The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has provided temporary shelter for some 76 head porters (Kayayei), who were intercepted at Ejisu by the Ashanti Regional Police, when they tried to smuggle their way to northern Ghana in an attempt to escape the partial lockdown being enforced in Accra.
The Kayayei who were directed to return to Accra by the Ashanti Regional Police were discovered by the Metro Security Task Force during their early morning patrol of the metropolis.
They were screened in accordance with the COVID-19 medical protocols, given food, water and soft drinks by the AMA and the BN Michael Ministries.
Addressing the Head porters, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, who was part of a high-powered delegation from the National COVID-19 Safety Taskforce assured them of government’s support during the lockdown and appealed to them to remain calm.
“Do not cry, nobody will arrest you. We will provide you with food, water to bathe and a place to sleep and teach all of you how to properly wash your hands and give you sanitizers. Nobody should run away because if you do you will be arrested. The President had directed that no one should move out but stay home so we will transport all of you back home after two weeks,” she said.
Deputy National Security Minister, Henry Quartey informed them that President Akufo Addo had directed them to assist them with food, security among others and ensure that they are safe, especially during the lockdown.
He appealed to them to observe the directives on social distancing, and stay in the shelter to be provided them.
The head porters include 20 girls between the ages of 6 to 15 years, 21 babies and 35 women between the ages of 18 to 45 years.
Over 70 head porters were intercepted at Ejisu on board two cargo trucks heading towards Tamale and Walewale.
They were leaving Accra where they make a living by carting the goods of customers and traders in some of Accra’s busiest business areas due to the lockdown imposed by President Akufo-Addo on Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi, Kasoa and Tema to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
On the orders of the Municipal Chief Executive of the Ejisu, the trucks were returned to Accra.