The Youth Empowerment for Development (YED)-Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, has called on Members of Parliament (MPs) from the northern parts of the country to urgently attend to the needs of head porters, popularly known as kayayei.
It said in the midst of the restriction of movement in parts of the country, the head porters, who are largely from the north, have been abandoned by the MPs.
“The only ones we could mention who have shown much concern are the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and MP for Nalerigu-Gambaga, Hajia Alima Mahama; the Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Mr Mustapha Ussif, and MP for Yagaba/Kubori, Abdul-Rauf Tanko Ibrahim.
A statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr Yussif I. Hamidu, expressed concern about the plight of the head-porters who got stranded in the Accra Metropolis and the Madina La-Nkwantanang Municipality, in the wake of the Corona Virus Pandemic, and the eventual imposition of the restriction of movements to contain the widespread of the disease.
It said the organisation had to collaborate with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to register the stranded head porters in the Accra Metropolis and the Madina La-Nkwantanang Municipality “for the Ministry to cater at least for their feeding and hygiene-related needs, but till this moment, nothing significant has been done.”
It said the Northern Development Authority (NDA), with a national mandate to see to the infrastructure and human capital development of the regions in the northern part of the country also had a huge role to play in addressing the needs of the head porters.
“It is also urgent to note that the condition of these young women and children, who are virtually clustered in shanty shelters and open spaces and at the vagaries of the harsh weather, is nothing to write home about,” it noted.
The statement said it had not seen or heard of any efforts from northern MPs to address the plight of the head porters, “neither have we heard them suggest solutions to abate the sufferings of these vulnerable ones.”
It said it had registered 375 of the head porters and called on the Northern MPs and the NDA to rescue the young women and children from the deprived conditions and starvation they were confronted with.