The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison has assured head potters (Kayayei) in Accra and Kumasi that government has committed to providing them with necessities throughout the entire lockdown period.
According to the Minister, over fifteen thousand (15,000) head porters have been identified in some selected areas, mainly in Accra and Kumasi, who will benefit from this government-sponsored relief.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information’s routine press briefings on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Cynthia Mamle Morrison indicated that the government as part of measures to discourage movement as the country observes a partial lockdown has taken the initiative to take care of these head porters.
She announced that provisions that have been made for them include free accommodation during this two-week lockdown, daily hot meals, medical screening, free access to communication among others.
The minister further noted that after the lockdown period, all minors involved in the trade will be enrolled in schools under the Akufo-Addo led government’s free SHS.
“As for the younger ones, we will let them go back and go to school because we know that education is free now. So after separation, when we register them, we won’t allow any young lady to be kayayei. We will only allow the adults who are using it as their work to engage in the trade. We will make sure that we do the screening for them and make sure that they are healthy even though they still want to be in the trade of kayayei,” Gender Minister Cynthia Mamle Morrison told the press.
Some head porters, numbering about 76, had attempted to flee from Accra back to their hometowns in the wake of the President’s order for a partial lockdown in the capital city and other parts of the country, but their journey back home was unsuccessful as it fell within the lockdown time on Monday.
Their attempted mass crossover to the north was seen as a threat to stop the spread of the virus in the country, and they were thus halted in their tracks and returned to Accra.