Aflao residents cry for survival as Ghana-Togo border remains closed

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Residents of Aflao in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta region are unhappy as the Ghana-Togo border remains shut following another 2-week extension by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The President announced the closure of Ghanaian borders for two weeks, effective midnight, Sunday 22 March, 2020 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus but that has since been extended.

The decision, however, is said to be affecting businesses and livelihood in the border communities, especially residents of Aflao whose livelihood depend on the movement of people, goods and services across the Ghana-Togo border.

In an interview with Starr News’ Faisel Abdul-Iddrisu, some residents said life has been extremely difficult due to the closure of the border, which has since been extended.

Samuel Ahiafor, a mobile money vendor at the Aflao border said “We live on the daily hustles we do here in Aflao, by transporting people and goods in and out of Lome, by the use of motorbikes and even by foot.

I am a mobile money vendor and my customers are business people who travel from Kumasi and Accra to buy stuffs here but for the past 3-weeks, I come here and all I do is to sit all day idle,” he laments.

“Several of our people are just sitting home and I can tell you that things are getting hard,” he added.

He asserted that the recent insurgence in the use of unapproved routes in the Aflao enclaves is just a testimony to the unbearable living conditions the people are suffering as a result of the border closure.

Meanwhile, a statement signed by Foga Nukunu, a former Assemblymember and a Converner for the Concerned Citizens of Aflao, the group is calling on government to send relief items to the border communities as an intervention for survival.

The statement said, “Closing Ghana-Togo border is like a complete lockdown of Aflao since our very survival is contingent upon the activities in and around the border.”

It added that, “We wish to state that just closing the border is not enough, there should be more to it. Closing the border must come with relief items and other humanitarian interventions.

“We are therefore appealing to government to make special provisions for Aflao border residents and other border towns who are most struck by this decision in this troubling times.”

The statement is however, urging residents to desist from smuggling people across the border, while noting that, “We are aware their illegal activities and open defiance is due to the current economic challenges; no food, no money, no business brought about by the closure.”

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