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General News of Friday, 15 February 2008

Source: GNA

MP calls for another use for Hiawa Prison Camp

Accra, Feb. 15, GNA- Mr. George Kofi Arthur, MP for Amenfi Central in the Western Region has called for the Prison Camp at Hiawa, to be put to another use, explaining that it contributed to increase in social vices in the Constituency.

He explained to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra that a number of ex-convicts stayed on after their jail term, have issues with the women and later abandon them and their children to their fate. The fatherless children would then not take their studies seriously and rather choose to work in the mines, and other took to odd jobs for their livelihood.

"They prefer "galamsey" to schooling; GH¢ 5 feeds the child and his family. So the children prefer to go and work in the mines, or they go to school and leave before the day ends to the pits to get money for the next day. There's therefore s low level of education. "Aside, the illegal miners have extended their pits to people's homes, which poses a serious environmental threat and danger to human life," Mr. Arthur said.

Mr. Arthur who had contributed to a statement in Parliament on the National Chocolate Day, celebrated on February 14, Valentine Day, had decried the fate of the cocoa farmer and called for redesigning and review of agricultural policies, especially in relation to cocoa, to better the lot of cocoa farmers.

He said a comparative analysis of the rubber and cocoa farmer showed a higher earning for the rubber farmer.

Consequently, cocoa farmers were now converting their farms into other cash crops like rubber and oil palm.

According to Mr Arthur, who is seeking re-election in his Constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in Election 2008, more private companies must be licensed to engage in the processing and marketing of cocoa.

Additionally, more uses must be found for the plant. On his achievements, the MP said he was personally meeting the chiefs and the leaders to sensitise the people on the need to let children in the community go to school and remain in the classroom. He said he was teaming up with university students to organize outreach programmes for the people of the Wasssa Bekwai, to educate the children there on the benefits of going to school.

Mr Arthur said he was also supporting Distance Education for the development of the capacity of teachers and liaising with the District Chief Executive to recruit more of the youth for training in employable skills.

The Amenfi Central MP spoke of his efforts in the in the establishment of the Manso Amenfi Vocational Training School, a new girls' hostel for that school, a new computer training centre, adding that he had also instituted a full scholarship scheme for 13 brilliant needy students in the school.

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