Honourable Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge Forestry, announced today that the Government of Ghana will need an estimated GHS 125 million to finish the reconstruction of the flattened Appiatse community in the Western Region.
Mr Owusu-Bio told reporters during a working visit to the village on Thursday, September 22nd, that the first phase will cost an estimated GHS 45 million to complete, while the second phase will cost nearly twice as much.
With that, the minister requested further financial and material assistance.
“Work has begun, but we still have a deficit, therefore we are pleading with all Ghanaians and people throughout Ghana to donate so that we can totally restore the lives of the Appiatse victims,” he stated.
Since its commencement in late January following the explosion that killed thirteen people, including three children, the minister has presided over the Appiatse Reconstruction Implementation Team (ARIT).
On the 20th of January, a vehicle carrying mining explosives collided with a motorcycle rider off the Tarkwa-Bogoso route, injuring many more.
The government committed to build a “green and sustainable community” in twelve months for the impacted people who are presently housed in FGM-provided temporary housing.
Mr Owusu-Bio stated that the construction of 124 housing units is moving steadily, with a total of six contractors on site.
“Most of the contractors are working on the substructures, which are built of regular blocks, while some are at the foundation level, some footings level, and soon we will be at the flowing level, with brickworks to begin in 5 weeks.”
He stated that compressed earth bricks will be utilized for the top structure as part of the green and sustainable building design, which will serve as a model concept for other rural communities.
Mr Owusu-Bio also disclosed that government departments have been supportive thus far, with the Electricity Company of Ghana supplying a transformer and Getfund signing a deal to build a school for the town.
He wants the Roads and Highways Ministry to start building roads right now in order to clear the way for contractors.
According to Eng. Castro Kaliebu of the Rural Housing Department, a total of 4000 bricks have been made thus far. With machines capable of producing 11,000 bricks each day, Kaliebu believes manufacturing will be completed ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, aggrieved individuals have begun petitioning the government for the compensation they are owed. In response to their concerns, Mr Owusu-Bio stated that pay problems are not within his purview.
“My primary job is to oversee the rebuilding of Appiatse; compensation is not within my domain, but I’m confident that the relevant authorities will take it up and be guaranteed that what we’ve been assigned to do, we will accomplish to the end.”