Mahama Marks ‘Black Wednesday’ With Prayers
By George-Ramsey Benamba, GNA
President John DramaniMahama, on Friday, joined hundreds of mourners at the Ernest Bruce Methodist Memorial Church to commemorate First Anniversary of the fire and flood disaster at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.
Themed; “Never Again”, the Service attracted mourners, made up of families of the deceased, sympathisers, religious leaders, Ministers of State and representatives of all stakeholders in disaster management.
In a sermon to commemorate the tragic event, which occurred a year ago, the Right Reverend Samuel Kofi Osabutey, the Methodist Bishop of Accra Diocese, called on Ghanaians to always turn to God in times of difficulties.
He urged believers to still offer praises to God even in times of disasters like the one that occurred a year ago.
“I say as Christians, we can still offer praises to God, even in times of difficulties like this…. It might sound contradictory, but praise is not just a feeling, but an attitude,” he said.
Bishop Osabutey said God is the God of second chances and called on Ghanaians to be accountable to one another by not making any political capital out of the disaster.
Instead, the Methodist Bishop urged Ghanaians to recognise God’s ownership of the earth, realising that human beings were just caretakers of the very earth they were living on.
Bishop Osabutey also advised Ghanaians to eschew selfishness that could undermine other people to their favour.
“Affirm that development of any kind without moral responsibility is irresponsibility that can lead to the destruction of our common humanity.”
Nii Oko Vanderpuije, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, announced that the Government had taken care of a total of 108 families who lost their relatives in the flood and fire disasters.
He said the Government had also paid the medical bills of 15 individuals who sustained various degrees of injuries and were hospitalised in various health facilities in the capital as a result of the disaster.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive also announced that there were still unclaimed bodies in some health facilities in the capital and called on all those who were still searching for their relatives to report to the Assembly to help them to retrieve the bodies.
On plans to avert subsequent disasters, Nii Vanderpuije said the engineers dredging the Odaw drains had covered about 40 per cent and gave the assurance that the Assembly was on course in desilting all the choked gutters in subsequent days.
Exactly a year ago, a record heavy rainfall in the capital resulted in floods in various part of the capital, leading to loss of lives and property.
However, leakage from the underground fuel reservoir at a GOIL Filling Station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle resulted in the suspension of the fuel on the flood waters in the area.
When the fuel came into contact with some source of fire, it ignited and spread on the flood, resulting in an explosion at its source.
As a result, a total of 153 people lost their lives with property running into millions of Ghana Cedis destroyed, making it the most tragic flood-fire disaster in the country.
Some of the deceased are yet to be identified.