Contingents representing the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in international peacekeeping support operations, continue to demonstrate their commitment to community reconstruction as the South Sudan contingent commissioned a rehabilitated veterinary clinic for the use of residents of Bentiu, South Sudan.
The Ghana Battalion 6 (GHANBATT6) currently serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Albert Sison Ogaja, on Thursday 28th February, 2019 commissioned the rehabilitated veterinary clinic.
This landmark project was undertaken by the Battalion as part of its Civil–Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities which are aimed at building confidence and winning the hearts and minds of the local population.
In an address at the commissioning ceremony, Lt Col Ogaja said that due to the pastoral nature of farming in South Sudan and the many challenges faced by farmers, the Battalion provides veterinary services to the farming communities within its Area of Responsibilities (AOR).
He added that the renovation of the dilapidated veterinary clinic was a further step to help the farmers by boosting their capacity in the management of livestock with the ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of life of the beneficiary communities.
The commanding Officer further stated that, as far as the UNMISS mandate is concerned, CIMIC activities are germane to the achievement of peacekeeping objectives as they seek to cement a bond of goodwill between the GHANBATT and the local population in South Sudan.
The GHANBATT Veterinary team in collaboration with Veterinaries Sans Frontiers (VSF), treated and vaccinated over eighteen thousand, one hundred (18,100) livestock against Haemorrhagic Septicemia, Borine Pleuropneumomia and other diseases and additionally, thousands of cats and dogs were also vaccinated against rabbis.
The Head of Field Office (HoFO), in Bentiu, Madam Hiroko Hirahara, expressed her appreciation to the Agriculture Minister of South Sudan, David Gai Jiejor and CO Lt Col Ogaja, for the project and assured the audience that the veterinary clinic would alleviate the various challenges faced by livestock farmers in Bentiu and surrounding communities.
Madam Hirahara also lauded the GHANBATT for numerous other CIMIC activities undertaken in Unity State, including medical outreach programs, deliveries, children parties, friendly games and generous donations.
By Kofi Ampeah-Woode