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Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Ho residents in Limbo over Erratic Power Supply (UpDated)


Some residents in the Ho municipality are expressing deep concerns over the erratic supply of electricity within the municipality in recent times without any prior notice from the Electricity Company of Ghana.
Over the past weeks, electricity supply within the Ho municipality has been so unpredictable with various parts of the municipality experiencing power outages on several occasions with the recent one occurring during the weekend.
On Saturday evening major suburbs within the Ho Township including Bankoe, Ahoe, the regional Coordinating Council, among others were plunged into darkness with power been restored later at night when residents were asleep.
The situation wasn’t different on Sunday as residents living around Ho RTC and beyond also had their fair share of the outage in the afternoon with Ho polytechnic and its environs including the SSNIT flats experiencing the outage in the evening at about 6:40pm, which lasted for barely an hour and half.
This erratic situation, according to some Students of the polytechnic is affecting their preparations towards their mid and End of Semester Exams, as some residents also lamented that their electrical gadgets are being destroyed by the frequent outages. They are therefore calling on the Electricity Company to come out and explain the erratic situation which is seriously affecting both lives and economic activities in the municipality.
After several attempts to get response from ECG officials, a customer service Rep has disclosed that the outages are part of a load shedding program being undertaken by the ECG. He however, fell short of details of how the program is being carried out within the municipality, as most residents are unaware of any load shedding program.

Meanwhile, Mr. Robert Amewuda Ho municipal ECG manager on Monday morning confirmed the load shedding in a telephone interview.
According to him, the company was forced to embark on an emergency load shedding in the Ho municipality in order to supply some electricity to Aflao and its environs which has loss electricity supply due to the complete burnt down of a GRIDCo sub-station there, caused by a thunder lightening on April 25.
He however gave the assurance that, electricity supply within the Ho municipality will be fully restored when GRIDCo completes the installation of a spare transformer being transferred from Takoradi to Aflao. 
This situation comes on the heels of ECG Volta being adjudged the best performing region in the country for 2011.



Prof. Fred Bink
Come September this year, the proposed University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in the Volta region would have its first intake of students. Prof. Fred Bimpeh, the 1st Vice-Chancellor of the university disclosed this at a well-attended stakeholder’s forum organised under the auspices of the Volta regional coordinating council in Ho on Monday.
He also noted that the university is about starting the process of certifying programmes to be offered with the National Accreditation Board and t as soon as that approval is given advertisements for applications for admissions would be put out in the media.   
According to him, the university, will have eight schools, including medicine, traditional and alternative medicine, health education, medical research and public health but will admit about 200 students into the schools of medicine, nursing & midwifery, allied health sciences in Ho and the school of public health in Hohoe for the start. 
He said the institution would essentially be a technical entity with community service and research as important components of every programme.   
Prof Binka said the University, with the main campus in Ho and another at Hohoe would eventually affect other parts of the region.   
He explained that apart from the Regional Hospital serving as its Teaching Hospital, students would be attached to other hospitals across the region for their practical training.   
Prof Binka said with time UHAS would absorb the Health training institutions in the region.   

Prof Kofi Anyidoho interim council chairman, who presented a graphical report of activities concerning the establishment of the University, including policy-blueprint, human resource searches and physical structure build-ups at the forum, said since its inception, the council has recruited the key officers of the university; this he said is an indication that the t university is ready for commencement.

On infrastructure, the council chairman noted that the new temporal structures such as lecture halls, science laboratories and students’ hostels, in Ho are inadequate. He also expressed reservations about some of the buildings which he said had some structural defects but however expressed optimism that, the council’s request for additional infrastructure and other concerns would be addressed before September.
UHAS was one of two public universities promised by President John Evans Atta Mills, the other being, University for Energy and Natural Resources, for the Brong Ahafo Region.
Click link to listen to Prof_Binka & Prof_Anyidoho



Some Officials undertaking the ongoing biometric voter registration exercise in Ho are calling on the Electoral Commission to pay their allowances due them.
According to the officials, they were hitherto oblivious of   how much they would be paid for the 40days exercise, until they read a press statement in the newspapers last week indicating that the Electoral Commission has released their allowance.
Part of the statement, which stated that a Registration Officer of each registration team, comprising the six registration officials, was to be paid an allowance of GH ¢50.00 at the end of the first, second and third phases of the exercise to facilitate the team’s movement to the next registration centre in the cluster. Whereas The Registration Officer Special Duties (ROSD) is also entitled to a daily allowance of GH ¢10.00 for forty (40) days as transport allowance to commute between the registration centre and the district office with data captured for export to the data centre. 

But officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, on the contrary disclosed that they only received GH¢ 20 and GH¢5 as transportation fares at the end of first and second phases respectively. These disparities have infuriated some of the officials who are said to be having hard time commuting to and fro their various centres.
They are therefore calling on the E.C to either clarify the disparities in the allowances or pay them their due otherwise; they will boycott the final phase of the registration exercise.
Meanwhile   Special Duties Registration Officers (ROSD) are also demanding electricity allowance as their colleagues in the rural areas, where there are no electricity, who receive fuel allowance of GH¢650 in other power generators to charge the equipment.
click link and listen to Aggrieved Registration_Officers_

In a response, Mr. Emmanuel Danso Ho Municipal Electoral Officer said in a telephone interview that, the GH¢ 50 allowance is paid at the end at the end of the first, second and third phases of the exercise to facilitate the team’s movement to the next registration centre in the cluster, stressing that it’s not meant for each team member.
He also disclosed that, the fuel allowance is meant for registration officials who were given generators by the commission to enable them charge the equipment in areas where there is no electricity, Stating that the commission has not made any provision for electricity allowance for officials working in areas with electricity.
Mr. Danso who lamented the manner in which some officials run to media with their concerns without sorting clarification from the E.C, urged them to channel their concerns thru the appropriate quarters for redress.




A tree uprooted during the storm
A rainstorm moving from the north-west last Thursday afternoon shook Ho and its environs leaving in its trail ripped roofs and uprooted trees.
The accompanying rainfall was varied; heavier in town than the peripheries.
Mr Stephen Nyavor, Municipal Meteorological Officer, put recorded rainfall figure at their station at 1.9 millilitres.
Mr Henry Ford Kamel, Volta Region Minister toured some affected areas on Friday morning to assure victims of support of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
The Public Relations Officer of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC), Mr Richard Ameyedewo told the media that Mr Kamel visited the Residency, where parts of the roof of a guest accommodation complex were destroyed.
He said the Minister tasked the appropriate government bodies to provide estimates for some repairs while efforts were made to rehabilitate the whole building.

Mr Ameyedewo said Mr Kamel also visited the EP JSS at Bankoe which lost parts of its roofs to the storm.

He said at the E.P JSS A, B and C at Kpodzi, the Minister asked the staff not to use an old dilapidated building, which also had its roofs ripped off, but move into a new classroom complex,  on return from holidays.
The squall also affected the Teachers Resource Centre, also at Kpodzi and a billboard belonging to DDP advertising agency.
Many plantain trees were crushed or uprooted as some alleys and streets were blocked for a while by fallen trees.



Checks within the Ho municipality have revealed an acute shortage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) during the Easter festivities as visit to some of the gas filing stations have the notice “NO GAS”.
The shortage which has existed for close to a week now, has affected taxi services within the municipality as most of the taxis that use the product run out of stock.
The few taxis working during the period have to either use petrol or travel as far as Aflao to get the LPG to cash in on the season.

This situation has gotten most residents and visitors stranded during the Easter festivity, as the streets were virtually empty, with some resorting to trekking to run their errands.

An attendant at Top Gas filing station off Ho-Mawuli estate road, who wants to remain anonymous, said, though they got some of the product on Saturday, it only lasted for hours as taxis queue for the product.
Some drivers who couldn’t hide their frustrations disclosed that the shortage has crippled their businesses especially during the season, which they described as a ‘bumper season’.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the product will start getting to town by close of work on Tuesday.



