Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr Speaker, while I associate myself with the Statement made eloquently by the Hon Member for Mpraeso, Hon Seth Kwame Acheampong, I wish to state that I am deeply touched by this particular Statement, not only as a Hon Member of this august House and not only as a Ghanaian, but more importantly, as a member of the Ghana-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League through which I had the opportunity to visit Japan with Hon Seth Kwame Acheampong just two months ago.
Mr Speaker, disaster could strike at anytime and anywhere without prior notice. Therefore, disaster is an act of God and wherever it happens, all men of goodwill must associate themselves with the victims and express their sympathy to them.
Mr Speaker, disaster knows no bound, race or colour. Therefore, all human beings are at risk and at all times we must take steps to ensure that we prevent such acts of God.
Mr Speaker, Ghana in particular has had long standing bilateral relationship with Japan which spans a period of nine decades; right from the early 1920s when Dr Noguchi visited our country.
A lot of things have been done and are being done in our country by the people of Japan in memory of the great
doctor, Dr Noguchi who unfortunately died in our country in the early 1920's.
Mr Speaker, Japan has been doing a lot for Ghana because of the aforementioned bilateral relations that has been firmly established between the two sister countries. Japan has a warm and hospitable people, and they have extended this kind friendship and kindness to our country in a number of ways.
In the area of health and in the area of education, Japan has been of tremendous help to our country. In particular, I have come to realise this, because I am privileged to be the country's current Minister for Roads and Highways.
The kind of help that Japan has given to our country in that sector and other infrastructural areas is commendable.
Apart from that, Mr Speaker, the Japanese Government through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has extended a concessionary loan of JPY112 billion to finance the Volivo Bridge for which sod would be cut in no distant future.
This is a country that is undergoing this kind of disaster, and the least Ghanaians as a people could do is to show solidarity with them and register our sadness, our regret and our sympathy to them.
Mr Speaker, despite all these, and in the midst of these difficulties and hardships, I am encouraged that the
Japanese people have exercised great courage and fortitude and are confronting this disaster headlong, particularly their police, military and such allied bodies have come together to fight and to rescue all the victims.
It should be a shining example to us. We must build our institutions, and we must resource them so that, may God forbid, should any of such thing happen to us, our Police, Military and National Disaster Management Organisation would be able to confront the situation.
Mr Speaker, as I end my contribution, let me also take this opportunity to extend to my constituents, whom I am told yesterday suffered a major rainstorm which affected about five or six towns in my constituency and are in the same mood