Despite having no legal responsibility to compensate Appiatse accident victims, the government is committed to assisting the victims through the Appiatse support fund.
The Chairperson of the Appiatse Reconstruction Implementation Committee, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, said the measure is being undertaken without prejudice to the right of any person to seek any lawful remedy including the payment of compensation.
In a press statement, it said the preoccupation of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources since the incident has been to provide emergency relief to support victims, investigate the matter and apply the necessary sanctions to prevent its reoccurrence as well as reconstruct the community to give the victims the dignity of life they deserve.
It also stated that the Ministry was working with relevant agencies, provided emergency relief to the victims and has now moved them from the tents which initially housed them to a temporary accommodation pending the reconstruction of the community. The medical bills of all the injured are being borne by the government.
The Ministry stated that the incident has been investigated, leading to a review of the entire health and safety standards in the mining industry. The reconstruction of the community is also progressing steadily with the selection of contractors and mobilization to the site.
“The Appiatse incident was very tragic and we call on all to approach it devoid of any partisan politics, The Committee will continue to work with the Ministry as well as the chiefs and people of the community to ensure the speedy completion of the reconstruction of the community,” it added.
The Ministry called on the general public to continue to donate to the Appiatse Support Fund, to help raise enough funds to complete the reconstruction and support the community.
The Appiatse incident occurred due to an accident involving a truck conveying explosive for a mining company, a motorcycle and a third vehicle close to an electricity transformer, reducing the town of Appaitse to rubble, killing inhabitants and injuring scores.
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD