OHS Project in Ghana

WIEGO worked with the Institute for Local Government Studies (ILGS), the StreetNet Ghana Alliance and the Indigenous Caterer's Association of Ghana to achieve several outcomes.

Informal Workers Win Concessions at Multi Stakeholder Workshop

 In 2011, a successful Multi Stakeholder Workshop (MSW) in Accra, facilitated by ILGS, created a forum for discussion between informal worker associations and government institutions around health and safety issues. Participants came from the StreetNet Ghana Alliance, the Indigenous Caterers Association, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the Ghana Revenue Authority, and the National Board for Small Scale Industries. Negotiations focused on the provision of fire extinguishers in public markets, improving waste management, and the clearing clogged drains in market areas. With their newly acquired negotiations skills, developed through a capacity-building process, the workers gained some important concessions from government, including:

• A commitment to fit fire extinguishers in public markets — fires are common and can cause severe and lasting damage to the livelihoods of traders.

• A promise to clear a large, clogged drain that has plagued textiles traders in Accra’s Makola Market which is a source of stench and a breeding ground for diseases, including malaria.

• An AMA request to form a monitoring committee among the trader associations to report on the effectiveness of private waste management companies contracted by the AMA to help ensure the companies perform their duties. (Traders had complained that these companies do not clean the market effectively, and some said employees dump rubbish near trading sites and demand money to take it away.)

Kayayei Win Commitments at Health Policy Dialogue

A Health Policy Dialogue in 2012 helped more than 1,500 informal workers gain access to health care through the Ghanaian National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Most of those who benefitted were headload porters known as kayayei, who are often poor migrant women from the north of Ghana. Read more.

Informal Workers Take the Airwaves in Ghana

Through the OHS Project, informal workers and their issues garnered public attention. Representatives from StreetNet Ghana Alliance and the Indigenous Caterers Association appeared on a popular women’s programme called Mmaa Nkomo on Ghana Television (GTV) to air their concerns about the health and safety situation in and around markets in Accra. Over 400 informal workers attended the event in December 2011. This led to interest from other media outlets in these issues.

Thanks to the efforts of the Ghana Project Coordinator Dorcas Ansah, and the commitment of our partners, the Institute for Local Government Studies (ILGS), the StreetNet Ghana Alliance and the Indigenous Caterer's Association of Ghana, the OHS Project has moved from strength to strength in this country.

Related publications

 

Alfers, Laura and Ruth Abban
Occupational Health & Safety for Indigenous Caterers in Accra, Ghana. 2011. WIEGO.

(also available in French, Spanish and Portuguese)