The Coca Cola company in Ghana has donated drinks and cash worth thousands of Ghana cedis through the May 9 foundation for families of victims of the Accra stadium Disaster.
The donations form part of activities to mark the 18th anniversary of the tragic stampede which occurred during a soccer game between rivals Accra hearts of oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko on May 9 2001.
The tragic stampede claimed at least 127 lives and left many football supporters injured and their families in despair.
The May 9, 2001, Accra stadium disaster remains the number one sports tragedy in Ghana’s history. A month earlier in the same year, on 11 April 2001, a similar sports tragedy took place at the Ellis Park Stadium, also registering as the worst sporting accident in South African history. It occurred during a match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and claimed 49 lives.
Even though the government of Ghana set up a disaster fund to support the families of the victims of the stadium disaster, the very little benefit has been derived by the families, according to some of them.
Justice has also eluded the families of the victims of the disaster for 18 years as the commission set up by the Ghana government to investigate the incident found no one culpable.
As chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the time of the Accra stadium disaster, Herbert Mensah has taken a personal responsibility over the years in an effort to replace the despair of these families facing unnatural disasters with hope.
Included in the past few years in the May 9 remembered charity projects are surgeries for needy sick children at KATH, support for gas explosion victims, support for flood victims, physically disabled people and school fees for many other families of the victims of the Accra stadium disaster.
Coca Cola Ghana has committed to supporting the May 9 charity project championed by Herbert Mensah as part of their corporate social responsibility to the people of Ghana, without whom their businesses will not thrive in the country.
Eric Affum Boamah, Assistant public affairs and communications manager presented the items and pledged future support for the May 9 foundation charity projects.
“We empathize with the poor people who have suffered one disaster or another. starting with the May 9 disaster victims and spreading to all others who need empathy. And we translate that empathy into concrete support in terms of cash for fees, food, medical services, household consumables.
“What I saw and experienced on May 9, 2001, in that stadium changed my life.
It has taught us the value of empathy. we don’t want to forget that day and we don’t want a repeat of that tragic day in our history” Herbert Mensah told newsmen at a presentation of items and cash to affected families in Accra on Wednesday.
“And sponsors like Sunda International, GBfoods, Interplast, Coca Cola, share the value of empathy with the May 9 foundation for those who suffered that day and those who continue to suffer from other disasters such as gas explosion and flood victims. we appreciate their continued support in the years gone by and those ahead”, he added.