The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has reiterated its commitment to raise enough funds to reconstruct the Appiatse community in the Prestea, Huni-Valley Municipality which was destroyed by an explosion and support the victims of the incident to restart their livelihoods.
Although government was not mandated to compensate victims of the incident, it said, all plans and arrangements including the Appiatse Support Fund were on course to help in restoring the lost livelihoods of the community members.
A statement signed and issued in Accra yesterday by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, explained that any plan and arrangement would be undertaken transparently and with the highest standards of integrity.
It noted that all the interventions being taken by government was without prejudice to the right of any person or victim of the incident to seek the payment of compensation.
Currently, the statement said that the reconstruction of the community was underway with the selection of contractors and mobilisation to site.
As part of efforts to forestal the occurrence of such incidents, it noted that the event had been investigated, leading to a review of the entire health and safety standards in the mining industry.
Since the explosion, the statement said the preoccupation of the Ministry had been to provide emergency relief to support victims, investigate the matter and apply the necessary sanctions to prevent its reoccurrence.
“The Ministry, working with relevant agencies, provided emergency relief to the victims, and has now moved them from the tents which initially housed them to a temporary accommodation pending the reconstruction of the community. The medical bills of all the injured are being borne by government,” it added.
The statement called on Ghanaians to support government’s initiatives to get the community back on track and resist any urge to politicise the tragic incident.
It said the Appiatse Reconstruction Implementation Committee would work with the Ministry as well as the chiefs and people of the community to ensure the speedy completion of the reconstruction exercise.
The statement followed a call by former President John Mahama on government to compensate victims of the incident.
It commended the former President for his visit and the donation to the community and welcomed the former President’s commendation of the work government had done in the community since the tragic incident.
It would be recalled that at least 13 people were killed on January 20 this year after a truck carrying mining explosives collided with a motorcycle at Appiatse near Bogoso, sparking an explosion that left hundreds of buildings destroyed.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS