‘Include Kayayei In LEAP’

Minister for Gender, Women and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, has called on government to capture head porters, (commonly referred to as Kayayei) in the grants of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme. This, the human rights activist said, is necessary to help ease the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians who are mainly of northern descent “The ministry [of gender, women and social protection] will also explore the possibility of capturing the Kayayei under social intervention (especially cash transfer) programmes such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP)…,” she said on the floor of Parliament yesterday when she delivered a statement on the plight of head porters in Ghana. Other programmes to tackle the canker, she said, would include her outfit collecting data on the number of Kayayei in major towns and cities in the country and helping to equip them with vocational skills. After the training, the minister said the head porters would be given various equipment to make their employment easier, adding that her ministry would also take pragmatic steps to prosecute parents of kayayei found in the southern part of the country. However, these measures including the enrolment of head porters on the LEAP programme, Member of Parliament (MP) for Oforikrom, Elisabeth Agyeman, says is not the best of solutions for the Kayayei menace. To her, head porters do not need that and called on the minister to work to better the living conditions of the porters by helping to provide them with decent accommodation and also with the best of education. “They need to have better care and love because most of them are sick…,” she said recounting how she heavily spent on the porters when she decided to care for those in her constituency. She narrated that her personal experience with head porters has made her to better appreciate their plight and hence was disappointed that the second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton-Odro, prevented her and other MPs from contributing to the minister’s statement. Madam Elisabeth Agyeman said her encounter with Nana Oye Lithur could have helped her to ascertain if she believes her ministry’s plan for the porters is the best.