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Ghana Armed Forces
NADMO National Coordinator lauds efforts of security services

9 November 2012
.  The National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation, NADMO, Mr Kofi Kporturphy has described as excellent, the manner in which the security services responded swiftly to the disaster at the Achimota Branch of Melcom. He noted that since day one of the incident, all the security services have contributed immensely to the rescue exercise.

Mr Kporturphy was speaking at the third press briefing at the site of the incident on the state of efforts underway to rescue all who might still be trapped under the rubble, reiterating that all efforts would be made to bring out the last victim.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Hon Rojo Mettle-Nunoo also responding to a question on how long it had taken the rescue team to retrieve victims noted that, the purpose of the rescue efforts was not to rush to uncover victim’s dead but to take painstaking measures to ensure that all trapped under the debris were retrieved alive.

He explained that under such circumstances, a country might have all the resources to work with but if help came from well meaning quarters, it did not mean that the Rescue Task Force was ineffective. He concluded by thanking all who had and continued to support the exercise.

Elaborating on the rescue exercise, Maj Jonas Wiafe, the Rescue Task Force Commander, disclosed that the rescue operation had taken a different face, from boring holes down into the floors to peeling off the floors.

Briefing the press, the Director Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces, Col M’bawine Atintande, said that efforts now were aimed at peeling off the rubble floor by floor. Two floors had been peeled off to the left of the rubble and three to the right side. He expressed hope that by the application of these methods, the team would be in a better position to uncover every victim beneath the rubble.

He said that as at 1600 hrs today, another six bodies had been sighted under the rubble. He also reported that seven out of the nine Melcom staff earlier said to have been missing had confirmed that they were not at work at the time of the incident. Some were off duty while others did not report to work for one reason or other. The where about of the remaining two persons are yet to be identified.

Since the start of the incident donations and contributions have poured in from many quarters. While some have contributed resources towards the upkeep of the rescuers, others have presented equipment for the rescue. The following are some of the donations:

1. Lilian Asante & Gertrude Segbefia Banku and Soup

2. Errata Hotel 60 bags of rice

3. Beatrice Obeng Kenkey and Soup

4. Zoozoo Restaurant 200 packs of rice (cooked)

5. Shoprite 10 cartons Voltic water

5 cartons apples

5 cartons coca cola

6. Confidence Mineral Water 50 bags of sachet water

7. Anonymous donor 20 bags of sachet water

8. Melcom 100 bags of sachet water

9. NADMO 100 bags of sachet water

10. Achimota Market Women’s Association 2 baskets of oranges

6 bags of loaves of bread

11. Isaac Andoh &Yaa Rose Kponyo Banku and okro soup

12. Engineers and Planners Earth-moving equipment

13. Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority Crane (200 tons)

14. Ministry of Local Government 100 cartons of mineral water

100 cartons of assorted soft drinks

worth GH₵20,000.00.

15. Vic Fam Bakery Bread and Milo drinks

16. MES Chemicals Ltd Electricity supply


President Mahama thanks Israeli government for rescue support

rescue team at work8 November 2012.  President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday 8 November extended his deepest appreciation to the Israeli government for sending in experts to assist in efforts to help people trapped under the debris of the collapsed Achimota branch of Melcom Shopping Mall.

President Mahama, who was addressing journalists at the scene of the incident called for a thorough investigations into what might have caused the collapse of the building. He noted that appropriate punishments would be meted out to those whose negligence coursed the unfortunate incident.

He expressed his appreciation to all those involved in the rescue mission especially Corporal Nestor Aneteaba, of the Striking Force, for risking his life to save about four people who were trapped.

Madam Sharon Bar-Li, Israeli Ambassador led the eight member team accompanied by a sniffer dog to the scene. The team came with some technical equipment including life detectors, sensors, cameras and drilling equipment. Madam Bar-Li, indicated that the good relations between Israel and Ghana necessitated the assistance from them.



