Residents of Appiatse who lost their homes to the 20th January explosion will temporarily be resettled in structures under construction by a private mining firm Future Global Resources.
Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Lawyer Samuel Abdulai Jinapor told journalists during a site visit to the structures on 21st February, exactly a month after the deadly incident that claimed 13 lives including three children in the mining community in the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality of the Western region.
This temporal resettlement is to provide safety for the already devasted people as the rains set in, Lawyer Jinapor hinted.
“These tents cannot protect you from the rains so in the interim we have agreed with FGR to have you move into their building. We’re going to work with them to complete that community. Thankfully, companies like Tropical Cable have committed to providing electrical cables free of charge,” he said.
Currently, the people are living in tents in a camp in Dumase, a walking distance from the scene of the explosion under the care of the government.
The government through the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources inaugurated an Appiatse Support Fund to galvanise revenue and resources to support the Appiatse Reconstruction Project Team to construct a green and sustainable community that promises to be a model village for all mining resettlement on the land that once hosted hundreds of buildings that have been flattened by the explosion.
“The community through the chief and Assemblyman have mobilized the young men and they’re moulding of the blocks and this is all part of collective action,” the sector minister said when he met a section of the youth busily engaged in the rebuilding process on his visit.
But he urged the youth to get involved and own the reconstruction, “We are not asking for money from you and we are not going to take any, what we expect from you is your support by joining in the communal labour and supporting in the building processes without expecting monetary benefits,” he added.
Lawyer Jinapor at a durbar of community dwellers and chiefs committed to ensuring that funds generated through the Appiatse Support Fund will be put to adequate use while ensuring transparency and accountability.
“I assure you that the community will be built on equity, fairness, and justice, all who owned houses, parcels of land, and shops will all have it restored to them and every single penny will be accounted for.”
The reconstruction team has set up a mini-block factory after it received some 6,000 bags of cement through donations from both companies and individuals.
Some 800 people were displaced according to the records of the reconstruction team led by the deputy minister Mr Benito Owusu-Bio. While briefing the visiting team, Mr Owusu-Bio revealed the FGR resettlement can accommodate all the affected persons.
Roofing and furnishing works are expected to commence on 28th February.
The Chief of Appiatse, Nana Atta Kwadwo Bremebi expressed his appreciation to the Government and the Ministry for all the efforts towards the rebuilding of the community. He also urged his people to support the project and remain patient as government zooms into the third phase of the project.
Zubaida Mabuno Ismail / www.zamireports.com / Appiatse.