As promised, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the giant in waste management, has fumigated over 9,000 homes to reduce the incidence and the spread of communicable diseases in the community in the Mepe area.
The move, which comes at no cost to the victims, is aimed at redeeming a pledge it made to the victims and it also aligns with the company’s vector control programme.
The fumigation has become necessary following the spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong hydro-electric dams which flooded various communities and displaced nearly 40,000 people in the North, South and Central Tongu districts of the Volta Region.
Some residents of Ada, Asuogyaman and Shai Osudoku were also affected by the spillage which saw several homes submerged, while farmlands and fish farming livelihood projects were destroyed completely.
The General Manager in charge of Vector Control, a subsidiary of Jospong Group, Ebenezer Kwame Addae, said the one-month project to be undertaken in six districts of the Volta, Greater Accra and Eastern regions, was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).
He explained that the exercise was aimed to make the flooded communities more habitable after the floodwaters had receded.
Mepe, Battor, and Aveyime are among 13 communities in the North Tongu District that are benefiting from the project.
A total of 21 communities from South Tongu, Central Tongu, Shai Osudoku, Asuogyaman and Lower Manya Krobo will also benefit from the exercise.
Addressing journalists at Battor on the exercise which commenced on Sunday, October 29, this year, Rev. Dr. Addae debunked rumours that the project was being undertaken at a fee as part of a contractual agreement between the company and the Volta River Authority (VRA).
“It is public knowledge that our Managing Director, during a recent donation of relief support to the government for the victims, announced that the company will undertake the exercise as part of our corporate social responsibility, and the VRA is only providing guidance for the exercise since they have an extensive knowledge of the affected communities that might have to benefit from the project,” Rev. Addae explained.
He added that what the company was doing was a pure corporate social responsibility as directed by the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group.
“I challenge anyone who says we are doing this at a fee to produce the contract guiding the exercise,” he said.
He said whereas similar exercises were done during the COVID-19 outbreak, “this time, this is being done free of charge in line with humanitarian assistance to our brothers in the affected areas,” he stressed.
He pointed out that though the VRA sought the company’s assistance to undertake the project, they made it clear to the officials that they had already committed themselves to undertaking the exercise in the spirit of social responsibility. Zoomlion, he said, was only giving back to society what it had gained from it.
Commenting on its contractual agreements with district assemblies across the country, Rev. Addae said the company had a disinfection of public places of convenience and other related activities as directed by the assemblies, and the company’s presence in the area was as a result of the disaster associated with the spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams.
“We only beefed up our CSR activities to help the people in need and there is no existing contract on any form of emergency disinfection/fumigation”, Rev. Addae emphasised.
The MCE for North Tongu, Divine Osborne Fenu, while giving an update of the situation, said the flood in most of the affected areas were receding gradually, hence the fumigation exercise being carried out by Zoomlion.
He said while the homes that had dried up would require a structural integrity assessment before the owners could move in, officials had been informed that some persons were moving into their homes.
“The goal is to get the fumigation done after which the technical people will move in to conduct these tests.
We are setting up a team to undertake sensitisation at the holding shelters to dissuade people from moving into these homes without any proper assessment done on their structures,” Mr Fenu said.
On education, he said whereas not all the 21 holding shelters had makeshift learning system in place for children, the stakeholders were working around the clock to ensure that the resettlement homes being constructed by the Firsk Sky Group would be completed in time so people could be moved into them to make way for the use of the classrooms serving as shelters to revert to teaching and learning.