The Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) has presented working tools to about 400 Disaster Risk Reduction volunteers from five communities in the Bongo District in the Upper East Region to enhance their work.
The Regional Manager of the GRCS, Mr. Paul Woomah, who did the presentation in the Bongo-Soe on Monday, mentioned the beneficiary communities as Azorsidaana, Asebre, Ania-Kunkua, Akebka and Atonobugoro.
Mr. Woomah said each of the five beneficiary communities would receive 15 pieces of first aid kits, five live jackets, 15 Wellington boots, two megaphones, two wheelbarrows, 15 Red Cross jackets, one bicycle, two life-buoy tubes fitted with a long rope, a fire extinguisher and 15 cutlasses among others.
He added that the package also included a hand-washing stand, installed with a bucket water system with a soap compartment for distribution to some basic schools in the area to improve hygiene and sanitation. The schools included the Feo Junior High School-B, Agomo Primary, Ayelbia Junior High, Apatanga Primary and Vincent Memorial Primary.
The Red Cross Manager noted that it was cost-effective to spend a little amount to mitigate disasters than to be complacent for them to happen and to spend even much huge sums of money fixing the destruction often left behind after disasters strike.
He remarked, "while one Dollar can be used to do disaster prevention, it could cost up to seven Dollars to undertake repairs." He, therefore, called on the government to place emphasis on disaster risk reduction and devote some resources to that effect through state agencies such as NADMO and the Ghana National Fire Service as the GRCS was ready to team up with them.
Mr. Woomah commended the Swiss Red Cross for the tremendous financial and technical support it has been extending to the GRCS through the decades in the execution of its mandate.
He appealed for an extension of similar support to the Talensi, Binduri, Kassena-Nankana and Nabdam districts.
Bongo District Chief Executive (DCE) Mr. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga, who witnessed the presentation expressed appreciation to the GRCS for the gesture. He observed that the package came in good time to augment what the government was already doing to resource NADMO and similar entities of state to help reduce the impact of unavoidable disasters in the district.
Hon. Ayinbisa pledged that the NADMO unit of the Assembly would constantly be in touch with the volunteers to ensure that the items were applied properly for the attainment of the intended purpose.
The Disaster Coordinator of the Swiss Red Cross, Alhaji Adams Abudulai, said it was imperative for the volunteers to periodically remind themselves of the appropriate use of the implements so as not to forget their rightful application to save lives during disasters.
For his part, the Bongo District Director of NADMO, Mr. Clement Akongo, disclosed that the district had as many as 27 disaster-prone communities and called for a scale-up of the Red Cross support to cover the remaining 22 communities.