In a clear demonstration of its commitment to beef up operations on the Volta Lake in order to safeguard lives and property on and around the lake, Zoil Services Limited has embarked on the training of more lifeguards for its Volta Lake Transport Enhancement Programme.

The two-week training, which is in collaboration with the Ghana Navy, is being carried out at the Eastern Naval Base in Tema and involves 150 guards selected from all the regions of Ghana where the project is operational.

The training is the third to be conducted since the launch of the programme in 2009 and is meant to increase the number of lifeguards who are currently operating at the various landing and boarding sites along the lake.

In an interview with the National Coordinator of the Project, Mrs. Rhoda Donkor, she indicated that the rationale for training more lifeguards is to beef up the services of those that are already in the system, so that they could cover more areas and ensure the people are adhering strictly to the standards and rules laid down for travelling on the lake.

“We want to have presence at all major landing and boarding sites along the lake so that monitoring and rescue operations can be done to expectation, hence the need to train more lifeguards”, she said.

Stating the positive strides the project has made since its inception, Mrs. Donkor said, “We are trying very hard to make accidents on the lake a thing of the past by injecting a lot of resources into the project. This has contributed immensely to the several successful rescue operations that our guards have undertaken in places such as Dambai, Akateng and a host of other places.”

Touching on the training, the Coordinator and main instructor, Chief Petty Officer Aguze Franklin, was optimistic that the objective of the two-week exercise will be attained looking at the enthusiasm and devotion exhibited by the trainees.

“Although we had a few challenges initially such as language barrier, we have been able to overcome that and the training is proceeding smoothly,” Chief Aguze said.

Asked what goes into the 14-day training that will make the guards fit enough for their impending assignment, Chief Aguze explained that the trainees are taken through tough drills to build up their stamina and sharpen their physical and mental alertness. “The guards are also taken through First Aid administration, Fire Fighting Techniques, and Boat Works,” Chief Aguze indicated.

One of the trainees, Christian Afedzi expressed his joy at the opportunity to be part of the programme. “In fact I am very happy about this training because it will help me gain more skills and confidence to work hard and better as a lifeguard when I get back to my station,” he intimated.

The Volta Lake Transport Enhancement Project is an initiative launched by Zoil Services Limited in 2009 in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, with the rationale of finding effective solutions to the frequent boat disasters that occur on the Volta Lake. The Project involves the training and positioning of lifeguards at strategic points along the Volta Lake, to ensure safe practices and rapid rescue response to save lives and property as well as the distribution of life jackets to boat users.

By Edmund Smith-Asante/ghanabusinessnews.com

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