MPs remember June 3 twin disaster
By Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, June 4, GNA - One year on after the June 3 fiery floods, Members of Parliament (MPs) in Ghana have urged the city authorities for more interventions to prevent a recurrence in Accra and other parts of the country.
Forceful flood waters caused an explosion of a fuel filling station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra on June 3, 2015, resulting in an inferno that claimed numerous lives, pegged around 150.
However, the MPs said it was clear that one year after the sad and tragic event, not much had been done to ensure that the fire and flood disaster, does not recur.
Mr Patrick Boamah, MP for Okaikoi Central, in a statement, described June 3, 2015 as "Black Wednesday" and a day, which would be indelible on the minds of many people, even those who did not lose loved ones and property.
"It is a blot on the conscience of a city and a day of great depression to the nation," he said.
Ms Freda Prempeh, MP for Tano North who was caught in the floods on that fateful day, emotionally recounted her experience and said it appeared that the nation had not learnt any lesson.
She said the gutters in the city are still filled with silt while buildings are still sited in waterways.
She wanted to know if the city authorities did enough due diligence before issuing building permits.
'Why are buildings earmarked for demolition because they were situated in water courses still standing?' she asked.
She called for a well-coordinated disaster management system, the retraining of disaster management personnel as well as the provision of adequate financial resources for the National Disaster Management Organisation to enable them to discharge their duties affectively.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh MP for Wa West, commended the media, for its communication of the disaster, and doing publications devoted pages to remember the day and said it served as a reminder to all of the lapses that led to the disaster.
As a nation, he said, Ghanaians need to ensure that the disaster do not recur.
He also urged the relevant committees of Parliament to liaise with the relevant Departments and Agencies to reduce the occurrence of such disasters.
Mr Chireh said efforts should be made to give befitting burials to bodies of the disaster that are still unclaimed.
Ms Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome /Kwabenya, questioned why the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies were issuing permits for the construction of fuel stations close to residential areas.
She said all over the country fuel stations were springing up close to schools, hospitals, churches, and living quarters and urged the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) and the National Petroleum Authority to be proactive and desist from the wanton granting of permits for the establishment of fuel stations and depots.
Ms Safo also called for compensation for the victims and said if the survivors of the disaster.
'If and the relations of the dead were to embark on a successful legal action against the government or GOIL, the monies the two institutions would have to pay would be huge,' she advocated.
Mr Henry Kwabena Kokofu , MP or Bantama, said the disaster could have been avoided if institutions worked.
He called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to work hard to ensure proper waste disposal in the country to forestall any such occurrences in the future.
Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, Deputy Majority Whip, said both sides of the political divide need to demonstrate strong political will to address such problems.
He said technocrats must be allowed to carry out their legitimate and lawful functions.
A minute's silence was observed in memory of the departed souls.