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General News of Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Party supporters pour out to meet Mahama at Akumadan

Akumadan was virtually in NDC colours as party supporters poured out in their numbers to meet President John Dramani Mahama who addressed a rally in the town.

President Mahama announced at the rally that the Akumadan Tomato Irrigation project was to be expanded to cover additional 120 hectares of irrigable lands.

President Mahama explained that it would bring the total irrigable land in the catchment area to 180 hectares.

Speaking at the rally of the National Democratic Congress (NDC ) at Akumadan in the Offinso South Constituency of the Ashanti Region last Sunday, he said the Korean company that completed the first 60-hectare irrigation project in 2013 would work on the second phase.

The President, who was at Akumadan as part of his campaign tour of the Ashanti Region, said the expansion works would further improve the livelihoods of thousands of people in the Akumadan area whose major occupation is tomato farming.

He said by engaging in all-year-round tomato farming, the farmers would not only have their incomes improved but would also be in the position to feed a proposed tomato factory to be located at Akumadan.

Zongo chiefs

President Mahama, who earlier in the day had addressed Zongo chiefs in Kumasi, later addressed a party rally at Abofour in the Offinso South Constituency and called on the Offinsohene,Nana Wiafe Akenten III, at his palace.

In a speech that dwelt heavily on development projects his government had undertaken in the Offinso South Constituency,the President said the projects were expected to impact positively on the lives of the people.

Going forward, he mentioned the road sector as one of the areas where much emphasis was going to be placed.

President Mahama called on the people to vote massively for the NDC.

Abofour

At Abofour, President Mahama thanked the people for the massive turnout in the night to hear him speak.

He also spoke on the National Health Insurance Scheme, describing it as the best scheme in Africa.

Explaining, the President mentioned for instance, that diseases such as hernia and breast cancer which are not covered by many of the health insurance schemes in Africa are covered by the Ghana scheme.

Offinsohene grateful

The Offinsohene expressed gratitude to the President for the numerous development projects his government had sent to Offinso.

"You have done well. I will never forget you," he said while expressing the hope that Ghanaians would give President Mahama a second term.

Nana Wiafe Akenten also recognised the respect the President had for chiefs in the country.

Illegal small-scale mining

Still on the campaign, President Mahama has announced a comprehensive plan to regulate illegal small-scale mining activities (galamsey) once and for all and reduce all the negative impacts associated with the operations.

He said galamsey operators would be made to form cooperatives and allocated lands to work on so that their activities could be monitored.

The search for a permanent solution to the galamsey menace has been elusive, but the President has given an assurance that the end to the problem is in sight.

Speaking to a massive gathering of National Democratic Congress (NDC ) supporters in Obuasi last Saturday night, the President said the government would also provide the cooperative groups with bulldozers to enable them to reclaim degraded lands. Renewal of concessions would be based on the reclamation of land.

Damage

In the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Central regions, illegal small-scale miners have caused colossal damage to water bodies and vegetation but all attempts by authorities to arrest the canker has failed.

The government at a point succeeded in flushing out thousands of illegal small-scale miners, including foreigners, but the exercise finally crumbled as the galamsey operators returned to their sites in full force.

Obuasi, where the President announced plans to regulate the industry, has been a pale shadow of its former status as the epicentre of gold mining in Ghana.

AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi has cut back operations. The company undertook downsizing operations, including the retrenchment of some of the workforce, to ensure sustainability.

Illegal miners have been blamed for contributing to the challenges facing the company. Recently, security officials clashed with illegal miners occupying AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi concession.

Night carnival

It was a carnival at Obuasi as President Mahama zoomed into town from Adansi Akrofuom, about eight kilometres away, where he addressed another rally.

Party supporters lined the streets to cheer the President as he made his way to call on Zongo chiefs in Obuasi.

He later addressed a joint rally for the Obuasi East and West constituencies which was attended by thousands of supporters.

President Mahama told the crowd to translate the incredible support on the night into votes on December 7.

The Obuasi East and West constituencies were won by the NPP in 2012, but the NDC is determined to snatch them this time.

The President said the achievements of the NDC government were phenomenal in the Ashanti Region, adding that a lot had been done in the provision of socio-economic infrastructure.

He said he was a President for all and would continue to be so.

NPP left behind

Likening the NDC to Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt who kept leaving his competitors behind in the sprints, President Mahama said the NDC had already left the NPP behind in the election race.