The Chiefs and People of the Edina Traditional Area last Saturday celebrated their annual Bakatue Festival.
Bakatue, which is a Fanti word meaning opening or draining of the lagoon, is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of Edina, the town known today as Elmina by the Europeans.
On such occasions, the sea deity for the town, Nana Benya, is invoked for inspiration and protection of the Edina state and its people.
This year’s celebration was based on the theme, “Buy made-in-Ghana goods, use made-in-Ghana products; promote made-in-Ghana industries and create jobs for the youth.”
In a speech read on behalf of the Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamina Duncan, the Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Thomas Adjei-Bafuor, assured the people that the government would fulfil all the promises it made to develop the region.
“The government is indeed committed to honouring its promises to better the lot of the majority of Ghanaians,” he stressed.
The minister said the government’s policy to make senior high school (SHS) education free of charge was set to roll in September this year.
“From September all qualified SHS students will go to school free of charge,” he said.
He said the government had begun the construction of a sea defence wall to prevent the sea from causing havoc to the people of Elmina and other communities along the coast.
Work on the project had already started in Takoradi and would get to Elmina soon, he stated.
Dredging of Benya Lagoon
Mr Duncan also spoke of government’s intention to dredge the lagoon to facilitate fishing activities.
“It was during the tenure of the former government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the lagoon was first dredged and we shall do it again,” he said.
The Omanhen of the Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, expressed gratitude to past and the present governments for their efforts to project and develop the area, particularly with regard to education, agriculture and health.
Nana Conduah urged the government to consider the production of chlorine for water treatment from electrolysis, which is produced in copious quantities in Elmina, as part of its one-district, one-factory policy.
He entreated the people not to sell their children to child-traffickers who put the children through hard and menial jobs. He encouraged families to practise family planning to control their family size.
Nana Conduah further advised fishermen and fish mongers in the town to engage in other income-generating activities in order to have diversified income.
A Public Relations Officer with the West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme (WARP), Mr Bright Yeboah, said the organisation was collaborating with fisherfolks across the country on ways to ensure sustainable fishing.
Source: Ghana | Graphiconline