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General News of Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Source: GNA

Chalk factory for the disabled cry's for help

Accra Oct. 6, GNA- The Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD), on Tuesday called on the government to overhaul the organisation's chalk factory, to boost the production and marketing of its products.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Francis Kofi Nadugbey, an Accountant of GSPD noted that the factory could provide employment for its members if it gets the needed financial assistance. "If we get the needed materials and funds we will be able to get some of our colleagues off the streets," he stressed. He said last year, the society complained about the lack of market for the chalks, prompting the Ghana Education Service (GES) to patronise the products.

Mr Nadugbey said the business entity could however, not meet the target of providing the service with 50,000 boxes of chalk annually. He attributed this to lack of capital to purchase the needed raw materials and equipment.

"Nets used in drying the chalk are few. We need extra 12 moulding machines and a drier to meet the GES target from April to August every year.

"Last year the society provided 18,000 boxes out of the 50,000 boxes needed," he added.

Mr. Nadugbey said GSPD managed to supply only 15,000 boxes out of the 50,000 boxes requested by the GES this year, adding "with the availability of the needed capital we could meet the target and supply to individuals and institutions."

He complained about the high interest rates charged by the banks on the overdrafts the society secure for the running of the factory. "Disabled chalk factory need grants rather than loans to help boost production," he said. Ghana requires 2,250,000 boxes of chalk annually but GSPD produces only 2.22 per cent of it.