The nonexistence of a Technical Institute in the Ho Municipal area at present has created a big void in the human development process in the area.
Mr Nelson Akorli, Principal of the Kpando Technical Institute, stated this at a Ho Development Association (HDA) Colloquium in Ho on Easter Saturday.
He said lots of young people from the area, needing vital employable skills, had no training opportunities within their vicinities and were thus left with difficulty in choosing careers.
Ho had a Technical Institute in the past but this was upgraded into the current Polytechnic.

Mr Akorli recalled the popularity of that technical school from which, he said, many functional artisans in the area today trained.

Mr Emmanuel Keteku, Ho Municipal Director of Education, briefed the colloquium on the reasons for the falling standards of students in public schools in the Municipal Area. They recorded 53.7 per cent passes in the 2011 Basic Certificate Examinations.
He said performance in schools, going by the national benchmark, was not good, and that the Education Directorate had a grasp of the factors responsible for this situation.
Mr conceded that many teachers in the Ho area were doing part time courses in tertiary schools in town and could be using pupil-teacher contact hours for their private studies.
Dickson Pi-Bansah, Secretary of the Planning Committee, told the GNA that the colloquium was being revived as a yearly affair to tackle pertinent developmental issues of the area.
He said there would be committees to deliberate decisions taken, with evaluation teams tasked to ensure they were implemented.
Other topics discussed include The Role of Small-Scale Businesses in Development.
Mr Isaac Kodobisah, Ho Municipal Chief Executive, and Captain George Nfodjoh (rtd), Ho Central Member of Parliament, were at the meeting which also attended by chiefs.


Hon.Isaac Kodobissah
The Ho Municipal Assembly’s net receipt of GH¢398,384.28 from the District Assemblies Common Fund in 2011 was insufficient “for any meaningful development programmes and projects”. This is according to Mr Isaac Kodobisah, the Municipal Chief Executive at the Assembly’s first Ordinary sitting of second session in Ho on Thursday.
The “Ho Municipal Assembly had comparatively unfair deal, taking into consideration that the Municipality has two constituencies with a very large rural setting” but “treated on the same bases as other one-town municipalities.”Mr Kodobisah emphasized.
This situation, Mr Kodobisah said has challenged the Assembly to mobilize sufficient funds internally to meet “the huge financial challenges.”

Notwithstanding this challenge, the Assembly according to the chief executive has executed a total of five projects and these included renovation of a slaughter house, construction of septic tank, the re-enforcing of a concrete poly-tank support at the Jubilee Park, renovation and conversion of urinals into Water-Closet toilet and bath houses at the Central Market, all in Ho.
He also noted that more than 218 projects were executed in the Municipality under different funding arrangements and policy initiatives in the last three years.
These were in the health, education, rural water and sanitation, roads and commercial sectors.
The rest were Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres, street lighting and youth employment projects.
He said a total of 47 projects were undertaken at the basic school level over the period; 24 projects in 2010-2011 and 23 projects from 2011-2012.
At the Senior High School level, a total of 43 projects were undertaken to improve on facilities, while 14 others were executed under the Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP).
Mr Kodobisah said 34 major and minor roads in the municipal area have seen improvement between 2010 and 2012.
He said 42 kilometres of street lights were also completed in the Ho Municipality, adding that, “The Assembly also supplied more than 250 streetlights to some communities across the municipality for street lighting” with more such lights planned for 2012.
Mr Kodobisah said the seemingly delayed Ho Central market project under the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project GUMPP “is well on course and would meet the deadline.”
On education and sports, Mr Kodobisah said the Assembly collected GH¢21,251.50 in education levy as at the end of November 2011, out of which GH¢17,000 was given to the Municipal Education Directorate to conduct the 2011 “common exams” for basic schools.
He said 37 schools are benefitting from the School Feeding Programme in the Municipal area with 4,800 school uniforms distributed to basic schools in 2011.
The Assembly has meanwhile presented 10 haemoglobinometers worth GH¢5,000.00 to the Municipal Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service.
The gadgets would be given to health facilities in the municipality to check blood levels of patients, adding that, it formed part of the promises made by the Assembly towards improving maternal health delivery.


