An ambitious project that seeks to provide food for all, especially, the poor and other vulnerable people in the society, has been launched in Esiama in the Ellembele District Assembly.
Known as the “Food Bank of Ellembele”, the project will on daily basis, through a mobile food van, serve the poor and other vulnerable groupings in the constituency with raw food products and cooked or hot meals.
Those living around the AYA Community Center, a center that houses the Food Bank (a food storage facility with two attendants), could also walk to the facility and make a request for food at any given time of the day. The initiative is seeking to eliminate hunger from the constituency by 2024.
The project will be managed by an eleven-member committee, an independent body that is made of members from the Clergy, traditional rulers, district assembly representatives and the Muslim Community.
Among the members are Rev. Eric Fori, Rev. Father Castro Adiaba, Rev. Ernest Owusu Tawiah, Mr. Lord Ackah and the Chief Imam of Kangbule, Mustapha Kwasi Boah. The rest are Mrs. Faustina Mensah, the Chief of Ampain (Chairman), and Hon. Lord Cudjoe.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ellembele constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Boah, who initiated and launched the project at a short ceremony on Friday, April 24, 2020, said he expects the program to have a long term impact on the lives of the constituents.
“This is a very historic project that will have a long term impact on the people of Ellembele and beyond. The Food Bank of Ellembele is going to serve as a center where all of us will have a sense of security. When we bond together, we are together”, he noted.
The Ghana Statistical Service estimates that about 5% of the country’s population go to be bed every day without food. Further to that, chronic malnutrition affects 5.7% of Ghana’s population while malnutrition is responsible for 24% deaths of all children in the country.
The Ellembele District has also identified about 1,500 vulnerable and disadvantaged groups that needed support.
The situation, according to Hon. Boah, has even been exacerbated by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
He told a gathering of about 25 that he was motivated by his past experience as a poor boy from a poor home where he’s risen to become a lawmaker to initiate the project to impact positively on the people in the Ellembele District.
“It is our duty to collectively ensure that the needy among us are attended to. I believe that a food sown today will make the Food Bank sustainable. You don’t have to be rich to contribute to the Food Bank. Even the poor can contribute to the Food Bank”, he noted.
Hon Boah commenting further assured that beneficiaries of the project will be devoid of race, colour, and partisanship among others.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, Kwesi Bonzo, commenting on the project lauded Hon. Boah for always having the poor and other vulnerable groupings in mind in the discharge of his duties as the lawmaker of the Ellembele constituency.
He charged managers of the Food Bank of Ellembele to their best to avoid a situation where they will record food poison, stressing that “a situation like this will tarnish the image of the initiator of the project”.
The Chief of Ampain, Nana Nyameke Fofole, who chaired the programme, said they will work hard to ensure the sustenance of the project.
“This is a laudable project which needs to be sustained. Therefore, as traditional rulers of the land, we will go round the various communities and plead with the farmers to donate farm produce to the Food Bank. Once this is achieved, hunger will be a thing of the past in the district”, he noted.
The Axim Area Pastor of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Philip Osei Korsah, also urged the Christian community to adopt the project and contribute towards its sustenance.
Inside sources say, more than GH₵50,000.00 has been committed into the project.
Over 1,500 raw food products were distributed to the needy in various communities in the district.
The Chief Imam of Kangbuli, Mustapha Kwesi Boah, commenting on the project also lauded the efforts of the MP for doing more to alleviate hunger from the constituency. He, however, urged him to spend more on his people for God to reward him abundantly.