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07.09.2005 General News

Committee tours military installations in W/R

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Sekondi, Sept. 7, GNA - Commodore Frank Dalley, Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, has stressed the urgent need to rehabilitate equipment and refit a fleet of ships of the Ghana Navy to ensure that its operation was not crippled.

He disclosed that, for the past 10 years, naval ships had not been refitted, while equipment remained in their old state without maintenance, a situation that do not auger well for the nation, especially in time of disaster.

Commodore Daley was briefing an 11-member Parliamentary Select Committee on Interior and Defence, when it paid a day's familiarization tour of military installations in the Western Region on Tuesday. "Our ships posed a serious threat to the lives of personnel of the navy and the lack of fund also hinder our activities", he said. The committee, which was led by its chairman, Mr Eugene Atta Agyepong visited the Second Battalion of Infantry (2BN) at Apremdo, the Western Naval Command at Sekondi and the Air Force Station in Takoradi. Commodore Daley said all the six navy ships and picket boats have serious machinery and equipment problems, they have also exceeded their prescribed lifespan.

He said the Naval Dockyard Complex, which assisted in the repairs of ships, had become obsolete and was unable to meet the demands of bigger naval ships.

This had compelled the navy to send its ships to Tema for periodic maintenance.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Sanziri, Commander of the 2BN said the forces needed modern equipment, communication facilities and a rehabilitation of their barracks.

He said the health post was presently too small to cater for the health needs of the military personnel and their families, adding that, the road network within the barracks was too old and needed rehabilitation. Group Captain P. K. Ayisa, Commander of the Air Force Station said the runway of the air force, needed urgent rehabilitation to make it meet the increasing demand.

He said the runway would be in constant use during the CAN 2008 tournament and urged the government to do something about the situation. Captain Ayisa said roof leakages; weak electrical cables, erosion and encroachment on its lands were some of the problems facing the unit. He said private estate developers were building very close to the runway and stressed that such acts could create problems for the government in case of a disaster.

Several warnings to such developers by the Air Force had been ignored, Captain Ayisa said.