The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba, has stated that begging on the street is against the laws of the country.
She said those who have also been giving to beggars on the street commit the same crime, appealing to them to desist from such practice since that encourages the beggars to always go back to the street.
She said as part of the ministry’s efforts to rid the streets of hawkers, head porters, popularly known as ‘Kayayei,’ commercial sex workers, people with disabilities and their attendants, girls of school-going age, foreign families and persons with mental health problems, the Ministry has launched “Operation Get Off the Streets Now for a Better Life” campaign.
She said the campaign is aimed at mapping and creating the database of the groups of people to ascertain their number and characteristics with the sole aim of designing tailor-made programmes to address their challenges.
The Minister made these known in parliament on Thursday when she appeared before the House to answer a question posed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Pusiga, Laadi Ayii Ayamba, who wanted to know measures put in place by the Ministry to provide accommodation and other social amenities to women and children on the streets and to eventually get them off the streets.
She said the programme will entail advocacy and sensitization at the community level for all children to be in school, integration of children of school-going age into school and reintegrating them with their families with psychological support.
She also indicated that the Ministry will have effective collaboration with the media to ensure the execution of the street campaign.
She said the ministry will offer skills training to 2,000 Kayayei this year.
“Mr Speaker, the Ministry will continue to link up Kayayei to employment opportunities in the hotel, catering and garments industries, promote 30 percent quotas for women in flagship programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, One Village, One Dam, allocation of 50 percent MASLOC funding to women and 5 percent of District Assembly Common Fund to people with disabilities.”
She said the ministry is also feverishly working towards the NPP government’s manifesto to provide decent accommodation for Kayayei and women on the streets.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr