The Vice Chancellor of the Paa Grant University of Mines and Technology in the Westen region of Ghana, Professor Richard Amankwah says the University will conduct free soil testing at Appiatse before the planned reconstruction of a green and sustainable community by the government commences.
The Disaster Management Hub of the University has so far offered various support including counselling to victims of the “lost” community.
“…and currently we are the people who have the sizes of the crater that was created and the volumes of sand or dust that was moved based on their explosion,” Prof. Amankwah revealed at the inauguration of a five-member Ministrrial Enquiry Committee on 7th February by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Lawyer Samuel Abdulai Jinapor in Accra.
The Minerals Engineer together with four others namely: Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong, a professor of minerals engineering and Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies at Paa Grant University of Mines and Technology who represents the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; Madam Effie Oppong-Fosu, an Associate of Menka-Premo and Co. Law Firm, with specialisation in mining and energy law, representing the Ghana Bar Association, Mr. Benjamin Aryee, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, and Mr. Kwesi Enyan, a former inspector of mines, and a former Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti are mandated to review the safety regime of the mining industry in the country.
In one month, they will also review the existing laws, regulations, and guidelines on health and safety standards, inquire into any matter relating to health and safety in the mining industry, and make recommendations to Government.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Lawyer Samuel Abdulai Jinapor says the 20th January explosion which claimed 13 lives and flattened the entire mining community should serve as a “wake up call,” hence the constituting of an enquiry committee.
“Similar actions were taken by the United States following the BP oil spill in 2010 and South Africa, after the Vaal Reefs disaster in 1995,” Lawyer Jinapor noted.
Ghana has witnessed a number of mining related casualties mainly minig pit cave-ins in Ayanfuri and Breman, both in the Upper Denkyira West district of the Central Region, with the most recent one recorded in AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine in 2021.
“We cannot continue to treat these as isolated incidents. We must take a holistic approach to dealing with the health and safety issues in the mining sector.”
To build a mining hub in Africa as envisioned by the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo requires a safe and healthy environment for mining.
Chairman of the Safety Committee Prof. Amankwah committed to ensuring that there is broad consultations.
“We will consult in Ghana and abroad and make an effort a very conscious effort to develop a document that will stand the test of time,” Prof. Amankwah assured the Minister.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Jinapor revaled his Ministry will brief Ghanaians on some of the “consequential actions” following the report of the investigation by the one of the Committees set up earlier to investigate circumstances that led to the explosion.
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