Government will bear the cost of medical assistance and other support for the families of those affected by the explosion which devastated the community of Appiatse, near Bogoso, on Thursday January 20, 2022, the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.
Working through the State Housing Company (SHC) and in collaboration with mining firms operating in the Bogoso area, Government will also provide affordable housing for those whose houses were destroyed in the blast.
Vice President Bawumia made the pledge when he led a government delegation made up of the Minister for the Interior, Hon Ambrose Dery; Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor; Information Minister Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah; Western Region Minister Hon Dr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah; Director General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh and other officials to commiserate with the families of the affected on Friday, 21 January 2022.
Briefing the Vice President, officials at the hastily set-up Operations Centre at the scene of the disaster, including the Inspector General of Police, the Chief Fire Officer, senior Army officers, senior officials of the other security agencies, the Ghana Health Service, Ambulance Service and other allied agencies disclosed that 179 persons had been directly affected by the blast, allegedly caused by a collision between an explosives-carrying vehicle and a motorbike.
13 persons have been confirmed dead so far, they added, with 45 others receiving medical attention in nearby hospitals and a further 4 referred to the Komfo Anokye and Korle Bu hospitals. About 150 persons, almost the entirety of the community, are now seeking shelter at the Catholic Church’s centre because their houses have either been destroyed or made unsafe by the blast.
Accompanied by the Chief of Appiatse and the MCE for Prestea Huni Valley, Dr Bawumia and his team visited the scene of the blast, which has a large crater in the middle of the highway, the Appiatse health centre to see some of the injured, and the Catholic centre to commiserate with the displaced and hand over 13 tonnes of relief items comprising of rice, oil, soap, blankets, used clothing, mosquito nets and coil and mattresses, and a large sum of money for their upkeep.
“This is a sad day for all of us,” Dr Bawumia stated. “On behalf of President Akufo-Addo and the entire government, I wish to convey our condolences to the families of the bereaved and wish the injured a speedy recovery. We will take the necessary steps and learn the necessary lessons from this disaster, but we are more concerned now about your welfare.
“We will be fully engaged in bringing relief to all the persons involved, and while we continue to assess the extent of damage, we have made provision for your medical and other bills.
“Government will take up, fully, the cost of medical care for all the persons affected by this disaster. As I speak, officials from the Western Region office of the State Housing Company are on their way to assess the extent of damage to buildings and work with the mining companies and other stakeholders to provide you with new accommodation.
“Once again, we wish the injured speedy recovery, and eternal rest for the departed. Government will do all in its power to bring a measure of relief for your loss,” Vice President Bawumia added.