The Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, has called on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to expedite works on the reconstruction of the Appiatse community, in the Prestea-HuniValley municipality in the Western Region, destroyed by an explosion in January, this year.
It added that, with the onset of heavy rains, work on the temporary site must begin in earnest to save the community from another disaster.
Vice Chairman of the Committee,Mr Elvis Morris Donkor, made the appeal on Friday, when his group visited the community to obtain first-hand information on the disaster and also assess preparations towards the reconstruction of the Appiatse community.
Other members of the delegation included Mr JohnAbdulaiJinapor,Ranking member,Mr Edward Bawa,Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Mr Alfred Obeng Adom and the clerk, Ms Evelyn Brefo-Boateng.
Mr Donkor told the meeting of chiefs and residents that the group had visited the explosion site and also seen efforts aimed at constructing the temporary sites for the victims to settle while they waited for the completion of the resettlement project.
“The rains can pose a challenge, and so, we believed that the work on the temporary site would be expedited so that you can have your peace.We will also push the Appiatse Support Fund Committee and reconstruction committee, to speed up the project. As a committee we will do our part, especially thatthe donations must be used judiciously to serve the purpose,”he added.
The Vice-Chairman of the committee said the group would also demand timelines for the reconstruction of the projects.
Ranking member, John Jinapor also reiterated the oversight responsibility of Parliament and called on government to speed works towards the reconstruction ofAppiatse.
He stressed“The rains had already set in, and so, we want government to prioritise the reconstruction project so that the residents could be resettled and live their normal life.We have seen the works on the temporary structure and we assure you that we will invite the Minister and Mineral Commission to come and brief the House and also on how the funds are being applied to ensure accountability.”
Mr Jinapor continued:“Again, we will also appeal tothe corporate world to continue to donate to Appiatse, their challenges are not over.We will work with the member of Parliament and the MCEto ensure support for your welfare.”
The Municipal Chief Executive,Dr Isaac Dasmani, described the visit of the committee as another show of love for the Appiatse community and also thanked Ghanaians and the corporate world for the donations so far.
He reported that Future Global Resources (FGR), a mining company in the area, had offered their old resettlement camp for use by the victims until the reconstruction project at Appiatse was completed.
He said “We are working hard to roof the temporary structure provided by FGR before the rains set in.
The Chief of Bepoh, Nana Atta KojoBrembi II, thanked the Parliamentary Select Committee for the visit, saying “You are in Parliament, the heart of political power. Please, don’t delay in putting more fire and pressure for government to start the reconstruction project so that our people can have their peace of mind.”
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, APPIATSE