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General News of Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Source: Michael Agyiri, Contributor

Road users lament influx of street beggars in Accra

Street beggars in Accra play videoStreet beggars in Accra

The issue of street begging for many Ghanaians is gradually turning into a menace that requires immediate attention from appropriate state institutions.

For the many Ghanaians who have expressed concerns over this development, the changing face of the effects of street begging from social to security in recent times means the issue needs to be addressed more than ever.

Speaking to some drivers and road users at Alajo, one of the many spots for street beggars in the capital city of Accra, they rehashed their concerns in an interview with Oman Channel.

According to some people, the presence of the beggers along traffic stops poses danger as they risk being knocked down by vehicles and motorbikes.

"It is very dangerous. I witnessed an incident here the other day where a car almost run them over," a driver lamented.

"If a foreigner comes to town he might think it is Ghanaians who are doing this (begging) but they are all foreigners," a trader stated.

Others shared thier solutions to the problem of street begging which include calls on state institutions to ensure the repatriation of the mostly foreign beggers to the country of origin.

"The government should simply ensure that they return back to their homeland," a driver proposed.

The laws of Ghana frowns on begging and makes it an illegal act.

Under the Beggars and Destitutes Act 1969 (NLCD 392), section 2(1) provides that any person found begging and any person wandering or placing himself in any premises or place for the purpose of begging may be arrested by a police officer without warrant and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty new cedis or to imprisonment not exceeding three months or to both.

It however yet to be seen what pragmatic measures responsible state institutions such as the Social Welfare Department and the Ministry for Gender Children and Social Protection are taking to curb street begging in Ghana.

Watch video below: