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Manhyia prepares for grand funeral of Asantehemaa

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem
 Manhyia Palace, the seat of the occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is working feverishly to complete   renovation works for the lying in state and funeral rites of Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II
Manhyia Palace, the seat of the occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is working feverishly to complete renovation works for the lying in state and funeral rites of Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II

Scores of artisans and engineers in various fields are putting finishing touches to renovation works at the Manhyia Palace, the seat of the occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for the lying-in-state and funeral rites of the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II.

The sub-committee on Health and Sanitation of the Funeral Committee in collaboration with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), will organise a massive clean-up exercise on Saturday, January 14, 2017 in the metropolis in readiness for the large crowd that is expected for the funeral.

Already, all the roundabouts and utility poles within the metropolis have been draped in red and black cloths signifying the death of the Ohemaa of the Asante Kingdom, while giant billboards of the Asantehemaa have been mounted at vantage points.

The Queenmother died peacefully in her palace on November 14, 2006. She was 111 years old. The burial rites will be performed over a four-day period, from Monday January 16, to Thursday January 19, 2017.

Palace

At the time of filing this report, work was also going on ernestly at the palace where the Asantehemaa will lie in state for four days.

Large portions of the floor have been covered with lush artificial green turf, while the existing green grass have been manicured.

There is also brisk sale of traditional sandals and cloth in areas around the Manhyia Palace.

The ceremony is expected to attract hundreds of mourners, including Presidents, international guests, captains of industries and over 20,000 ordinary people on a daily basis.

Clean-up exercise

The clean-up exercise began within the Kumasi Metropolis last Thursday with students of some selected senior high schools cleaning areas leading to the Kumasi Airport.

The KMA Director of Environment and Sanitation, Mr John Gorkemiah, stated this during a meeting with members of the Health and Sanitation sub-Committee of the funeral in Kumasi today.

He said on Saturday, residents would be expected to clean their surroundings and clear drains in their respective communities.

Over 150 tricycles and tipper trucks will be made available for the exercise.

The exercise would concentrate on areas from Suame to Amakom, Tafo Market, Sofoline Interchange and Akyeamfuor.

Other areas include Anloga Junction to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Police Station and Manhyia.

Health

The Director of Medical Services at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr Baffour Awuah, who is the Head of the Health and Sanitation sub-Committee for the funeral, said even though they were prepared for the ceremony, he appealed to mourners with medical conditions to take their medication before coming to the funeral grounds.

Dr Awuah entreated mourners who would be using toilet facilities at vantage points to observe basic hygienic rules such as washing of hands with soap.