…on safety on Volta Lake
By Samuel Agbewode
Zoil Services Limited, operators of the Volta Lake Transport Enhancement Project, a subsidiary of Zoomloin Ghana Limited, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, has embarked on a programme to intensify public education in communities along the Volta Lake, for lake users to adhere to safety practices, to help reduce accidents on the lake.
As part of the educational programme, boat owners, operators, and passengers were taken through special education such as boat maintenance, effects of overloading, and the importance of wearing of life jackets when travelling on the lake, and others, as crucial in preventing accidents.
Addressing separate educational fora at Tapa-Abotoase in the Biakoye District, and Kpando-Torkor in the Kpando District, the Volta Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr. Francis Tawiah, said since the introduction of the life guards in the various landing communities, accidents on the Volta Lake had reduced drastically.
Mr. Tawiah pointed out that the objective of the Volta Lake Transport Enhancement Project was to ensure safe and comfortable lake transportation, devoid of accidents, which he observed, could become a reality, if the various stakeholders cooperate with the authorities in the efforts being made to have a reliable lake transport system in the country.
He said the management of the Volta Lake Transport Enhancement Project was committed to ensuring peaceful journeys on the lake, and disclosed that 120 more life guards were trained at the Tema Naval Base to effectively equip the guards to work more effectively along the lake.
Mr. Tawiah said his outfit, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, would continue to organise similar educational programmes in communities along the lake, to ensure that people understood the need to stick to safety measures, so as to help protect life and property on the lake at all times.
The Zoomlion PRO said the desire of Zoil Services Limited to make lake transportation more attractive, led to the presentation of two speed boats to the life guards at Tapa-Abotoase, and one for the guards at Kpando-Torkor, to allow for regular patrols on the lake, in order to respond quickly, whenever there was threat to life and property on the lake.
Mr. Tawiah announced that life jackets were being distributed to boat operators and passengers, and disclosed that 2,000 life jackets had been distributed to boat owners, as well as passengers in the region, saying it was expected that 10,000 life jackets would be distributed during the educational period in the Volta Region.
He explained that passengers with life jackets would have to hand them over to the operators on arrival at their destinations, to enable other passengers use them, adding that measures were also being put in place to ensure that trained life guards would constitute disaster response and rescue teams at critical points along the lake for rapid rescue services.
The Environment and Sanitation Officer of Zoomlion, Mr. Philip Anim, stressed the need for lake users to keep the beaches clean at all times, because sanitation along the lake was vital in the promotion of the sound health of the people, and urged them to cooperate with Zoomloin to keep the environment clean.