The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has dismissed claims in sections of the media that the military high command has ordered military personnel deployed to Mepe, the most affected township following the recent pillage of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams, to withdraw from the location and to put a stop to the humanitarian support services it is offering to the people of Mepe.
In a statement issued by the Ghana Armed Force (GAF), dated Sunday 22 October 2023, and signed by Naval Captain Ma Larbi, the Armed Forces called on well-meaning Ghanaians to disregard the media reportage, noting that the military to stay on the ground and offer its services to affected persons and communities for as long as it takes.
“The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) wishes to debunk some media reports and series of social media posts especially on Twitter (X) claiming for that military personnel deployed to Mepe in the Volta Region for humanitarian relief operations following the spillage of the Akosombo Dam, have been withdrawn.
“GAF wishes to categorically state that the information in circulation is inaccurate and that the personnel have not been given any orders from above’ to withdraw from Mepe or any other community affected by the spillage contrary to the social media posts” the press release read.
“It must be emphasised that the Humanitarian Relief Operations (Operation Boafo), being conducted by the Ghana Navy’s Riverine Command and the 48 Engineer Regiment of the Army is being executed in phases. As of 22 October 2023, the situation in Mepe has been brought under considerable control and therefore it became necessary t urgently redeploy some personnel and equipment t other distressed communities around Battor and its environs, which were in dire need of support.
“Following the deployment f additional personnel and equipment to these distressed communities, the operations being conducted have been varied to suit the evolving situation. It must be placed on record that for the purpose of this operation, GAF has established an Emergency Operations Centre which is coordinating all the GAF activities in a harmonised manner in conjunction with NADMO” the statement further read.
GAF in their press release also assured the general public that “as recently reported in the media of the thousands of persons rescued and marked efforts being made to support victims, it will not relent in the quest to ensure urgent, equitable and appropriate response and support to all persons and communities affected by the spillage in conjunction with all stakeholders.”
At least 31,000 individuals in nine districts in the Volta Region have been affected by the spillage of excess water from the Akosombo and Kpong dams, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) said on Asaase 99.5 Accra’s weekend news analysis show “The Forum”.
Crops have been destroyed, schools shut and the economy has come to a standstill in Mepe – the epicentre in the Volta Region – and parts of the Eastern and Greater Accra regions after the dams overflowed at Akosombo and Kpong.
“We have moved most of the affected people to a safe haven. About 31,000 people have been displaced,” NADMO deputy director general Sedji Sadji said on Asaase’s weekend political and current affair show, “The Forum”.
No deaths had been reported in relation to the flood. Speaking on the same programme, the spokesperson of NADMO George Ayisi said relief efforts are going on as expected and called on well-meaning Ghanaians to contribute.
He said so far 20 safe havens have been created to house some of the displaced persons, adding “We are doing everything to ensure that nobody uses the water within the enclave because it’s contaminated.”