Five Hundred and Fifty eight Ghanaians and 20 Ivorian refugees have arrived at Moree in the Central Region by boat from politically challenged Cote d’Ivoire.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (AAK) district offices of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) has pitched a tent at Moree purposely to register and screen such persons before their integration into the various communities.
Two hundred and seventy-one males, 235 females and 72 children have been duly registered but nine males, all of Ivorian origin, have since gone back to Cote d’Ivoire to bring back their valuables.
The AAK District coordinator of NADMO, Mr. Benjamin Tawiah Benson, who briefed the GNA on Monday, said so far five people have tested positive to HIV/AIDS and added that an unspecified number who have contracted Tuberculosis (TB) have also been referred to the Moree Health Centre for attention.
Mr. Benson said the registration of the returnees started on Sunday, January 23 and that it was putting measures in place to enable the two organizations accommodate the returnees along the coastal stretch of the Region at Moree.
Many of the returnees have no place of abode and have therefore become frustrated as some contemplate a return.
He added that reuniting the returnees to their families in the District have been plagued with some challenges including families unwilling to accept relatives due to poverty and also lack of enough information to locate families.
According to him, many others are still held behind troubled lines in Cote d’Ivoire due to their inability to afford the 5000 and 1500 franc boat and bus fares respectively.
A 17 year old boy who was brought to the NADMO office on Monday and gave his mother’s name as one Maame Tawiah from Abakrampa would be taken to the UNHCR camp in the Western Region, after fruitless efforts to locate his family.
Mr. Benson appealed to families to accept the returnees into the family.
He also appealed for logistics such as mattresses, blankets, buckets and plates for onward distribution to the returnees to make life a bit easy while efforts were made for their integration.