MCE urges reconstruction of palm oil processing factory ruined by fire

By Kamal Ahmed

Akyem Tafo (E/R), April 10, GNA – Alhaji Umar Bodinga, Municipal Chief Executive for Abuakwa North in the Eastern region, has urged non-governmental organisations to provide support for the reconstruction of the YWCA-31st December women palm oil processing factory at Akyem Tafo.

He made the call after a large inferno gutted the palm oil processing factory, destroying about 3000 gallons of palm oil worth over 1.2 million cedis and other essential equipment, leaving behind its debris.

According to him, the Assembly could not afford the cost of reconstructing the factory, urging organisations and stakeholders for prompt assistance to resurrect the factory and give the impacted women hope again.

“Help is desperately needed to repair and recover as the community struggles with the consequences of this awful tragedy in the hopes of giving the impacted women and labourers economic empowerment and stability again,” he said.

However, the future is now unknown for 100 artisanal female palm growers and labourers whose lives were dependent on the factory.

Officers from the Ghana National Fire Service’s Bunso Fire Station intervened to put the fire under control, and they have since started an investigation into the incident.

The cause of the inferno is currently unknown.

Not only is the palm oil produced in Akyem Tafo consumed locally but it is also exported to neighbouring West African nations and other countries, expanding its scope beyond the local market.

One of the affected individuals, Ms. Joyce Asiamah, told the GNA that she had prepared about 50 jerricans for shipment to Europe and the USA, but the inferno destroyed everything.

“We work with loans, and now that everything has gone down, we have no hope from anywhere.”

She appealed to the government to come to their aid, otherwise, “We don’t know what to do exactly because the devastation has caused us to be ill.”

The former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawling, founded the 31st December women’s movement in 1990 to empower women to be achievers and financially stable.

The project extends its scope beyond palm oil production to include shea butter making, bakery operations, a gari processing factory, and more.