC -- Bongo) 11:32 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Member's Statement on flooding is timely. We are getting into the rainy season and flooding is staring in our eyes in all communities.
Mr Speaker, flooding occurs as a result of several factors. One of it is the issue of climate change. Climate change is now causing a lot of havoc. We have now higher precipitations occurring and it occurs at shorter intervals and that means that water would not be able to get cleared through the drains and sipping underground and so, the result of it is flooding.
Also, the challenge with that is, the communities are fast developing and where there are developments, you have little of the water going underground. A lot of that would have to get washed off the ground and that is also a huge problem on Government chest. This is because Government would have to provide the funds to build the roads, to build the drains and that is a serious challenge.
We are spreading out in the way we develop and already, one can see that even providing basic roads to communities that have been built is a serious challenge for Government. We should do it in a different way; rather than spread out, we should be building vertically because of the failure in our planning to do things that way, this becomes a serious problem for Government to be able to build roads where people have built houses.
Mr Speaker, also, the drains that we have in our cities have been turned into dustbins. All around, one can see that where we have drains, they are choked
with rubbish that should be collected into dustbins for the various Metropolitan/ Municipal/District Assemblies to collect them off to the relevant places for deposition. These would have to be put at the appropriate places for them to be collected for rightful disposal at suitable locations. But people conveniently dump these things in their gutters and when the rains fall, all the gutters get choked and cannot carry water. That also causes flooding.
Mr Speaker, these are very relevant issues that we should be looking at. Let us not turn our drains into dustbins that would assist in ensuring that we do not get flooded.
On this note, Mr Speaker, I think that the Hon Member's Statement is relevant.
Mr Kwabena O. Darko-Mensah (NPP -- Takoradi) 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Hon Member who made the Statement. There are a few issues I would like to raise in addition to what the Hon Member has already said.
Mr Speaker, the first one is that, we need to start looking at the way our Survey Department works because that is the basis of all the developments we have in this country. Most of the times, when you see the site plans, they do not include locations for drainage and therefore, in areas where they are expanding in development, one will find it difficult to even have private initiative in constructing drains to assist in the running water that usually sweeps our towns when these floods start coming in.
Secondly, most of the Assemblies delay in the release of the permit for builders and that is the major source of concern, such that by the time you realise, people

are building on waterways. And I do believe that, it is time we looked at the possibility of privatising our permitting system in this country such that the inspectors do not usually become policemen on the rampage in developing areas, but rather as facilitators, such that even builders will be able to have that confidence and leave their projects for them to supervise while other people are there doing the work.

Furthermore, one of the major issues as already been alluded to by Hon Abongo is that, people are using our gutters as dumping grounds. But what we also tend to see is that, even in areas where we are expecting contractors to pick up the rubbish, the Assembly fails in its duty to pay them. So, over a period of time, people would be putting the rubbish by the side of the gutter and when it rains, the rubbish gets into the drains and blocks them and this creates a lot of problems for our communities.

