More than 1,100 underprivileged residents of Mepe in the Volta Region have received cash donations from businessman and philanthropist, Alhaji Seidu Agongo, to cushion them against the devastating impact of the Akosombo Dam spillage.
Each of the 1,158 aged, single mothers, widows and persons with disabilities received a minimum of GH¢200 from the Founder of the Class Media Group (CMG) as part of his and the group’s charity efforts aimed at alleviating poverty from society.
The beneficiaries received the cash amounts last Friday at a special donation exercise held at the Royal Masito Palace at Mepe in the Volta Region.
It was a spectacle of joy and excitement for each of the beneficiaries, who included students, as they took turns to receive their share after which they heaped praises on Alhaji Agongo and the CMG for coming to their aid.
The exercise was jointly organised by the CMG and the Mepe Development Association under the auspices of the Manklalo of Mepe Traditional Area and Guest of Honour, Torgbe Korsi Nego VI.
Experts say Mepe in the North Tongue District is the worst hit by the Akosombo Dam, with more than 12,000 residents displaced and properties worth millions of cedis destroyed.
In a speech read on behalf of Alhaji Agongo, the Business Development Manager of CMG, Mr Agyemang Oppong Peprah, said the exercise cost more than GHS231,000.
In the speech, Alhaji Agongo said the gesture was to help Ghanaian siblings in Mepe to recover from the flooding and its effects.
The founder of the collapsed Heritage Bank Limited said it was inspired by his personal resolve to help make society by supporting the vulnerable in society.
“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,” he said, noting that he was hopeful the gesture would help the beneficiaries to get back on their feet.
“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,” he added.
Alhaji Agongo said through the unifying force of togetherness, man has always conquered disasters and, therefore, applauded previous donors for coming to the aid of the flood victims.
On why his team settled on these classes of people, he said it was obvious that even though majority of the citizens have been affected, the aged, single mothers, widows and persons with disability have been the hardest hit due to their special needs in “these perilous times.”
“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,” Alhaji Agongo said.
Torgbe Nego VI, who graced the occasion with his subjects, was full of praise for Alhaji Agongo and his CMG that comprises CTV, Accra FM, Class FM and Ho FM.
The cheif noted that the population of the area was 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 Agongo and we are grateful to the Class Media Group,” he said
The Mepe Manklalo also used the occasion to deny earlier reports that residents were warned in advance to move to a higher ground but refused.
“It is not true that we were told to evacuate before the flood,” he and wondered 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 said.
An octogenarian beneficiary, Adayo Fiawoyife, said she did not only lose her farm, which is her main source of livelihood, but returned home after the flood to meet the debris of her collapsed house.
“I thank him (Alhaji Agongo) and I pray that God blesses him for his good heart and help him to get more so he can support people like us,” she said.
An 83-year-old retired teacher, Madam Patience Gli, who is currently housing five families in her less affected apartment, was also awed by the gesture and 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 included the other traditional leaders of Mepe, the Business Development Manager of CMG, Mr Agyemang Oppong Peprah, among other executives and the group and other companies owned by Alhaji Agongo.
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