Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Local Government & Rural Development washing her hands at the campaign launch

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has taken the sensitisation programme on Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) to markets across the country as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

COVID-19 infections and deaths are surging worldwide at an alarming rate with Italy, China, USA, Spain, Iran, Germany and France as the badly affected countries.

Over 316,000 people have been infected with the virus with over 13,600 deaths recorded globally.

Ghana has so far recorded 21 confirmed coronavirus cases, with one death.

Latest update confirms fears community spreading has begun in the country, with at least two of the infected individuals having no history of travel outside Ghana.

The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama launched the COVID-19 sensitisation programme in Accra on Friday in line with a recent directive by President Nana Akufo-Addo to the ministry to collaborate with metropolitan, municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure personal hygiene and good sanitation practices in markets.

Hajia Alima indicated that the ministry was leveraging resources from the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) to provide the needed logistics for the exercise.

Large markets such as Agbogbloshie, Kantamanto and Makola will see their sanitation supplies doubled as the marketplaces will also undergo fumigation.

The Local Government and Rural Development minister was supported by some other female ministers of state and the Administrator of the DACF, the Administrator of the DACF, Mrs Irene Naa Torshie Lartey to help scale up the sensitisation exercise at various markets in the country.

The other ministers include the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison; the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi; and the Minister of Special Development Initiatives, Ms Mavis Hawa Koomson.

Hajia Alima encouraged the public to religiously observe the acceptable health measures in COVID-19 prevention, reminding them to cover their mouth with tissue when sneezing and coughing and discard immediately into a bin.

She noted that even though our culture embraced togetherness, people must endeavour to keep away from each other, at least be two metres apart and avoid handshaking and hugging. 

Hajia Alima said the various MMDAs have been tasked to educate Ghanaians on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have instructed district assemblies to set up committees, as well as establish sensitisation teams to educate the people. Some districts have started working at the markets by providing certain facilities to ensure proper sanitation practices,” she said.

Hajia Alima said the ministry is targeting 1,000 markets and that a committee would be established to monitor and evaluate the exercise.

“We will meet them in groups, but will ensure that at every meeting, there are not more than 25 people,” she said.

Hajia Mahama later interacted with the leadership of Makola, Salaga, Tema Station, Kantamanto, Okaishie and Agbogbloshie markets in Accra.

Each of the 1,000 markets will be provided with 10 Veronica buckets, 10 Jumbo tissue rolls, a carton of liquid soap consisting of 24 bottles, four dustbins, 50 nose masks, and two cartons of hand sanitisers.

Large markets such as Agbogbloshie, Kantamanto and Makola will see their sanitation supplies doubled. The market places will also undergo fumigation.

In addition, each district will be provided with 100 Veronica buckets and other sanitary items.

Other MMDAs

Reports from MMDAs in other regions including Tamale, Sagnarigu, Kumasi, Ashaiman, Kpone-Katamanso, Tamale, Sagnarigu and Tema West are already sensitising and fumigating markets with some starting today Monday, March 23, 2020.

The fumigation is intended to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus.

At a media briefing in Tamale last Thursday, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Iddrisu Musah Superior explained that the formation of the task force was to monitor the level of compliance by the public on the directives to enable them fight the virus.

According to him, 16 persons, eight each from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), have been sent to Accra for training on how to handle COVID-19 cases.

The Tamale Mayor also announced that the assembly has dedicated one of the two ambulances given by the government to be used for COVID-19 victims if the need arises.

List of markets for the exercise

The list of markets to be covered during the exercise include: Accra Metro: Juforjala (Tuesday Market), Makola SSNIT, Makola 31st, Okaishie, Kantamanto, Agbogbloshie Vegetable, Makola No. 2, Kaneshie, Neoplan Station Circle, Salaga/London, Timber and Korle-Bu.

Ablekuma North: Mallam, Odorkor, Kokompe and Darkuman; Ablekuma Central: Abossey Okai, ICGC, Onion Market, Zongo Market, Sukura and Environs, Dan Lartey Area, Kaneshie and Station markets.

Ablekuma West: Dansoman and Last Stop; Ayawaso Central: Circle Market (Tip Toe lane), Mallam Atta, Alajo and Ayidiki markets.

The rest are Ayawaso North – Kasoa Kuda, Kasoa Maamudu; Ayawaso West – Santana and University Night Market markets.

Korle Klottey – Osu, Art Centre, Tema Station GNA, Tema Station Metro Mass, Tema Station Market, Tudu, Adjabeng CMB, Abuja, Railway, Odornaa, Novotel No.1, Novotel 2, Pedestrian Shopping Mall and Adabraka markets.

Shai Osu Doku District – Dodowa, Doryumu, Agomeda, Asutuare, Old Gazelle, Asutuare Junction, Kodiabe and Siakuman markets .

Ada West – Sege and Koluador

Ga North – Ofankor, Pokuase, Mile 7 and Afiaman markets.

Krowor – Nungua Central and Old Town Bus Stop.

Ga South – Galilea and Hobor markets.

Ga Central – Anyaa Ablekuma Curve, Anyaa Chantan and Cosmos markets.

Ga West – Amasaman A, Amasaman B, Medie, Sarpeiman and Three Junction markets.

Ga East – Yam, Dome, Taifa, Abokobi and Bohye markets.

Ledzekuku – Lascala, Aduemli, Accra Tsoshishi, Tsuibleo, Mangoase, Martey Tsuru and Teshie Zongo markets

Ada East – Kasseh, Big Ada, Ashlemanor, Big Ada Community Centre and Ada Foah markets.

Kpone-Katamanso – Kpone New Market, Zenu, Katamanso, Timber Market and Tulaku.

Ningo Prapram – Old Ningo, Prampram and Abekope markets.

La Nkwantanang Medina – Madina, New Road, Bohye Redco and VRA markets.

Ashaiman – Kufuor Market, Mandela, Valco, Afariwa Junction and Ashaiman Main markets.

La Dadekotopon – Main, 37, License Office, Burma Camp and Prisons markets.

Tema West – Texpo, Klagon, Adjei Kojo, Cambodia

Kanawu, Community 2 and Community 5 markets.

Tema – Community 9, Community 8, Community 7, Community 1, New Town and Fishing Habour.

Okaikwei North – Akweteman, Nii Boye Town, Achimota, Abeka and Ashawo markets.

Adentan – SSNIT Shopping Centre and Ogbojo markets.