Finally, Mr Speaker, what I would like to say is that it is time that Ghana actually enforced our bye-laws and laws on non- disposal of waste and littering in our communities. This is because most of the times, we make the waste, we do not dump them properly and when it rains, because they are already littered on the ground, they get into the gutters and choke them.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon Member who made the Statement for such a wonderful presentation.
Mr Ebenezer O. Terlabi (NDC -- Lower Manya Krobo) 11:40 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to thank my Hon Colleague who made this Statement especially at this time when we are preparing to enter the rainy season.
Mr Speaker, a lot has been said about what causes flood but there is one thing that we are losing sight of seriously. It is about the kind of development -- what we call development and the kind of buildings and structures that we put up.
Mr Speaker, it is common these days to build and then to have a high rise wall and instead of growing grasses, we rather have concrete slabs or pavement blocks and under the pavement blocks we have plastic lining. When it rains, naturally, a percentage of the water sinks. But this time, out of our own making, that percentage is allowed to flow; it is forced to flow and that is what gathers and creates the floods.
Therefore, what we have to do is that our architects must re-examine what they sell to us because it is uncommon to find a house, a newly built house without a fence wall, without concrete slabs or pavement blocks and this is contributing so much.
Mr Speaker, I lived in Korle Gonno when I was growing up -- highly populated. We had rains all right. But flooding in those days was not as it is now. But go round and see the number of concrete slabs which are facilitating the collection of water and therefore, increasing water that gathers when it rains. This is what is causing the floods and therefore, we must take a second look at it.
In spite of the fact that yes, our drains are chocked, we indiscriminately throw waste into our drains and other things -- and then the planning. But I believe that, what we also do in terms of our infrastructure -- Pavement blocks here and there, concrete slabs, high rise walls -- also help in gathering water which in the end, causes the havoc that always befall us during rainy seasons.
On this note, Mr Speaker, I thank you very much and I support the Statement made by my Hon Colleague.
Thank you very much.
Dr Hanna L. Bisiw (NDC -- Tano South) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on flooding in Ghana.
It is true that flooding cannot-- Nobody can stop flooding in the world. But yes, we can mitigate the action or the effect of flood. If you look at China where they have high rise buildings, they still experience flooding. Go to the United States of America, go to Australia and all these developed countries, with all the latest technology in drain construction and high r ise buildings, they still experience flooding.
What we can do as a people is that first of all, we must always be prepared when we are getting into the rainy seasons and prepare how to mitigate flooding when it comes by. As a former Hon Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, the Ministry had to collaborate always with the Ministry of Local Government and
Rural Development and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and all the other agencies to always go in, whenever we had flooding.
Mr Speaker, some of the flooding in Ghana, is caused by ourselves. As has been stated by other Hon Colleagues, we decide to turn our gutters into our waste bins; we come out of our homes and we dump the garbage there. If you go to our markets, we build our structures on our drains. We also build posh houses in waterways.
Mr Speaker, there are areas in Accra where you go and you find big, posh houses, they would intentionally -- The Odaw River for instance, has been blocked at a certain point and only two houses had been built on that waterway and because of those two houses, there was a particular year that a whole community was flooded and the life of a four-year old boy was lost.
We had to go in and collaborate with the Assembly to demolish those two buildings and ever since we did that, the flooding in that area, the effect on the people also went down.
Mr Speaker, we would also want to appeal to the Town and Country Planning Department -- Go to Accra, there is a city we call “Iron City.” Iron City is a well-planned city. A plan that has been given by the Town and Country Planning Department but if you look at the original plan, there was no space for drains. Anytime it rains, they experience a lot of flooding.
So, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, together with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had to go in and of course,
the residents association, we sat down with some of the residents whose houses had to be broken down to pave way for the construction by the Hydrological Department of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. They agreed and these drains were constructed and of course, from that time on the effect of the flooding was mitigated.
Mr Speaker, I think that a lot has been said by my Hon Colleagues. I feel that as a people, as His Excellency the President said yesterday, we need to also check ourselves. We need to be disciplined. We have to know that when we use our gutters, we choke our drains, and we build in waterways -- In fact, you do not have to go far, go to East Legon. We have posh houses and they extended the walls to the waterways and so, whenever it rains, you find part of the walls broken down.
The Hydrological Department has had to create the drains through walls and break walls and these are not because these people did not have building permits, but because as a people we chose to take the law into our own hands. I feel that we should all heed to the call by His Excellency the President yesterday, that we should look into ourselves and we should love Ghana.
Ghana should always be first, the laws are there, the Police will not always be there with us, the Inspectors will not always be there with us. When I get up at dawn and I decide to dump my waste in the gutter, it is only me and it is not the Assemblies or anybody else.
On this note, I would want to associate myself with the Statement and I call on all of us to be self-disciplined and heed to the call of His Excellency the President and I am sure that when we do this and decide to have a proper disposal of our waste from our homes, we will in our own little way, contribute to the mitigation of the effect of flooding on our lives.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Yaw Owusu-Boateng (NPP -- Asene/Akroso/Manso) 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I am happy to be associated with this Statement that was read on the floor of the House.
If we have observed, we realize that Accra particularly, is below sea level and some portions are flat just as a greater part of Ghana. In addition to our gutters being choked with filth, and unbridled mining both legal and illegal in this country, whereby most of the banks of the rivers are destroyed and lakes also being silted, it is clear that Ghana is heading towards a major disaster.
As a country, what we do usually is that we wait until there is a major disaster before we solve problems. Even right now, we have found out that this issue has occurred and reoccurred every year on this floor of the House and very little has been done on this particular problem. If we do not take care, we will run and add this problem to the myriad of problems that we are experiencing in this country in addition to those that already exist.
During President Kufuor's Adminis- tration, it is gratifying to note that he did a lot on this issue in order to lessen the problem. But of course, it was not enough to solve this perennial flooding in this country. A lot of us have forgotten about what happened at Alajo. Those of us who are (OFY) over forty years, you would realise that a lot of people were dying at Alajo but for the good engineering work that was done during President Kufuor's

Administration, this thing has gone out and everybody seemed to have forgotten.
Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
Well, this brings to an end the cemments on this Statement.
Hon Members, the second Statement allowed by Mr Speaker, is one by Hon Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Member of Parliament (MP) for Komend/Edina/Eguafo/Abirem (KEEA). I am reliably informed that he is not present in the House this morning and therefore, it lapses.
We have come to the end of Statements and I would like to find out from the Deputy Majority Leader about the way forward.
Mr Alfred K. Agbesi 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the business for the day has been completed. There are notices for committee meetings and I beg to move, that this House do adjourn till tomorrow morning at 10.00.
Mr Dominic B. A. Nitiwul 11:50 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
Question put and Motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:50 a.m.