C-in-C calls on Ghana Navy to step up protection of the country’s oil

C-in-C commissions the slipway19 October 2012 The President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), His Excellency Mr John Dramani Mahama has called on the Ghana Navy to project a credible maritime power and dominate Ghana’s maritime domain. The C-in-C was speaking at the commissioning of two Fast Patrol Boats and a Slipway at the Naval Base, Sekondi on Friday 19 October 2012.

He was hopeful the acquisition of the equipment would enhance the security of the nation’s oil industry, reduce maritime related crimes such as piracy, illegal fishing, drug trafficking and sea rubbery in the waters. President Mahama said the slipway project would provide the needed technical support to the Ghana Navy to enhance its operations in the Jubilee oil fields. He urged High Command of the Ghana Navy to practice best maintenance culture to prolong the life span of the ships as well as the slipway.

The Minister for Defence, Lt Gen Joseph Henry Smith (rtd) noted that with the discovery and production of oil in the country, maritime issues had become of interest to every Ghanaian, and thus the protection of Ghana’s maritime domain was a priority. The Minister recounted recent reports of vessels being hijacked off Lome, and in other parts of the Gulf of Guinea. These incidents he noted should be of interest to Ghana as the country need not wait for such incidents to occur in our waters before we begin to react to them. He urged all stakeholders in the maritime industry to be proactive at all times calling for the enforcement of all regulations and laws at sea.

He said the acquisition of the Ships, Aircraft, Construction of hangars and renovation of slipway was part of the modernisation programme of GAF to meet the short term needs of its strategic and oil/gas requirements and also provide the needed security for other strategic institutions. Lt Gen Joseph Henry Smith was appreciative of Poly Technologies Incorporated (PTI) of China, DO Systems of the United Kingdom and DO Azzu of Ghana for accepting the challenge to take up all these projects and delivering as promised.

The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Matthew Quashie at the inaugural ceremony at the Western Naval Command said the two ships being added to the inventory of the Ghana Navy Fleet had come at the time navy’s the world over, needed platforms to discharge their assigned tasks and roles to ensure a safe maritime environment globally.

He said, the retrofitted two ships were effective in interception operations and ideal for surveillance and could be used as incident coordinating ships for major crisis at sea such as Search and Rescue or oil spill control operations. He said the slip way would also go a long way to benefit the local fisher folks to repair their boat easily and to enable them spend more time at sea.

The CNS promised on behalf of the Ghana Navy to maintain and take good care of the ships and equipment given them for the benefit of GAF and Ghana as a whole. He expressed his gratitude to the German Government for the timely delivery of the Ships.

The CNS explained that the two Warrior Class Ships portrayed their bravely nature to deal with any threat in our maritime domain. The first of the ships was named after YAA ASANTEWAA who was a Queen Mother at Ejisu in the then Ashanti kingdom and exhibited remarkable bravery by leading a force to prevent the annexation of Kumasi and to protect the Golden Stool.

The second was named after NAA GBEWAA, the founder of the Mole Dagbon Kingdom and legend has it that Naa Gbewaa never died but simply vanished during a heated battle.

The President of PTI, Mr Song Lin expressed his profound gratitude on behalf of PTI to the Ghana Government and GAF for the cooperation.

76 rescued from collapsed Achimota Melcom building

a rescued victim being carried out9 November 2012.  Following the collapse of the Melcom Shopping Complex at Achimota in Accra on Wednesday, 7 November 2012,  a total of 76 persons have been rescued so far from the rubble. Out of this figure ten persons are reported dead, 14 on admission at 37 Military Hospital as well as Achimota, and the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospitals. The remaining 52 persons have been successfully treated and discharged.

The Public Relations Directorate of the Ghana Armed Forces on Thursday at a media briefing explained that rescue efforts were feverishly underway to rescue the last person who might still be trapped under the rubble.

According to Lt Cdr Veronica Arhin, Deputy Director in-charge Information and Press Relations at the incident scene, rescue efforts have been intensified with 3 more rescue points opened to allow ventilation to victims trapped in who might be alive.

She continued that so far, there had been effective collaboration between the National Security, Ghana Armed Forces, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Red Cross and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly in the rescue exercise. Some other supportive organizations included Zoomlion Limited, National Ambulance Services, National Security Ambulance and the St John Ambulance Services.

