Annual Azambene Festival Observed in Bongo

The Chiefs and people of the Bongo Traditional Area in the Upper East Region climaxed their annual Azambene festival celebrations last weekend, with a call on the people in the area to adopt environmental-friendly practices as well as lend their support to government interventions geared at protecting the environment.

Paramount Chief of Bongo, Naba Baba Salifu A. Lemyaarum who made the call also revealed that, the Azambene festival is celebrated annually by the chiefs and people of the Bongo Traditional area in remembrance of the journey their great grandfather embarked on from Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi District in the Northern Region to their present location in Upper East several decades ago.

But dwelling further on his call on the people to protect the environment, the Chief stated that global warming was real thus the urgent need for all and sundry to take effective measures that can sustain and improve the environment. He noted that aside natural factors, man-made disruptions to the ecosystem can cause extinction of many species of plants, animals and trees among others which may in turn threaten human existence.

The Paramount Chief observed that there is every reason to keep celebrating the festival annually, as it also served as a platform for public education on important issues of national and local interests, communal interactions and cohesion amongst the local communities. The festival also serves as a home-coming for sons and daughters from the area who are in the diaspora. Meanwhile, others see it an occasion for families to re-unite and give thanks to God for a bumper harvest.

The BoNaba who also doubles as the Vice President of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs used the occasion to appeal to government through the ministry of Education to as a matter of urgency, absorb Azeem-Namoo SHS, Bongo-Soe SHS, Bongo-Beo Senior High Technical School, Balungu Technical Institute and Bongo Community Development Vocational which are all community based schools. The absorption he hoped, will give these schools better and adequate infrasture as well as the neede human resource to function efficiently.

Acting Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Frank Fuseini Adongo in his address, reiterated governments commitment in providing the needed infrastructure and equipping the technical schools with the necessary resources to enable them function effectively and to produce the required man power for the country’s development. He said government is also focused on establishing a youth enterprise fund that will provide funding and tax incentives to young entrepreneurs and business development services to encourage the youth initiate start-ups.

Mr. Adongo noted that the theme for the festival “Supporting Education and Protecting the Environment through Culture; the Role of the Community”, resonates with the chief’s call earlier on for the people to embrace education and protect their environment.

He said there is the urgent need for a strong re-orientation of the people especially, the youth to appreciate the wealth of their own tradition and culture as handed down from generations. The Acting Regional Minister stressed that, “this is the surest way to preserve our culture from the seeming invasion of foreign cultures and the erroneous impression that everything from the western world was good for us as a people”.

Meanwhile, Bongo District Chief Executive, Hon. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga in a statement intimated that, the vision of the Nana-Addo led administration of building a Ghana Beyond Aid cannot be achieved without the support of the chiefs, queen mothers and other selfless stakeholders in the country. He reaffirmed government’s commitment in investing massively in the country’s educational sector and mentioned the Free SHS programme and provision of school infrastructure as proof of this.

Mr. Ayinbisa also revealed that, about 29 communities in the district have been declared open defecation free while the rest of the communities in the district were at various stages of the Community-Led Total Sanitation [CLTS] processes to also get declaration. He called on the people to support the assembly’s campaign for the achievement of open defecation free status.

Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD)

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