Fisher folks around the Bui Dam are defying the COVID-19 safety protocols, particularly the directive on social distancing and wearing of face mask as they believe the disease is only in Accra and Kumasi.
Most of the fishermen and buyers are living in denial that the disease exist and go about their businesses in crowded places without the wearing of face masks and adherence to the social distancing protocol to protect themselves.
Some of the Fisher folks told the Ghana News Agency that they saw no reasons to wear the face masks.
Ms Haw Yakubu, said: “We were told by some people who travelled to the cities and returned that the disease has not reached the Northern side and that it doesn’t exist within these areas at all. We know it is in Accra and Kumasi that is why we are not wearing the masks.”
Another fisher, Ms Sekina Adams, said: “I have heard about COVID-19 but I am not wearing the mask because I haven’t seen anyone in the North with the disease. I also know it doesn’t exist in our communities here.”
Mr Fuseini Mensah, who was in a face mask, said: “I wear the mask sometimes but it is so uncomfortable wearing it, so I don’t wear it always except there are many people around me.
“I know journalists are always talking about people not wearing the mask on their platforms. That is why I started wearing it when I saw people approaching with cameras, especially knowing how we are crowded here.”
Madam Akua Sakyi, the Assistant Corporate Affairs Manager, Bui Power Authority (BPA) in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the Authority was collaborating with the Ghana Health Service and the respective District Assemblies to intensify education on the COVID-19 safety protocols among fisherfolks on the shores of the Dam.
As the BPA is mandated to secure the livelihoods of the people around the communities in which they operate and ensure that they become financially independent, Madam Sakyi said they were also to protect the lives of the people, especially in this challenging period of COVID-19.
“The BPA is worried that the fishermen and buyers are not wearing face masks and adhering to the social distancing protocol but we believe continuous education is what is needed to let them understanding the implications of the lives they are living now,” she said.
The Authority earlier distributed hand sanitizers to inhabitants in Bui and surrounding communities and checked their temperatures.