The Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia along with other top government officials distributed food aid to victims of flooding in the country; some of the items were later found to be expired. Who is to be held responsible?
Reports from the Ghanaian Local Disaster Management officials reveal that flooding in Northern Ghana which was caused due to spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso (Approximately 478 kilometers from Ghana) has displaced thousands of people and killed at least thirty-four people.
They claim this is not the first time this is happening as the water spillage from the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso occurs annually, and Ghana struggles to deal with the impact. Burkina Faso shares its border with Ghana’s northern regions, so many homes are usually flooded when the Dam overflows.
The government of Ghana, who has received criticisms for not handling the issue with enough seriousness seems to have compounded her woes as some of the items recently donated to victims of the flooding by the Vice President and other top government officials were expired.
Among the expired products distributed was cooking oil which had expired last month. The oil was part of the package of relief items meant for the flood victims.
There has been anger among Ghanaians over the incident. The country’s National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), has taken responsibility for the distribution of the expired food items.
Communications Director for NADMO, George Ayisi told Citi FM that “some expired items that had been stored in the warehouse. Some of the loaders unfortunately picked some boxes, and added them to the items that were being loaded, and that is why we had this problem.”
He said the NADMO has already dispatched some personnel to the camps to retrieve the expired oil; and in an interview with the BBC, he claimed that they were yet to confirm whether the reports of people having stomach upsets after consuming the oil was directly linked to its consumption.
Meanwhile, members of Ghana’s main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have called for an investigation into how the mistake was made; claiming that such negligence should not be condoned and those responsible should be punished.
The NDC brought the issue to public attention at a press conference yesterday through the Upper West Regional Communications Officer of the NDC, Prosper Puo-Ire. He said, “after several complaints from some of the victims, we noticed with shock and dismay, right after the donation that the items were expired products given to them.
“Today the love for kingly power and its associated glamour has blinded Dr. Bawumia to our plight and further hardened his heart to the extent that he serves our people with expired food items at their times of vulnerability and sincere need.
“Government must immediately remedy the embarrassment the Vice President caused by coming to the aid of the disaster victims in a more dignified and proper manner”, he added.
Credit: Citi FM