A former Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Tongu in the Volta Region, Hon. Joe Kwashie Gidisu, has expressed concern about the marginalization of some flood disaster victims in the ongoing distribution of relief items. Speaking at the presentation of a large consignment of relief items by SOS Children’s Villages to more than two hundred fifty (250) flood victims at Mafi Aklamador in the Central Tongu District, Mr. Gidisu said some of the flood victims have almost lost hope, perhaps because no benefactor remembered to assist in dissuading their suffering.
Mafi Aklamador and its sister communities in the Central Tongu district have not been affected by the spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong dams. The community and its adjoining towns are only playing host to the flood victims on humanitarian grounds. It is estimated that about ninety-five (95) percent of the flood victims currently living at Mafi Aklamador and its environs are from Mepe in the North Tongu district.
These disaster victims are occupying rooms and shelters in the town and its sister communities such as Atitekpo, Agbenorkope, and Kumikpo, because occupants of these rooms are usually not available during this time of the year due to their fishing and farming expeditions elsewhere.
Because of this peculiar situation, the flood victims here, including more than one hundred (100) children, have been marginalized in the distribution of these relief items.
It is against this backdrop that the SOS Children’s Villages in Ghana visited Mafi Aklamador for the second time to support the flood victims with more relief items. Some of the items included fifty (50) bags of sachet water, seventeen (17) bags of used clothing, fifty (50) packs of soft drinks, cooking oil, twenty (20) blankets as well as bags of ten (10) bags of charcoal, maize, cassava dough and gari amongst others.
The SOS Children’s Villages delegation was led by its National Director, Mr. Alexander Mar Kekuta. Other members of the team were the Vice Principal, SOS Herman Gmeiner International College (SOS-HGIC), Mr. Adzo Ashie, Financial Controller, SOS-HGIC, Ms. Tongai Ndoro, National Youth Development Advisor SOS Children’s Villages (CV), Mr. Godknows Kporha, National Child Safeguarding Advisor, SOS CV in Ghana, Mr. J.B. Nartey as well as the Advocacy, Communication and Brands Manager, SOS CV in Ghana, Ms. Edith Efua Chidi.
Speaking in an interview with our news after the presentation of the relief items, former Roads and Highways Minister and former MP for Central Tongu, Hon. Joe Gidisu, expressed deep worries about the complete marginalization of these groups, which according to him, are at the shadow side of the focus.
According to him, there is no basis for the treatment being meted out to these victims whose only fault is that they are not part of the twenty-one (21) haven camps established in the North Tongu district for the flood victims.
Reacting to questions as to whether these victims are captured on the official data of the North Tongu district, Mr. Gidisu answered in the affirmative, emphasizing that the data is not only with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) but also the MP’s team who are handling these efforts.
The former Central Tongu lawmaker lamented that there were no responses to the numerous calls to the appropriate duty bearers and quarters concerning these frustrations.
According to him, he had to use his relationship with some stakeholders such as the Central Tongu District Assembly (CTDA), Dela Radio at Adidome, Citi TV and FM in Accra, as well as the SOS Children’s Villages in Accra to get relief items directly to the victims at Mafi Aklamador.
According to him, only eighty-four (84) mattresses being used by the victims, which is even woefully inadequate, came from the CTDA, which is not directly responsible for these victims.
The National Director of the SOS Children’s Villages, Mr. Alexander Mar Kekuta said his outfit has been moved to offer the needed support because of the difficulties the victims especially the children and women find themselves in. According to him, his organization is concerned with children and women who are the most vulnerable groups in times of disasters and other unfortunate situations.
Mr. Kekuta was hopeful that the widows’ mite of the SOS Children’s Villages in the area of the relief items would go a long way to ameliorate the harsh conditions the victims are in. He also gave the assurance that the organization would soon return to give further support to the flood victims.
The Officer in charge of the victims, Mr. King David was grateful to the SOS Children’s Villages for the gesture, saying the support is indeed a dream come true. Some of the flood victims, who spoke with our news team, lauded the efforts and sacrifices of Hon. Joe Gidisu, who, according to them, sometimes has to use his resources to provide them with water, soft drinks for the kids, and some food items.
Meanwhile, forty-one (41) of the displaced learners have been admitted to the Mafi Aklamador D.A. Basis School for their basic education. They include some seven final years Junior High School (JHS) pupils who will write their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) next year.
According to the Headteacher of the school, Mr. John Kwame Kpevu, the children are doing very well. He appealed to the general public and other stakeholders in education to assist the pupils with educational materials since, according to him, most of these child victims have lost their learning materials.