Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, has indicated that efforts are being made by her ministry to end head pottering by young ladies, who are known as ‘Kayayei’ in the local parlance.
She made this known to journalists on Tuesday in Accra when she took her turn at the ‘Meet The Press’ series organized by the Ministry of Information.
The event was to afford the ministry the opportunity to share its programmes, achievements and challenges since February 2017.
According to Madam Otiko Djaba, the ministry had developed various programmes and interventions to deal with the kayayei phenomenon.
The programmes, she said, include “a five-year Strategic Plan to eradicate kakayei” which was being developed with the support of UNFPA.
She disclosed, “A mapping of kayayei is ongoing in the major markets across the country to gather data to inform decision-making.”
The minister averred, “The ministry is working with GRATIS Foundation and KNUST to manufacture robust trolleys for kayayei. We also plan to link these vulnerable women to smallholder farming through the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative.
According to her, “The ministry has developed a Porterage Module to link women in rural communities to the government’s initiatives such as the ‘One Village, One Dam’ and ‘One District, One Factory’ to make them economically independent.”
The move, she explained, forms part of the ministry’s social development programme, adding that in addition to kayayei, the ministry was making efforts to clear children from the various streets in Ghana under a project dubbed, #Operation Get Off The Street Now For A Better Life.”
Madam Otiko Djaba underscored that her outfit had chalked a number of successes, notable among them being capacity building workshop organized for 28 Gender Desk officers from other ministries, departments and agencies and 40 officers from Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies on mainstreaming the National Gender Policy into their plans to ensure that the rights, interests and special needs of women and girls are integrated into policy formulation and implementation.
She added, “The ministry continued to create awareness on fistula in prevalent communities which targeted chiefs, queen mothers, opinion and religious leaders. These activities were to mark the World Fistula Day.”
According to her, there has been significant improvement in the School Feeding Programme and that the number of beneficiary pupils had been increased by 30 percent from 1,671,777 to 2,174.000, adding that “this means 501,536 pupils have been added to the programme.”
By Melvin Tarlue