By Patience Gbeze, GNA
Kpando (V/R), Oct. 2, GNA – The Kpando Municipal Assembly would rehabilitate the Kpando Torkor market and install a storage facility to assist both fisher folks and traders to add value to the fish stock.
To that effect, the Municipal Assembly has earmarked 300,000 Ghana Cedis in its short to medium strategic plan to start the project. Inclusive in the project plan is the construction of classroom blocks for the community.
Mr Elvis Djampoh, the Kpando Municipal Chief Executive, said this at a durbar organised in honour of regional delegations from 16 African countries and representatives of four organisations from Europe, who went there to share ideas and experiences of the success story of the Torkor Model.
The delegates attended the just ended Regional Workshop for Rural Workers’ and Small Producers’ Organisation to exchange experiences of organising against child labour in Africa, organised by International Labour Organisation (ILO), Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) of the Trades Union Congress, Ghana.
Torkor is a fishing community in the Kpando Municipal Assembly where child labour practice was common until the General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) of TUC-Ghana intervened in 2004 with the Torkor Model, aimed at eliminating child labour in Torkor and its environs.
The Torkor Model had since rescued about 4,500 children from the practice and put them in school, some of whom have completed and are working in various sectors, while about 1,425 farmers and fishermen have been registered as members of GAWU, thus encouraging adult labour and decent work.
Mr Djampoh commended GAWU and its partners for their vision and effort to end the practice in the area and pledged the Assembly’s support to eradicate the practice completely in the Municipality.
He announced that the Municipal Assembly had built a Police and Health Post for the community to ensure security and health delivery in the area.
“The Assembly also extended potable water supply to the Torkor Community and supplied them with new Pontoon to curb the persistent accident on the lake,” he added.
The MCE said plans were far advanced to develop Torkor to a tourists’ centre and urged the visitors to sell the idea to the international community to attract investment to the area.
Mr Henry Dake, the Municipal Development Planning Officer, said they had already surveyed the entire market and documented the needs of the market and submitted it at the appropriate quarters for action.
He said they would also capitalise on the Government’s policy to give one million Ghana Cedis per Constituency to achieve the goal.
Togbe, Gbadagbari II, Chief of Torkor, in a speech read for him, said the success story of the Torkor Model was as a result of the cooperation of all stakeholders and urged parents to invest in their children’s education to secure their future.
He said material and financial support from GAWU had made it possible for the rescued children to be in school and urged foreign partners to continue to sponsor GAWU activities to ensure total eradication of the practice in Ghana.
Togbe Gbadagbari II also urged foreign partners to assist GAWU to develop the four-acre land given it for a resource centre for the rescued children.
Mr Denis Zulu, Director, ILO Country Office, said lots have happened at Tokor Model and commended the leadership of the GAWU and the community for their efforts.
He said child labour was still present on the continent and emphasised the need for all to come together to fight the issue.
“Africa need to be prepaid to sustain the fight against child labour until every child is in school,” he said, adding they would take the Torkor Model success story to the forthcoming IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour, to be held from November 14 to 16, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Mr Bukar Tijani, Assistant Director-General, Regional Representative for Africa, noted that the problem of child labour was a complex one and needed holistic approach in solving it and commended GAWU for its efforts in that direction.
Mr Kirill Buketov, IUF, Geneva, emphasised the need to organize and to fight child labour on the globe.
“It is possible to have a world without poverty, a world without violence and the world without child labour, but these do not come on their own, we need to organize and unite as trade unions to fight these social cankers,” he added.
He presented two child labour eradication guide from their conference to GAWU to serve as guidelines for the Union’s activities in child labour.
Mr Samuel Gangah, former General Secretary of GAWU and the initiator of the Torkor Model, said he was happy their efforts have borne good fruits and commended his successors for sustaining the project.
“Today there is a big transformation and I hope that in future Torkor will develop into tourists’ centre,” he said and urged the Union to continue pursuing its course to totally eradicate child labour in the area.
Mr Gideon Abotsi, the Assemblyman for Torkor, said the GAWU Model School was the best in the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the Municipality and urged the Assembly to build a school canteen and a library for the school to enhance teaching and learning.
Mr Freeman Gatri, a rescued Child who is currently an Accountant with ICE Computer limited, Koforidua, appealed to parents not to renege on the upkeep of their children to enable them become somebody in future.