By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Arakan Barracks, Accra

The Five Battalion of Infantry (5Bn) of the Ghana Army (GA), has commenced the construction of two accommodation projects, to help clear the mounting housing deficit for Young Officers of the unit and the clergy of the Arakan Methodist Presbyterian Church.

The sod-cutting and stone-laying ceremonies, were held at the Arakan Barracks, Burma Camp, on Sunday, 1st August, 2021, with the Chief of the Air Staff, Ghana Air Force – Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Frank Hanson, being the Guest of Honour for both events, while the National Chief Imam – His Eminence Dr Sheikh Osman Sharabutu, was the Special Guest, for the sod-cutting.

The Young Officers’ accommodation which would contain, after construct, a 4-Storey, 16 flat, 2-bedroom block, would be completed in about 18 months, with KAS ESTATE GHANA LIMITED, bearing the entire cost of the project, whereas BETON SA GHANA LIMITED, provides all the concrete needs of the project.

The mission-house, a 2-storey building, on the other hand, has started construction and is at the first floor, and has so far cost over Nine Hundred and Sixty Cedis (Ȼ960, 000) with members of the church and of the larger society, contributing to its build-up.

The CAS, AVM Hanson, in an address, said the gesture by the real estate company is overwhelming and would go a long way to greatly deepen Civil-Military relationship.

“Indeed, I am overwhelmed by what I have heard and cannot but thank our benefactor (KAS) for the belief he has expressed in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), because accommodation is at the heart of security provision and the wellbeing of our personnel”.

AVM Hanson stated that the gesture by KAS Estates, is timely and has lifted the image of GAF, which has been recently marred by unfortunate incidents around the country, adding emphatically, “Let me take the opportunity again to reassure all that the Ghana Armed Forces, is a force for good and our loyalty to protect all citizens is non-negotiable.”

“Ghana’s Civilian Military relationship is growing from strength to strength and therefore, would further urge all other well-meaning persons and institutions, to come and join such great cooperation with the military”, AVM Hanson concluded.

The sponsor of the Officers’ habitation – Mr Yahaya Kassim Atta, said he was touched, when approached by the 5Bn Commanding Officer (CO) – Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Prince Tandoh and briefed on some significant self-funded projects the unit is undertaking, to clear the accommodation deficit of soldiers.

Mr Atta, who considers the project as a corporate social responsibility to Ghana’s Military, hoped that when completed, the project would help mitigate the problems of housing the soldiers and further appealed to all other corporate bodies and institutions that have similar capabilities of providing housing help to the military, to urgently do so, to decrease the numbers of military personnel living outside the barracks.

Lt Col Tandoh, used his turn to enumerate some construction endeavours of his Unit, such as the completion of renovation works on 2 dormitories, currently housing newly passed-out young soldiers – sponsored by Santol Oil Gh, of the Regimental Sergeant Major’s accommodation, of the Battalion Headquarters – jointly sponsored by the Unit and Mr Dominic Boateng, and of the Officers’ Coffee Room and Kitchen into modern facilities by Mr Dominic Boateng.

Additionally, there is the construction of a modern Cookhouse and Restaurant for the unit by ENTERPRISE INSURANCE and other benefactors and the renovation of Soldiers’ Transit Quarters by Nana Kwame – CINDY and OK Rice.

“I am elated to state that the Chief of the Defence Staff, made a substantial contribution towards the construction of a 6 – single room self-contained accommodation block for Young Officers close to the Battalion Headquarters. I am further delighted to say that, the above-mentioned project is completed and will soon house young officers of the Unit”, the CO stated.

Dignitaries present included the Chief Staff Officer, Army HQ – Brig Gen Agyemang-Prempeh, Brig Gen Oppong-Otchere (Rtd), Air-Commodore Ayisi (Rtd), Gender Adviser to the CDS – Captain (GN) Veronica Arhin, CO 1Bn – Lt Col Simeon Barifi Nyante, CO – 153 Armoured Regiment – Lt Col William Ackah and CO 64 Infantry Battalion – Lt Col F Agyeman.

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