This shows the degree of exposure to risk and the way the different segments of vulnerable people are affected in the metropolis. These segments are; women; children; the poor and the physically challenged. They are marginalized and therefore at a disadvantage and suffer from inequality when it comes to the distribution of resources and decision-making.
The result of the marginalization is that they are easily disposed to all forms of abuse; male chauvinism, domestic violence against women, lack of proper parental care, denial of paternity, interest of the physically challenged pushed to the background during project designs and the general lack of access to quality education and health care.
The concomitant effect is the proliferation of numerous social problems. These include juvenile delinquency, streetism, child labour, child maintenance, child custody, denial of paternity, rehabilitation of people with disability (PWD) orphaned and abandoned children, inability to pay hospital bills and absconding from hospitals, welfare whilst in prison, people in general distress, hard drug abuse/addiction, services for the destitute, child abuse/child labour.Factors Leading to Prevalence of Social Problems
a. Irresponsible parents
b. Single parent families
c. Broken Homes
d. Breakdown of the extended family
e. Large Unemployed population
f. The general poverty
g. MigrationChildren in Worst Forms of Child Labour (CWFCL)
There is growing concern about the use of children’s time, particularly in activities that may be injurious to their health, education and development. The Government has taken a number of initiatives to meet the urgent needs of children in the country. Notable among them are the “Child Cannot Wait” and “The Girl Child”.
In spite of these initiatives and other interventions by NGOs the problem of Child Labour thus school-age children spending longer hours in activities that may impede their development has become widespread.
The Worst Forms of Child Labour Census (WFCLC) are being undertaken by KMA within the framework of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour ILO/IPEC, which is aimed at promoting conditions, which would enable participating districts to progressively regulate, restrict and prohibit child labour
Child Labour is any activity, economic or non-economic, performed by a child that has the potential to negatively affect his/her health, schooling and normal development. In determining what constitutes WFCL, factors like the number of hours worked, the type of work and working environments.
Children who are recruited into forced labour through their family, agents, peer groups abduction and delinquent adventure risk getting into the WFCL. For abductions and fraudulent recruitment that are on pretense and graft, the children usually undergo molestations and ill treatment. Such children, especially adolescent girls tend to offer themselves out to people in need of housemaids or helpers to hawk or sell while their male counterparts are into drug peddling and pushing, forced apprenticeships as carpenters and drivers’ mates and truck pushing.The Department of Social Welfare
The Department of Social Welfare is the agency responsible for handling social problems in the Metropolis. There are three main areas of operation namely.a. Community Care
Under this programme the department deals with community activities like community based rehabilitation, AIDS/HIV/Hospital social work, NGO’s and integrated psychiatric rehabilitation/services.b. Child Right and Protection
Activities under this programme include investigation of abuse and neglect of children, Adoption, Children’s Home supervision of fit persons, Family Tribunals and Child Maintenance c. Justice Administration
Activities under this programme are mainly to assist court to deal effectively with Juvenile and adult offenders by writing investigation reports, supervision of probationers, prisoners running of Remand Home and attendance at family tribunal and Juvenile court. The various institutions of the department handle these areas of operations.Institutions of the Department of Social Welfare
a. Kumasi Children Home:
This institution is well equipped to take care of orphaned and abandoned children. It runs a Day Care Centre to prepare the children for primary school. The institution is understaffed and also the allocation of financial subvention to the institution is insufficient. It is currently running on ¢1.8m a quarter which works out to ¢600,000 a month for feeding, clothing, medical care etc for the children and also for overheads. The home depends to a large extent on donations.b. Edwenase Rehabilitation Centre
This centre is basically well equipped for the training of disabled persons in various vocations like hairdressing, tailoring and crafts. The basic problems of the centre are lack of means of transport and inadequate finance. c. The Boys and Girls Remand and Probation Home
At Asawasi is the third institution under the Department. It was established solely for the reformation and keeping of delinquent children pending the determination of their cases at the court. The Kumasi remand Home needs further renovation. Some level of work has been done lately by the KMA. This included the construction of a fence wall and the replacement of the entire sewerage system. d. The department also has a hospital welfare Office at Okomfo
Anokye Teaching Hospital, a probation office at the Ministries, a prison after care office three zonal offices and the Family Tribunals.
Other private individuals and Non-Governmental Organisation are involved in Social Welfare Services. Majority of them have not registered with the Department of Social Welfare making it very difficult to monitor their activities. Their activities are mainly on the mentally retarded and the orphanages. The centres for mental rehabilitation in private hands are:
1. Rhema Rehabilitation Centre
2. Cheshire Home at Edwenase
3. Garden City Special School
The orphanages include:
i. King Jesus Charity Home at Boadi
ii. Sisters of Charity at MbromStrengths and Opportunities
- The Rehabilitation Centre – Edwenase
- The Kumasi Children’s Home
- Boys/Girls Remand/Probation Home
- The Family Tribunal System
- Hospital Welfare Service
- The Prisons Aftercare Service
- Inadequate institutions to Handle Social Problems
- Lack of Diversity in to the programmes for rehabilitation of inmates
- Inadequate Government Subvention to the Department
- Inadequate staff to man the institutions.
- Introduction of diverse training programmes for the rehabilitation institutions
- Establishment of family counselling units within the Department
- Public education on responsible parenting
- Government pursuance of poverty and unemployment programmes.
Current statistics indicates that women in Kumasi form about 51.2% of the total population in the metropolis and their roles have mainly been defined and shaped along biological and cultural lines. Women as homemakers and caregivers are challenged to provide food security and material needs and are therefore actively engaged in economic activities. Strides have been made in all sectors of the economy especially in agro processing and services.
However, women continue to face considerable constraints that prevent them from taking full advantage of opportunities that are available to them. Women experience the worst form of poverty, generally continue to have limited access to and control over land, inadequate access to credit for production and expansion of businesses, inadequate skills and training, less formal education and fewer numbers in decision making process at both community and national levels.
The programmes identified in the plan are in line with the National Gender and children policy, Early Childhood Care and Development policy and the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy. The plan seeks to strengthen government’s policy drive towards growth and poverty reduction especially women and the vulnerable.
Under the plan, activities that will improve the social, economic and political status of women and enhance the development and potential of children have been identified and will be implemented and monitored accordingly.