Rawlings Foundation supports dam spillage victims at Mepe
The J.J. Rawlings Foundation has donated relief items and some medication to the Mepe Traditional Council for distribution to the victims of the flood caused by the recent spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong Hydroelectric dams.
The items included bags of rice, gari, beans and maize, as well as bags of sachet water, bails of mosquito nets, mattresses, clothes, cooking utensils, and toiletries.
A delegation from the Foundation, led by Yaa Asantewaa and Amina Agyeman-Rawlings, last Wednesday made the presentation at Mepe.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Executive Director of the J.J. Rawlings Foundation, Yaa Asantewaa Agyeman-Rawlings, said they were in Mepe to show solidarity with the people of Mepe for what had befallen them.
“As much as we are relieved to hear that no lives have so far been lost, losing one’s property can have an unbearable effect on life.
“We hope that our presence shows that this tragedy has not just befallen the people of Mepe but has impacted the entire country.
We are here as brothers and sisters, your neighbours and children of this land and we hope that our donation will lessen the blow to those affected,” Ms Asantewaa Agyeman-Rawlings said.
She said her late father had a unique way of responding to matters such as the disaster being experienced in Mepe and the Foundation, in that spirit, she would explore ways to help build mitigating factors for the victims of the flood.
Ms Agyeman-Rawlings described as admirable, the resilience of the entire community in the face of this adversity and assured them of continuous support from the Foundation.
The Mankralo of the Mepe Traditional Area in the Volta Region, Togbe Kwasi Nego VI, receiving the items, said it was heartwarming that the children of the late former President Rawlings had led a delegation to make the donation to the victims of the flood.
He recalled the passion and dedication with which the former President led in nation-building and remarked that he would have also paid a visit to the communities, were he to be alive.
“Your coming means a lot to us because you are doing what your father would have done,” the Mankralo stated.
The Paramount Queenmother of the Mepe Traditional Area, Mamaga Adzo Sreku I, while expressing her happiness for the gesture, also recalled the relationship the late President Rawlings had with Mepe, describing him as ‘being one of us’.
“Having you here means a lot to us.
It has brought back good memories.
I know his (President Rawlings) spirit came with you.
Thank you, especially, for bringing us medication,” Mamaga Sreku said.
Giving details on the extent of devastation on the Mepe community, Togbe Nego said over 1,000 homes were submerged, 200 houses collapsed and all farms were flooded.
Also, he indicated that the community’s water bodies had been contaminated because the floods took over public toilets, cemeteries and refuse dumps, making the water unsafe for consumption.
“We are thankful to God no one got drowned.
But a lot of property has been lost to the flood, so we started making appeals to all to come to our aid.
“So far, we have received over 30,000 bags of sachet water and some food items which we have been distributed to about a 1,000 households,” the Mankralo stated.
He thus expressed gratitude to the foundation for the support, which, he said, would ensure that victims had some of their basic needs catered for even as they waited for the floodwaters to completely recede and a return to some form of normalcy with their activities.
After the presentation, the delegation visited some of the devastated areas in Mepe, hitching a ride on a boat at some point to survey the extent of the flooding and damage.
They also used the opportunity to interact with some victims of the flood in the community who appealed for books and learning materials for the children, clothes and feminine hygiene products.