WACAM, a mining advocacy NGO has suggested that government continuous delay in making public Committee Report on Apiate explosion send a bad signal to the country.
According to them, what is happening now pre-suggest that the government is shielding the companies whose negligence led to the death of at least 14 people and erased a whole community.
WACAM is therefore accusing the government of a lack of transparency and accountability.
Speaking at the launch of a report and analysis of the explosion one year on, the Executive Director of WACAM, Mr. Daniel Owusu-Koranteng said issues of public safety are issues for public discussion, hence the need for the report to be made public.
“We are all aware that the Lands Minister constituted the fact-finding committee and the report has been submitted but it has not been made public. This is of serious concern,” he said.
Mr. Owusu-Koranteng insisted that government must be transparent about the causes and effects of the incident “so that we can hold the duty bearers and the company accountable.”
This, he said will help the country keep its attention on the challenging lessons learned from the Appiatse incident.
“It is important that we use the Apiate explosion to look at the weakness in our mining regulation, enforcement lapses and strengthen our laws to hold the state to address the negative effects of the actions and inactions of mining companies and those that provide services to the mining companies,” he added.
On her part, the Associate Executive Director of WACAM, Mrs. Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, also questioned why the report has not been brought to the public domain.
“Is it because the state is covering up the companies, that is why they don’t want to disclose? Is it because government just want to incur cost?
Because, if somebody is injured and the person has had an accident and there are insurance companies covering some of these industries, they have insurance cover for accident and then government is taking it upon itself to accommodate the people, feed, pay medical bills etc to the extent that the people are losing their dignity. Perhaps there are a lot of questions to ask,” she said.
Launching the report, a senior lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, recommended that government must enforce the strict adherence to regulations involving transportation of explosives in the country, review the 2021 Legislative Instrument 2177 to include liability and compensation and that government must establish coordinating unit for emergency situations at the various districts.
Dr. Tenkorang again called on government not to place people in tents for more than two months in the future because it take away their dignity and deprive them of their human rights.
Narrating her ordeal, a survivor and resident of Apiate, Madam Cecilia Adjoa Abban, who could not hold her tears said the disaster has left an indelible mark in her life and appeals to the government to speed up the reconstruction processes.