DISTRIBUTION OF EXPIRED ITEMS TO FLOOD VICTIMS; IT MUST NOT HAPPEN AGAIN

THE news that the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia distributed expired goods to flood victims in the Upper West region is not only shocking but also very alarming.

It is shocking because the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) should be the last institution to stock and distribute expired food items in the country.

The unique role they play during disasters when they are required to support victims requires that they stock and distribute wholesome food items for the consumption of victims.

The Ghanaian Times is alarmed therefore, that NADMO cannot track and properly isolate expired goods and with a business as usual attitude, hand over such items to not less a person like the Vice President of the country to distribute to flood victims.

We are scandalised by what has happened and call for heads to roll for the embarrassment caused the Vice-President and the country as a whole.

Admittedly, the Vice President on behalf of the government, was stretching a hand to the victims and he would have received praise if all had gone well.

Unfortunately, through no fault of his he has been caught in a very embarrassing situation by the sheer negligence of those who should have prevented the unfortunate situation.

The questions we ask are; how come the expired food items found their way into the consignments that were distributed by the Vice-President?

For how long has the expired goods been in the warehouse? Where were they purchased and is it a frequent occurrence?

Answers to the above questions are very critical for us to get to the bottom of the matter.

Fortunately, we are told that NADMO has taken full responsibility for the mishap and taken few administrative decisions including the suspension of the official in-charge of the Upper West Regional stores of the organisation.

Again, a three-member committee has been instituted to investigate circumstances leading to the release of the expired items to the Vice-President to distribute to the affected communities and the people.

We welcome the steps taken so far to arrive at the bottom of the issue but we urge that the investigations should be extended to auditing all the warehouses of NADMO, to look out for all expired products in their custody.

What happened in the Upper West Region is a national embarrassment and, therefore, must not be allowed ever to happen again. We must do all we can to prevent future occurrence.

And to do that, few heads must roll to serve as deterrent to public officials who approach their work in a careless manner and embarrass everybody.

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