Lt Cdr Arhin explained that locals and artisans close to the scene of the incident were also an important component to the rescue efforts. She took the opportunity to thank all corporate institutions who have in diverse ways supported the course.

The accident had attracted high ranking visits including the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, HE John Dramani Mahama, Vice President HE Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Minister for Defence, Lt Gen JH Smith, National Chairman & Running mate of the New Patriotic Party, Jack Obetsebi-Lamptey and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. Others were the Mayor of Accra, Dr Oko Vanderpuije, Minister of the Interior, Hon W Aboah, Minister for Trade, Hon Hannah Tetteh, Deputy Minister for Health, Hon Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, Presidential candidate of the CPP, Dr Abu Sakara, the Chief of the Defence Staff and a delegation from the Ga Traditional Area.

Still others included MP for Okai Koi North, Hon Elizabeth Sackey, Presidential candidate for NPP Hon Nana Akuffo-Addo, Apostle Dr Opoku Onyina, Chairman, Church of Pentecost and President of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, who is also a Member of the National Peace Council. Apostle Dr Opoku Onyina prayed for the speedy recovery of all rescued victims and consoled the bereaved families. He commended all who have been working tirelessly since Wednesday, November 7 and expressed the hope that those still trapped would survive the trial.




C-in-C pledge’s government’s support to GAF

C-in-C inspecting one of the DA 42 MP Aircraft19 October 2012.  The President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), His Excellency Mr John Dramani Mahama has reiterated governments’ pledge to continue to provide the necessary resources to equip the Ghana Armed Forces to enable it perform its constitutional duties.

President Mahama was speaking at the commissioning of some facilities and equipment for the Ghana Air Force at the Air Force Base Takoradi on Friday 19 October, 2012. The facilities commissioned included two new Diamond Aircraft 42 Maritime Patrol Aircrafts, one Trainer Aircraft, a Diamond Aircraft 42 Maritime Patrol Simulator and two Hangars.

He noted that with the increasing incidents of piracy and other related maritime crime, there was the need to equip the Air Force and to enhance its operational capability. President Mahama added that the acquisition of the three surveillance Aircrafts and the stimulator necessitated the building of the two hangars to protect the equipment from the weather.

President Mahama said apart from the facilities, government would continue to provide all the necessary logistics that would make the GAF to exhibit their best in the coming years. He urged the Military High Command to maintain the facilities to ensure a longer lifespan and to serve future generations of GAF. The C-in-C revealed that government would also receive four (4) new helicopters for the Ghana Air Force by the end of the year to enable them carry out domestic assignments.

The Minister for Defence, Lt Gen Joseph Henry Smith, gave the assurance that GAF would make maximum use of the facilities and equipment to step up their performance both in the country and beyond. He promised to collaborate with government to provide more equipment to the GAF to beef up their performance. He called for collaboration from the civilian community to ensure successful performance of the military in the country. The construction of the hangars was a collaboration between the governments of Ghana and China. The facility would house aircrafts and serve as a place of maintenance for planes in Ghana and the entire West African sub Region.

Mr Song Lin, President of the China Poly Group that constructed the hangars said the projects would further deepen the cordial relations that had been established between Ghana and China since Ghana’s independence.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal (AVM), Michael Samson-Oje explained that the construction of the two (2) hangars and the acquisition of the two (2) surveillance Aircrafts was part of a larger initiative by Government to ensure continuous improvement of facilities, equipment and infrastructural development of the Ghana Air Force and the Armed Forces as a whole. He said apart from the Aircraft being used to protect the oil and gas resources and Ghana’s air space, it would be used in civil assisted activities.

He mentioned that the two hangars were named after former Chiefs of the Defence Staff (CDS). The first was named AVM AHK Dumashie and the second after AVM Napoleon Richard Yawovi Ashley-Lesson, in recognition of their sterling and meritorious service and contribution towards the enhancement of the professional outlook of GAF.  He presented a hangar replica to Madam Dumashie, wife of the late AVM Dumashie and a symbolic helicopter to AVM Napoleon Richard Yawovi Ashley-Lesson.

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