The Upper East Regional Directorate of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has held a pre-election functional simulation exercise to test humanitarian response to any crises that may arise in the December 7 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
At a stakeholder meeting in Bolgatanga, Mr Jerry Asamani, the Upper East Regional Director of NADMO said the essence of the meeting was to enable stakeholders establish standard procedures to handle elections related situations that may occur in the Region.
“We are here to collaborate, set the communication and reporting lines, and to see how to identify flash points, hot spots and how to handle the situations either before, during and after elections.”
Mr Asamani observed that, the last hours to 1700 hours on election day were usually the heated time, and said the meeting would afford stakeholders including, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Armed Forces, the National Ambulance Service among others to identify their roles, especially during the last hours to counting of ballots.
He said NADMO had three central points, “For the Bawku zone, Binduri is taken as the warehousing point where relief items are stored in case we have to deploy them immediately to the six Districts that are there.
“In the Bolgatanga zone, we are using the Regional warehouses and then the western zone, that is Navrongo, Paga, Builsa North and South, the warehousing is going to be at Sandema, so that in case we have wounded situations, and there is the need to assist in terms of relief items, it would be closer to the occurrence of certain incidences.”
Mr Awini Ali Baba, the Regional Administrator of the National Ambulance Service said his outfit had also zoned their operations into three, namely the Navrongo, Bolgatanga and Bawku zones.
He said should there be casualties along the Navrongo zone, where they had Chiana, Paga, Sandema and Fumbisi, ambulances in those areas would be deployed to assist.
On his part, Major Edmund Osae, the Second in Command at the Mechanised Battalion unit at Bazua in the Binduri District, said “As Military, our role is to support the civil authority to maintain control over the process.
“We are closely working with the Police to ensure that the process goes smoothly. We will establish joint operations centres together with the Police in the various Districts, and we will be patrolling, and will come in whenever necessary.”
Major Osae gave the assurance that the Military would be firm on ground, “The Air force would be doing their business likewise our water space too would be covered. So we are good to go.”
Superintendent Richard Anaba Salifu, the Bolgatanga Municipal Police Commander on behalf of the Regional Police Command, said election security forces across all Districts in the Region were reactivated.
He said the Ghana Police Service does not have enough personnel to police all polling centres, and at the same time perform their traditional functions, “So that is why we always bring in the other security agencies like the Customs Division, Immigration, Fire Service and Prison Officers.”