The Department of Gender in the Upper West Region has initiated the process to support a vulnerable woman and her family after the Ghana News Agency (GNA) exposed the family’s plight in a feature article.
In the said feature article titled; “Surviving poverty and vulnerability: Woman labours hard for sick husband and children”, the GNA explored the daily struggles of Rahinatu Abu, 37, to feed six children and the husband, Abu Naabau, 76, and is down with stroke.
The feature also looked at Ghana’s social protection systems and their failure to provide the necessary protection for the vulnerable family despite the country being a signatory to a number of international human rights conventions and protocols and how that constituted a violation of the family’s human rights and dignity.
Currently, Rahinatu Abu’s main work is to harvest and split wood, then carry it to the market to sell for little amounts of money to be able to put food on the table for the family.
Additionally, she burns charcoal and sells wild fruits in the market to support the upkeep of her family.
Despite the hand-to-mouth related struggles, the family still cannot find good sleep especially in this period of the rainy season due to the bad leakages of the roof.
Two of her children have already dropped out of school.
Madam Charity Batuure, the Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Gender who praised the GNA for helping to expose the plight of the woman and her family, described their situation as pathetic and needed urgent attention.
According to her, the Department of Gender and for that matter, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection often gets worried reading some of these stories in the media.
Madam Batuure noted that as a result, the Ministry through the Department often tried finding both immediate and long term solutions to the problems brought to their attention through the media.
“It is for this reason that we have immediately asked a carpenter to undertake an estimate and present an invoice covering the roofing of the two rooms so that we know the cost and then see how we can immediately mobilize for support to address that immediate need of the family”, she said.
The Regional Director of the Department of Gender said for a long term solution, they would be happy if they could find support to put up at least a two-bedroom house for the family since the current structure was nearing collapsing as highlighted by the GNA’s report.
Madam Batuure promised to liaise with the Department of Social Welfare to see how possible they could within their mandate enroll the family unto the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to cushion them against the current hardships.