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Retired army officer saves deprived community from being denied its share of national cake


imageBut for the timely intervention of a retired military officer of the Ghana armed forces, Rtd Captain Robert Tindana, an oversea community, Singa, would have been deprived of its share of the national cake.

Singa, a deprived farming community in the Kumbungu district, is an entity of the state through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) did not demand its share from the state despite being selected by the regional directorates

However, a savior in the person of the retired army captain came to its rescue. The former army captain expressed shock at the fact that a 30,000 Ghana cedi equipment procured for the community to lessen its burden in accessing healthcare was diverted to another community.

Singa was nearly denied because some officers at EDAIF and the beneficiary state institution failed to properly communicate the exact location of the community.

Documents belonging to EDAIF revealed that Singa was to be the beneficiary of the equipment, but an official of the Kumbungu health directorate only directed the team to a community that was not mentioned in the document.The said official could not explain the whole mystery to the rtd captain and the team suddenly it was (Gupanarigu) and not Singa.

A journalist with the team raised concerns about where the donation was going to take place and insisted that Gupanarigu was not the really beneficiary community because it is not an oversea community.

What is more, logistical constraint during the trip compelled EDAIF regional manager, Frank Dan Enyimayew to ask the Daily Graphic reporter who insisted that Singa was a very deprived oversea community that needed the support and not Gupanarigu.

The donation to Singa was made after the organization had made a presentation to the Jisonaayili Basic school to help in the delivery of quality education in the district. The donation was made as part of the social responsibilities of EDAIF to ensure the delivery of quality health and education in the country. An allocation of GH22,000 was to be disbursed to schools and health facilities in the deprived communities in the country. Each region is entitled to health and school support according to the needs of the beneficiaries.

The board members of EDAIF made a trip to the various regions and had discussions with the health and educational directorates to help identify some schools and health centers that needed support after which beneficiaries were selected.

Each beneficiary school received GH12,000 while the health centers were provided with medical logistics to facilitate their operations to ensure effective and efficient delivery of health care to curb the high mortality rates in the various communities as well as to improve the welfare of the people in the area.

A very calm rtd captain Tindana who is also a private legal practitioner was not happy with the rate at which the exercise was being handled at the Kumbungu district and became suspicious after realizing that the package was to be diverted to a wrong place instead of the initially agreed health centre that needed the logistics urgently.

He was swayed by the journalist and subsequently ordered the lead person to take us to see the white Volta which was about 15 kilometers away from the wrong community.
Fortunately, the team arrived at the bank of the river at the time the communities were boarding the canoe en route to their towns. Touched by the plight of the people, the captain asked that the donation to the Singa community be postponed for a week because he was not ready to condone wrong things.

He took pictures of the passengers in the canoe perhaps to show to his colleague board members what happened during his five-day supervision work in Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

The question is, do we know the number of deprived communities that have been denied their share as a result of either miscommunication on the part of some civil servants or the location of the community which they usually described as one of the hard-to- reach communities?

Singa has over four adjoining communities and crossing the river to Nawuni or Dalun where intake and treatment plants that supply water to Tamale are based was short compared to communities in the West Mamprusi district, the nearest district.

The community’s means of transport are mainly bicycles and motor bikes which they use to carry sick people to the only rehabilitated Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS). The CHPS was rehabilitated by the Kings Medical Center, a missionary hospital serving as a referral center in the Kumbungu district.

Captain Rtd Tindana may be, because of his military or religious belief and upbringing did not not want to cheat a community.
But how many people of his kind are there in Ghana serving in various capacities on boards of state corporations who only approve spending without knowing the plight of the intended recipients?.

Community members angry

The Gupanarigu community members who gathered at a health post waited for their donation to arrive but to no avail. They ultimately became angry for two reasons;  one, because there was an attempt to deny them the equipment and two, making them forgo the Kumbungu market day only for them to be told it was due to miscommunication.

With this problem brewing, rtd captain Tindana and his team had to hold a crunch meeting with elders and some community members including the assembly man to dispel the notion that they had been deliberately misled.

Finally, the community’s share arrived on Tuesday and were duly received. A senior nurse at the Singa CHPS compound, Abdul-Wahab Alhassan confirmed this to a  reporter. The items brought to the community by the district director and officials from EDAIF included a brand new motor bike, admission and delivery beds, BP apparatus and multiple weighing and height scales.

The bike, according to the senior nurse, will be used for outreach services in the adjoining communities to provide healthcare and submission of monthly report to the district health directorate in Kumbungu.

My humble suggestion and appeal to the authority in Ghana is that people should be appointed on merit and principles and also for the interest of mother Ghana and not by their association with the echelon of power.

For Retired Captain Robert Tindana, kudos! and may the Good Lord keep you with your values and principles during your active service in protecting Ghana.

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