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GHANA BANS USED-CLOTHING
- Parent Category: AdepaInfo
- Published Date
The ban on the importation and sale of second-hand undergarments takes full effect beginning today, Tuesday March 1, 2011.
The Ghana Standards Board says the health hazards associated with using second-hand underwear is serious, hence the decision to implement the law passed in 1994.
The Head of Marketing and Public Relations at the Standards Board,Kofi Amponsah Bediako said his outfit is collaborating with the Ports to ensure that the banned goods do not get onto the market.
“I want to explain that it is not all used items that have been banned. They are only four items, made up of used handkerchiefs, mattresses, sanitary wears and used underpants including brassieres and vests. So if you take used handkerchiefs and underpants from them, the traders can still sell the other things. The ban is basically for health reasons” he emphasized.
However, many traders are unhappy with the proscription because they fear they will be denied their means of livelihood. The GSB remains adamant, explaining that the ban is essential for the nation’s long term public health safety.
Citi News Reporter Juanita Sallah, who visited the Kantamanto Market in Accra where the trade is huge reports that the traders are set against the ban, in spite of the intensive education campaigns carried out.
According to her, the traders are generally concerned about the hardships they could suffer when the directive is implemented. Many argue they have been wearing such undergarments for decades and have not experienced any adverse effects. No reports of health problems have also been received from customers who have been relying heavily on second hand undergarments, they noted.
But the Acting Director of the Inspectorate Division of the Ghana Standards Board, Kofi Nagetey told Citi News such claims are borne out of ignorance.
“A lot of the people who are wearing these undergarments don’t know the diseases that they contract. There is a lot of specific evidence about skin diseases and organisms that cause them and how they can penetrate textiles when they stay in them for a long time”.
“Many people are saying that they are wearing them and they are not dying so why do you have to ban them?' That is an argument borne out of ignorance. We have what we call risk and if the risk is high we have to manage it and prevent people from contracting these skin diseases by wearing of under panties that you don’t even know who wore it before you are wearing it” he said.
Mr. Nagetey said the GSB would undertake swoops with the security agencies to get rid of used undergarments on the market. He said all consignments of used undergarments would be inspected by the GSB before their release at the various ports and entry points.
He said Legislative Instrument (LI) 1586 which was passed in 1994 bans the importation, clearance and sale of used undergarments, yet importers have been importing used brassieres, pants, handkerchiefs and singlets.
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