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21.01.2022 Headlines

Bogoso Disaster: Mining company must be held to pay at least $100million for damages – Kwaku Azar

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Bogoso Disaster: Mining company must be held to pay at least 100million for damages – Kwaku Azar
21.01.2022 LISTEN

A private legal practitioner, Prof. Kwaku Azar wants the mining company whose explosive materials caused the disastrous explosion in Appiatse, near Bogoso in the Western Region held accountable for death and losses.

He said the mining company must be made to pay at least $100million for damages to lives and properties.

On Thursday, January 20, 2022, there was an accident at Appiatse involving a truck conveying explosive material for a mining company, a motorcycle, and a third vehicle close to an electricity transformer, leading to the explosion.

According to Kwaku Azar, while it may have been an accident, it could have been avoided if the laws governing the transfer of explosive materials had been adhered to.

It is in this regard that the lawyer is pushing for punishment to be meted out to the mining company and the government agency that has failed to enforce the law.

“The mining company must be held accountable for the carnage! I see, at least, $100M of damages.

“But that’s not all. Who are those responsible for enforcing L1 2177? They must all be held accountable,” Kwaku Azar has said in a Facebook post.

He adds, “For the avoidance of doubt, a press release taking responsibility is not accountability. People must be fired, prosecuted, demoted, etc.”

"The LI 2177 requires the vehicle compartments in which explosives are transported should be covered with sheet metal and lined with treated wood to render it non-inflammable.

"The compartment should be ventilated, the vehicle should be clearly marked with the danger sign, there are fire extinguisher rules, driver training requirements, etc.

"It is unclear whether these measures were adhered to on Thursday or not," he stated.

Read the full statement from Kwaku Azar below:

Very saddened by the tragic events of Bogoso. And equally upset that we have reduced our laws to mere suggestions.

We have crafted LI 2177 to avoid the carnage we are witnessing at Bogoso. Amongst its many sensible and stringent regulations, it requires the vehicle compartments in which explosives are transported to be covered with sheet metal and lined with treated wood to render it non-inflammable.

The compartment should be ventilated, the vehicle should be clearly marked with the danger sign, there are fire extinguisher rules, driver training requirements, etc.

But to what effect if these regulations are not enforced?

Accidents do happen and there is no doubt that the accident here is the actual cause of the problem. But accidents do not cause the kind of carnage we are witnessing. Rather, the negligent transportation of explosives on the Bogoso highway, itself the product of absence of enforcement, is the proximate cause of the carnage.

The mining company must be held accountable for the carnage! I see, at least, $100M of damages.

But that’s not all. Who are those responsible for enforcing L1 2177? They must all be held accountable.

For the avoidance of doubt, a press release taking responsibility is not accountability. People must be fired, prosecuted, demoted, etc.

And I repeat, laws are not self-enforcing. We can write and rewrite them as often as we want but they are pretty useless if we are not going to enforce them or selectively do so.

#SALL is the cardinal sin of the 8th Parliament.

Da Yie!

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo

Journalist

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