The remaining batch of the bereaved families and victims of the June 3rd disaster yesterday heaved a sigh of relief when the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) disbursed an amount of USD 200,000 to them.
The move was necessitated by a pledge made by the Government of the Republic of Benin to support the payment of the outstanding bills of the affected victims.
The beneficiaries include 15 families of the deceased who were yet to receive any support from government, 40 severely injured persons, 28 persons with minor injuries and Mr Kasim Suraj, a victim who is yetto undergo surgery.
Survivors of the incident and other beneficiaries converged at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) auditoriom for their share of the cake, which took four years to be received.
In response to the delay of the disbursement, Mr Seji Saji, chairman of the special disbursement committee, said the organisation did due diligence because of uncertainties surrounding the next of kin of some deceased persons.
He said survivors had to come along with a valid identification card before they could be compensated.
“That is to ensure transparency and make sure the right people are paid off without fear or favour,” he said.
Mr Saji added that the 15 who lost their lives were being compensated through their relatives, while the 40 who sustained injuries and were not given anything the first time, will be given 10,000 Ghana Cedis each.
“There are 28 others with minor injuries who will be taking GH₵8, 000,” he added.
Mr Saji said the committee had retained a balance of over GH¢216,000 to cater for some potential victims or families who have not completed the screening process.
The Chief Executive Officer of AMA, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah in his welcome address, thanked the Benin government for the initiative.
“On behalf of Ghana, I thank the Benin government of redeeming their pledge of support years ago.”
The CEO advised Ghanaians not to throw waste into gutters whenever it rained, saying that was the main reason for the huge loss of lives.
Madame Francoise Martine Dossa, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin in Ghana said the kind gesture was borne out of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
She said that Ghana was a second home to the people of Benin and that the country was ready to support Ghana anytime they needed help.
More than 150 persons on June 3, 2015 lost their lives, with several injured in the twin disaster after an explosion at a Goil Fuel Station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY&DOROTHY BROCKE