“The gifts you’ve brought us today, we very much appreciate them. After sharing them, we need to keep them in rooms. But where are the rooms? The sea has swallowed them”, lamented, Torgbui Emmanuel Anumu Tettey, Chief Fisherman of Salakorfe.
His comment sent ripples of all kinds of sentiments across the crowd that had gathered to receive the relief items donated by a benevolent son of the soil, Kwame Sowu.
The Assembly Member for Amutinu electoral area had just conducted the visitors round the community to see at first hand, the remnants of the ravages of the tidal waves. At the beach, he pointed to the ruins of what used to be the homes of the fisherfolks of Salakorfe, now buried in the tides.
Lost for words, Kwame slowed down his pace, and then stopped. He drew a handkerchief from his pocket, pulled his face mask aside and wiped what I could’ve sworn were tears from his eyes.
Then I thought I heard him ask the MCE, what do these people need to reinstate? What will it cost? Can you help me with an estimate? He asked, in his very measured and calm demeanor.
As if those questions put the springs back into his own steps, he looked instantly warm again, like someone ready to take action and help these people.
The ravages of tidal waves are not new to the Keta coast. At least, not to those of us who lived a part of our growing lives in or around Keta. We’ve seen this for a countless number of years. We’ve also become accustomed to promises that almost always never saw the light of day.
Back in the community center under the coconut trees, Kwame presented the items; bags of rice, sugar, gari, packs of sachet water, cartons of mosquito repellent coils, cartons of toilet soaps, washing detergents and so on.
For someone who doesn’t hail from that particular community, many were surprised at his kind gesture. As if he was reading their minds, Kwame said to the victims,
“Avi mè ɖina le agbleta wo nɔa aƒeme koa nu o”, to wit, when you hear the cry of those who have gone to the farm, don’t stay home and laugh. You never know if your relative may have been bitten by a snake.
This brought smiles to the faces of the victims; at least, momentarily.
For the over 800 people who have been affected by the raging waves, while they await a major intervention from the state, they can only hope and pray for a few more Kwame Sowu’s to meet their immediate needs; shelter, food and clothing.
Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the people of Salakorfe…