As the Easter festivity approaches, traders within the Ho Central market have expressed mixed feeling about sales during the period. While some complain of poor sales, others say sales have rather been good.
 A vegetable seller, Dela Dodie in an interview said though sales have improved during the period, sales during the yuletide have been better. She however hoped that sales will further improve by the days. A cold store operator, Sitso Ahorlu and a boutique owner, Grace Annobel shared the same opinion. A textile dealer, Forgive Avorgbedor said many customers complain of the non-availability of money in the system which she said has affected patronage. 

Also, during this period, most people travel to their hometowns to mark the period with their families. However, the story seems to be different this year as some drivers at the Ho lorry station who spoke to the reporter said passengers are not at the station as compared to the previous years. They noted that driver who ply the Ho-Accra road are no longer making return journey from Accra but they are optimistic that the situation will change in the coming days as most workers will break for the festivity by close of work on Thursday. Meanwhile a visit to some saloons and tailoring shops revealed that business is booming than ever before as most people were trooping in to put on new looks.
story; Maclean Nordzi-V.S.R


A registration centre at Ho-Kpodzi
Long queues have been recorded at various centers on Sunday, Day two of the biometric voter registration exercise in Ho, with some applicants getting to the registration centres as early as 5:30am to partake in the  National exercise which will run for 40 days.
At the Ho-Heve E.P Primary School registration centre, applicants complained bitterly of the slow pace of the registration process, which some furious ones blamed on the lackadaisical attitudes of some of the registration officers towards the exercise but a Registration Assistant Seth
Add caption
Atsrim refuted the allegation and noted that 85 persons have been registered as of 1:00PM. This according to him constituted an average of 12  persons per hour as compared to 66 persons recorded by the close of day one. He also disclosed that aside, the bad weather condition which prompted the early closure of the exercise at 4:30pm and low battery on the day one of the registration, there has been no problem encountered on day two.

The situation was not different at the Ho-Deeper Life church registration centre, as 88 persons got registered as of 5:20pm as against 75 persons on day one. According to the registration officer, Raymond Akposoe, aside the hand-head scanner which posed a problem on the first day, no other problem has been encountered.
The registration centre at the Ho-Bankoe L.A. J.H.S, registered 194 persons as of 3:00pm as compared to 102 persons that was recorded on day one of the exercise. Meanwhile, the New Patriotic Party parliamentary candidate for Ho central, Dr. Archibald Letsa has said that, he has received reports of attempted registration of minors at the centre which his party will officially report to the municipal electoral officer for the appropriate actions to be taken.
He also noted that the process was too slow and that the officials undertaking the registration did not seem to have mastered their work but expressed the hope that the officials would pick up their acts as the exercise progressed.
 The exercise has been generally smooth at the other Registration Centres visited within the Ho Municipality with the representatives of the two main political parties, NDC & NPP observing the process.

Click link to listen to Report on Day 2 of Bio registration & Dr. Letsa’s complains of the registration of minors

POTAG to call off strike

Dr. Akpotsi

It appears the indefinite strike by the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) could be called off by the end of the week.

The leadership of POTAG has said it has almost reached an agreement with government on the way forward to their request.
They have been meeting with the national security coordinator since Monday in a bid to resolve the impasse over salary levels.
Dr. Richard Akplotsi, Ho polytechnic POTAG chairman in an interview with Volta Premier Fm yesterday, Stated that POTAG has gone beyond the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the ministry of employment and the leadership is having fruitful discussions with the national security coordinator, col. Larry gbevlo lartey, stating that he cannot see strike going beyond this weekend. 
“those threatening to stop our salaries, are only doing so to cause fear & panic; I’ll like to assure the polytechnic community that we’ve moved beyond those stages and the national security coordinator has come in and is very friendly with us, very open and transparent with us and we believe that he’s giving us all the goodwill and if this trend continues, I cannot see this strike going beyond the weekend” Dr. Akplotsi said.