Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, the Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi, has criticized Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for what he considers a small donation to the victims of a recent dam spillage in the Volta Region. The MP drew a comparison between Bawumia’s widely publicized GHc160,000 personal contribution to the dam spillage victims and a donation made in 2017 to the Sierra Leone government in response to massive floods and mudslides in that West African country.
The claim of Dafeamekpor
In a post shared on X (formerly called Twitter) on Wednesday, October 19, 2023, the MP accused the vice president of discrimination.
“In August 2017, Dr Bawumia Donated $1m (Ghc12m) in cash & items to flood victims in Sierra Leone.
“However, in October 2023, he comes to visit Flood Victims in the Volta Region & gives us Ghc160k ($13k) in cash & items,” he wrote on X.
“When we talk of deliberate discrimination, they say No,” Dafeamekpor added.
August 2017: Ghana government donates to Sierra Leone:
In August 2017, Vice President Bawumia provided relief aid valued at US$1 million to the people of Sierra Leone in response to a dual disaster. This calamity involved a massive flood and mudslide in Regent, near the capital city of Freetown, which had left the West African nation in a state of distress. At that time, President Ernest Bai Koroma had made an urgent appeal for assistance. Over 400 lives had been lost, and rescue efforts were still underway when Bawumia, along with a Ghanaian delegation, arrived in Freetown.
Previously, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had announced a US$1 million aid package for Sierra Leone in response to a call from his Sierra Leonean counterpart to express sympathy. On Saturday, Vice President Bawumia led a government delegation, including state ministers and officials from the National Disaster Management Organization, to Freetown to deliver the aid. During this visit, Vice President Bawumia conveyed Ghana’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Sierra Leone. President Bai Koroma received the aid on behalf of Sierra Leone and expressed gratitude to the government and citizens of Ghana.
Floods triggered by Akosombo Dam spillage
When the Volta River Authority (VRA) decided to spill excess water in the Askosombo Dam, some level of flooding was expected but the volumes since the spillage started in mid September has submerged entire communities in three constituencies across eight districts of the Volta Region.
Reports indicate that over 10,000 Ghanaians have been forced to evacuate from their homes and several properties.
Farms, parks, as well as structures, including homes, schools, hospitals and companies could be seen submerged in water, according to footage reviewed by GhanaWeb.
The government’s official response has been through an inter-ministerial committee which visited Mepe with the president to commiserate with victims and where the government’s response was formlly announced by the president.
It was sequel to this visit that Bawumia also visited some affected areas and made the said donation of GHc160,000.
Flowing from the above, GhanaWeb found the following facts
1. Bawumia did not donate US$1 million dollars of his personal funds to Sierra Leone. He was in Freetown as leader of a government delegation.
2. In the case of the GHc160,000, it was a personal donation to victims.
3. The US$1m donation was not in cash and items, it was items worth the reported sum.
The MP’s claim that Bawumia donated US$1m – in cash and items – to Sierra Leone disaster victims is FALSE.
In August 2017, Dr Bawumia Donated $1m (Ghc12m) in cash & items to flood victims in Sierra Leone.— Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, Esq. MP. (@etsedafeamekpor) October 19, 2023
However, in October 2023, he comes to visit Flood Victims in the Volta Region & gives us Ghc160k ($13k) in cash & items.
When we talk of deliberate discrimination, they say No. pic.twitter.com/TRzQHcoeiS