The Deputy Minister of Defense, Kofi Amankwa-Manu has inaugurated a US$1 million Forward Operating Base (FOB) constructed for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) at the Bui Power Generating Station (BPGS) in the Banda District of the Bono Region.

The Bui Power Authority (BPA), managers of the BPGS constructed the first phase of the FOB, a facility to provide support for military operations around the dam’s enclave.

It serves as logistical hubs, command centre and staging area for troops and also houses personnel, equipment, supplies and infrastructure necessary to sustain military forces in the enclave.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony held at Bui, Mr Amankwa-Manu, also the Member of Parliament for Atwima-Kwanwoma in the Ashanti Region said the facility resonated with the Ministry’s strategic direction of the GAF’s expansion drive and the project of force into every corner to defend the country.

Additionally, he said “Bui FOB location complemented the network of bases we had approved and initiated at the Ministry regarding the Northern Border Project”, emphasizing that the strategic location of the Base to the dam would help to protect the national asset.

The closer proximity of the military will always ensure situational awareness and effective coordination against potential threats to the security of the Bui Dam, Mr Amankwa-Manu said.

He said that in the past seven years, the Ministry, with enormous support of the government, had made considerable investments in retooling and the development of infrastructure in response to the operational needs of the troops.

“Knowing the economic challenges of the last few years, the Ministry, just like many, has been challenged financially, but occasionally enjoys the benevolence of some key strategic partners who provide us with some facilities”, he stated.

Mr. Amankwa-Manu therefore expressed appreciation to the BPA, and charged the Military High Command, especially the troops who would occupy the facility, to display the utmost duty of care and the military maintenance culture in the usage of the base.

The Chief Executive Officer of the BPA in a speech read on his behalf by Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, said the decision to construct the FOB was prompted by the imminent terrorist threats from the Sahel Region, which were gradually descending southwards necessitating swift response measures.

He expressed worry that the “Dollar Power”, an illegal mining community situated in the Bole District of the Savannah Region, served as a flourishing hub for criminal activities, gangs, illegal miners and potential terrorist groups.

Mr Dzamesi said the close proximity of the dam’s reservoir to the border heightened security concerns, prompting the immediate need for measures to safeguard lives and properties within the Bui enclave.

He said FOB represented a significant achievement for the BPA’s corporate social responsibility for enhanced security, increased productivity, reduced logistic costs for the military stationed at the ‘Dollar Power’ area, generated local employment opportunities and thereby stimulating economic growth.

“It further exemplifies our commitment to ensuring the security and integrity of the Bui enclave by upholding law and order, protecting vital national assets and safeguarding the well-being of all residents”, Mr Dzamesi stated.

The Bono Regional Minister, Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene said the Bui Dam has not only opened up the area for economic growth but also pushed the development of the entire Banda District to the next level.

She said protecting the dam remained a shared and collective responsibility and therefore entreated communities around the enclave to continue to ensure peaceful co-existence with the BPA to help improve security in the area.

Mad. Owusu-Banahene expressed optimism that with peaceful co-existence, the livelihoods of the people around the dam’s enclave would be enhanced as the BPA worked hard to help alleviate their plight.

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