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Regional News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020


Coronavirus: Armah Buah sets up Food Bank for Ellembelle

Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah giving food items to some constituents Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah giving food items to some constituents

Correspondence from Western Region

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembelle Constituency of the Western Region, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah has supported over 1,000 needy people with some assorted food items in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the items included; bags of rice, frytol oil, tin tomatoes, canned fish, soft drinks, provisions among others.

The MP made the donation to the needy elderly and children at Ampain on Friday, April 24, 2020, where he honoured his 2016 campaign pledge by establishing an 'Ellembelle Food Bank'.

The donation of the assorted food items to be used to start the programme cost the MP GHC50,000.

The much-talked-about Ellembelle Food Bank which has been finally established and was launched on Friday is to provide food on daily basis to the low-income families, senior citizens, sick people, and sometimes victims of disaster or pandemics.

The generous MP also donated a mobile van that will be used to distribute to the food items to the aforementioned people in their Communities.

The Food Bank facility will be managed by an eleven-member Committee, an independent body made up of clergymen, traditional rulers, Ellembelle District Assembly and the Muslim Community.

The Committee is being chaired by Nana Nyameke Fofole II, Chief of Ampain, the other members are; Pastor Eric Foli, Rev. Father Castro Adiaba, Rev. Ernest Owusu Tawiah, Mrs. Faustina Mensah, Chief Imam of Kangbumli, Mustapha Buah, Mr. Lord Cudjoe, Mr. Lord Ackah, Obahemaa Sarah, Queen Mother of A.B Bokazo, Rev. Alex Donkor and a representative of Ellembelle District Health Directorate.

Explaining the Food Bank to GhanaWeb's Western Regional Correspondent, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah said he had the vision when he was a student in United States of America adding that when he promised to establish similar in Ellembelle District during the 2016 campaign many people thought food was not like bank people keeps their money there.

"...I was explaining the Food Bank to somebody yesterday and I said do you know how banks came about, banks are just opened places, the only reason why they are very important places is that I drop my money there, you drop your money there so that who wants money can now go there and take some of our money when they say banks have collapsed, do you know why because that money is finished and I said the Food Bank is that everybody in Ellembelle believes so much that if he drops something there, today that something is good for him, tomorrow when he needs, he can go there and pick something", he stated.

He said the establishment of the Food Bank was to energise the community and receive donations to support the less privileged.

"...The goal here is to basically energise the community and create the community spirit of giving. What we have done today is to create an avenue for people who can give on daily basis to drop food, this is more of a dropping point.

He bemoaned how more than 1.5 million people in Ghana according to Ghana Statistical Service report in 2016 go to bed with empty stomach every day without food.

Adding that the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has worsened the situation but expressed his optimism that with the coming into being of the Food Bank, his Constituents would have some food to eat to survive in these hard times.

"We know that already the numbers are that we have more than 1.5 million people that go to bed without food every day and the situation has even been made worse by the pandemic (Coronavirus) and the difficulties we face and I think this is the time we as people and the community we show love by sharing, I think the indication clearly is that on the daily basis one-third of the food that we have go waste, how do we ensure that we share it and I think that the Food Bank will do exactly that".

He emphasized that the Food Bank is not for him alone but for the good people of Ellembelle and outside Ellembelle District.

He added that the distribution of the food items would not be done on race, age, gender, religion, colour, status and political affiliation.

"This Food Bank is not for Hon. Armah Kofi-Buah. Somebody asked me, Hon. so when we come to the Food Bank will there be food and I said as far as we all put food there, we will all use it to support ourselves especially the needy. This Food Bank you see here, this is going to be a non-partisan, a non-profit, a place where we all agreed is for everybody irrespective of age, creed, colour, religion and status".

The NDC Lawmaker charged the eleven-member committee to work hard to sustain the programme to avoid any embarrassment.

He said he had been encouraged by the faith-based Organizations, the Muslim Community and the Chiefs for embracing the project.

He disclosed that "The good news is that the main targets are the elderly and the children especially and we know a lot of people may not able to come specifically to the Food Bank, that us why we have a Food Mobile Van that will basically visit the people in the Communities and basically drop food. I believe as we go forward the management will put structures in place so that the programme will be sustained".

He, therefore, seized the opportunity to appeal to other companies and benevolent organizations to donate food items to support the gesture and he was optimistic that one day other Districts in Ghana would emulate it.

On his part, the Axim Area Head of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Philip Osei Korsah who summarized his remarks from the book of Genesis 45: 4-9, thanked the Ellembelle MP, Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah for the establishment of the Food Bank which was going to help the less privileged in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

He said the deadly Coronavirus pandemic does not know NPP members and NDC members, adding that the virus could infect anybody at all.

Apostle Osei Korsah called on the good people of the area to accept, embrace and support the initiative and pray always for it to be sustained.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area who is also the 2020 Parliamentary Candidate for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh hailed the MP for the initiative and described MP's idea as a very brilliant one.

He, therefore, took the opportunity to donate GHC1,000 as his personal contribution to sustain the programme.

Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh promised to add 9 more to it when voted into power as the Member of Parliament for the area and appealed to other donors to donate generously to the newly established Ellembelle Food Bank to last longer.

Moreover, to sustain the facility, some individuals and companies who graced the occasion donated physical cash, cheques and food items to the management.