Coastal Development Authority empowers head porters

Accra, Oct 4, GNA - The Coastal Development Authority (CODA), in collaboration with Thatchermora Foundation, an NGO has begun the registration of Head porters to enrol them into a vocational skills training programme for improved livelihood.

The programme is under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Project to empower head porters with employable skills for development.

In line with this, the Authority organized a free health screening and National Health Insurance card registration for head porters and hawkers in the premises of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

The exercise, organised in collaboration with the Patriotic Health Team and the National Health Insurance Authority, screened over 500 women for malaria, diabetes, hepatitis B and C, and other general medical conditions.

The Authority also presented head pans, sanitary pads, and assorted items to the head porters.

Mr Jerry Ahmed Shaib, the Chief Executive Officer, CODA, said the presentation of the head pans was to enable the beneficiaries, who wanted to combine the "Kayeyei" work and the skills development programme to continue to do so.

He said under the training programme, the head porters would have the opportunity to choose from dressmaking, catering services, and soap making, among others.

Mr Shaib said the gesture was in line with the Authority's mandate to develop the coastal areas and to improve lives of inhabitants in the community for sustainable development.

He urged the beneficiaries, who have completed Junior High Schoool, to take advantage of the government's free Senior High School to acquire knowledge for their development.

The CEO said the government was working to provide the head porters with decent accommodation since most of them were victims of rape, defilement and domestic abuse.

He said women suffer various forms of vulnerabilities and it was important to promote and support policies and interventions that seek to improve their welfare.

"At CODA we believe that no head porter must suffer and deny of their right, and no vulnerable woman must suffer because of poverty," he said.

Mr Mohammed Salifu, President of the Head Porters Association, commended the government for the initiative and called for it to be sustained.