Discussions have begun between the Ghana Navy and the Keta Municipal Assembly towards the construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Vodza, Keta to secure the coastline from sea crimes.
The proposed new naval infrastructure forms part of the government’s plan to strengthen its naval capabilities to counter threats that piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea among others pose to national and regional maritime activities.
Mr Emmanuel Gemegah, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Keta, who welcomed the delegation from the Ghana Navy to his office said the visit would energise the Assembly to do its best possible to facilitate the establishment of the Base in the Municipality.
He said the Municipality, which has majority of its people depending on the sea for their livelihood, was not ready to take any chances with maritime security saying, one major threat in the area was Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Mr Gemegah noted IUU fishing with trawlers as the most culprits could negatively impact on the catch of small-holder fishers citing some examples in the past and said the establishment of the FOB in the area would arrest such fishing infractions.“Apart from that, the Keta Port project is coming off and the presence of the Navy is needed.
The project is something government is committed to doing. Earlier today, we were at Asadame to commission a health centre, an ancillary project of the Keta Port project so we need you here,” the MCE added.Naval Captain Samuel Ayelazono, who led the delegation from the Naval Headquarters in Accra, said the visit demonstrated their seriousness to establish the FOB at Keta and asked for the support of the Assembly and all stakeholders to facilitate the process.
He said it was refreshing to know that the community had already being sensitised and willing to welcome them saying, their presence would rekindle the relationship with Keta as “there’s a naval ship called Keta” suggesting some kind of relationship between the two.Agbotadua Kumassah, spokesperson for Togbi Sri III, the Awoamefia of Anlo welcomed the intention to establish the FOB in the area and assured the Navy of the traditional authority’s support.
The team also visited the two-acre land at Vodza dedicated to the Ghana Navy for the construction of the Forward Operating Base.