In a bid to alleviate the impacts of the Akosombo Dam spillage on residents in the Volta Region, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has donated items worth US$300,000 to the affected constituencies within the region.
With five large truckloads of items ranging from medical supplies, food, emergency sanitation such as bags of rice, mosquito nets, aquatabs, student mattresses with blankets, boots, boxes of canned mackerel among others, the church worked together with the Members of Parliament of the affected constituencies – South Tongu, Central Tongu, North Tongu, South Dayi and Ketu South to ensure a fair distribution of the items donated.
A breakdown of some of the items include 1,500 mattresses, 1,500 blankets, 1,000 bags of 5kg rice, 500 canned mackerel, 420 bottles of 12-litre oil, 500 pair of boots, 1,500 mosquito nets, 250 boxes of sanitary pads, 1,000 packs of T-rolls, 100 boxes of liquid soap, were some of the items distributed among the constituencies.
Commenting on the motive for the kind gesture done to victims of the dam spillage, Elder Jörg Klebingat, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Africa West Area, said it is simply to keep the second great commandment which mainly focuses on taking care of other people and also following the footsteps of Apostle Paul who talked largely on charity and expecting nothing in return.
“We donated these items simply for only one reason and that is to keep the second great commandment – to take care of our fellow men. Also, we donate without any expectation of getting any favours or something in return. Not all gifts given these days in the world are given out of charity but we try to follow Paul of the Bible who has talked much about charity and so we’re just delighted that we could offer at least a little help for now,” he said.
Detailing the future plans of the church in supporting the victims, Elder Klebingat noted that the church is also excited and ready to embark on a further assessment to ascertain the other pressing needs of the people and offer them their continuous support.
“As a church we try to be the first on site and often we’re the last to leave. We will be very happy to continue working with the officials there and our own people will also be on the ground doing further assessments and then we will make some decisions regarding what we might yet do for them because we do realize that once the water has subsided, it calls for more support and we look forward to continuing our support in that region,” he explained.
Responding to the church’s plans in supporting the efforts of government to provide better accommodation for victims of the flood, he explained that the church will reach out and work closely with the local governments to identify the sort of second level needs in that region and whatever is appropriately doable for them, they will be happy to participate.
For his part, Flint Ekyem Mensah Director for Temporal Affairs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – Africa West Area, noted that to ensure that the church responds to the main needs of the people, they reached out to the MPs of the five affected communities who later handed over a list of items their people need to the church.
Touching on how the church can lend a supporting hand to other regions such as the Eastern region who were affected by the dam spillage, he explained that when the church is notified of any extra support to such regions, they will offer the needed support they can.