It was all smiles and joy for more than 1,150 aged and other vulnerable residents of Mepe in the Volta Region when businessman and Founder of the Class Media Group, Alhaji Seidu Agongo, donated a total of GHS231,000 to them.
Each of the 1,158 selected victims of the Akosombo Dam spillage, made up of the aged, single mothers, widows and people with disability, received at least 200 cedis in cash to help mitigate the impact of the floods on their lives and livelihoods.
The beneficiaries were among the 12,000 people of Mepe who are affected by the dam spillage that displaced residents, destroyed houses and schools and submerged farms.
They received the cash amounts at a special event held at the Royal Masito Palace at Mepe and graced by the Manklalo of Mepe Traditional Area, Torgbe Korsi Nego VI, who was also the guest of honour.
It was organised by CMG in conjunction with the Mepe Development Association.
The beneficiaries included an octogenarian, Adayo Fiawoyife, who lost her only source of livelihood, a farm, and had her house collapsed by the spillage.
“I thank him and I pray that God bless him for his good heart and help him to get more so he can support people like us,” she said.
Touched by reports
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Agyemang Oppong Peprah, the Business Development Manager of CMG, Alhaji Agongo said the gesture was in recognition of his desire to help make an impact and life better for everyone.
He said he was touched by the plight of the people when reports on Class FM, Accra FM and CTV showed the devastating impact of the spillage on people and their properties.
He said although CMG and its listeners had donated to the people already, he felt compelled to support the vulnerable in society.
Recalling the support he got while mending shoes for a living as a young boy, the Founder of the collapsed Heritage Bank Limited said his difficult beginnings taught him to always be helpful whenever he can.
“I am a product of difficulty, and with it came the lesson that the essence of our existence is not what we achieve ourselves, but how we help others achieve their goals".
“Like I always say, in 100 or 200 years to come, none of us may be in existence but the support and impact we make today will live forever,” Alhaji Agongo said.
The philanthropist, who constructed an outpatient block for the Child Emergency Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in 2018, noted that though disasters were bound to happen, it was the unifying force of family, friends and community that would ensure that humanity overcame these challenges for life to continue.
This, he said underscored the decision to come to the aid of the special group of victims.
Explaining why he settled on the vulnerable victims, he acknowledged that even though majority of the citizens have been affected, these groups have been the hardest hit due to their special needs in “these perilous times”.
“This is why my team and I are here today to provide monetary support to 1,158 aged, single mothers, widows and persons with disability. Each person will receive a cash amount of GHS200 to use in cushioning him/herself against the unfortunate situation.
“As your brothers and sisters across the country, we deeply share in the pain and frustrations that these floods inflicted on you and your livelihoods. While we have expressed it in our hearts and from afar, the warmth that comes with physical presence is comparable to none.
“With us too is the financial support, drawn from the purity of our hearts and our resolve to help our own brothers and sisters to shake off the burdens of the disaster and get back on their feet,” he stated.
Torgbe Korsi Nego VI, the Manklalo of Mepe Traditional Area, who graced the occasion with his subjects, was full of praise for Alhaji Seido Agongo and his CMG team including CTV, Accra FM, Class FM and Ho FM.
He noted that the population of the area is over 16,000, out of which about 12,000 were directly affected by the flood.
“We thank you for coming to our aid, we are very grateful to Alhaji Seidu Agongo, we are grateful to the Class Media Group,” he said
Torgbe Korsi Nego VI also used the occasion to debunk claims that the residents were warned in advance to move to a higher ground but were adamant.
“It is not true that we were told to evacuate before the flood,” he told the news team, noting that if they were indeed informed ahead, what structures or plans were put in place by the government prior to the spillage.
“It breaks our hearts to hear such negative news. It is not the best,” he advised those he claimed are peddling the falsehood.
The beneficiaries who took turn to personally receive the cash donation showered praises on Alhaji Agongo for doling out his hard-earned money to alleviate their plight.
An 83-year-old retired teacher, Madam Patience Gli, who is currently housing five families in her less-affected apartment, was awed by the quantum of money given out by Alhaji Agongo as an individual.
“I didn’t know Ghanaians can be that generous. God richly bless him and others for the support,” she remarked.
Present at the event were Torgbe Aklade Amedeker, Regent of Fenuku Stool, the Queen mother of Mepe Traditional Area, as well as Mr. Mensah Akaho, Stool father for the Adabla Stool.
Also present were Torgbe Ahorgo I, General Manager of Ho FM; Dr. Richard Akplotsyi; and Edward Armah, Assistant Manager, Sage Medical Centre.