The Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection has launched a campaign dubbed ‘Operation Get off the Streets Now for a Better Life’ to deal with the menace of streetism and the kayayei phenomenon.
The Minister, Ms. Otiko Afisa Djaba, who revealed this in Parliament last week, averred that the Ministry is mapping out and creating a database to ascertain the numbers and characteristics of these groups with the aim of designing tailor-made programmes to address the varied causes of their challenges.
The Ministry, she said, is developing a policy framework and strategic plan to bring an end to streetism and the kayayei phenomenon within the next five years.
Madam Otiko Djaba indicated that the programme will entail advocacy and sensitization at the community level for all children to be in school and integrate children of school going age into the school system.
The programme, she said, will also provide adult literacy, skills training, entrepreneurship development and financial literacy and enhance access to financial services and create linkages with local and export markets through women’s fairs and exchange programmes.
She averred that the Ministry will continue to link up kayayei to employment opportunities in the hotel, catering and garments industries; promote 30% quotas for women in flagship programmes such as the planting for food and jobs, one village one dam and ensure allocation of 50% of MASLOC funding to women and 5% of DACF to PWDs.
“In order to ensure that beneficiaries of these schemes do not relapse into poverty, robust monitoring and evaluation systems will be put in place to monitor the progress of beneficiaries and generate feedback to better cater for them and sustain initiatives for their inclusion,” she stated.
She noted that apart from the development of policies and legislative frameworks, the Ministry is also promoting their productive inclusion into Ghanaian society.
She said, “In 2016, 400 Kayayei were trained in secretary ship, catering, hairdressing, beads and hat-making and repair of mobile phones and have since been gainfully employed.”
The Minister disclosed that there are arrangements to train and employ about 1,000 more in the garments manufacturing sector and another 1,000 in hairdressing this year.
She indicated that the Ministry will also close down all witches’ camps and put the productive aged to work through startups and skills training with the LEAP Cash-plus.
She disclosed that the Ministry held a Kayayei conference in February last year to discuss issues pertaining to their welfare and also celebrated mothers’ day with them.
“The Ministry with support from UNFPA runs reproductive health workshops for kayayei at three market centers at Okaishie, Kasoa and Madina markets where they are provided health education, breast cancer screening and sensitization on domestic violence,” she said.
She averred that the Ministry is working towards the NPP Government’s manifesto promise of shelters for those without accommodation, including women and children and stressed that providing shelters for the Kayeiye is not encouragement to stay in Accra.
“We are also working with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and other agencies to provide them skills training.”
The Ministry, she said, has received several proposals from the private sector for public-private partnerships aimed at providing high rise, low-cost and affordable shelters for the poor and socially excluded, especially women and children.
According to her, in the interim, a few government shelters have been identified for refurbishment, and offers received from the private sector with proposals for joint management arrangements for private shelters.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org