Story by: Ishmael Barfi
Wacam and Center for Environmental Impact Analysis (CEIA) has called on government to conduct a full scale investigation into the Apiate explosion that happened on Thursday, 20th January,2022, setting the whole town ablaze killing and maiming scores of residents as well as destroying properties of the residents.
According to the two Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), it is too early to officially establish the root cause of this tragic incident therefore call on government and relevant agencies to conduct full-scale investigation as soon as possible to avert such disasters in the future.
The call to government was made through a press release issued by the two CSOs signed by Center for Environmental Impact Analysis (CEIA) Executive Director, Dr.Samuel Obiri and WACAM Associate Executive Director, Mrs. Hannah Owusu-Koranteng.
Wacam and CEIA also though the release expressed their deepest condolence to the Chief and people of Apiate community who have lost their loved ones.
“We wish those who were injured a speedy recovering. We also commend Government for immediately activating the National Emergency Response Mechanism to address the situation”.
Furthermore, saluted the gallant men and women from Ghana Police Service, Fire Service, Ghana Armed Forces, NADMO, National Ambulance Service, Staff of Ghana Health Service in the affected area as well as the entire citizens who assisted in bringing relief to the affected people.
And also commended the Churches in the area particularly, the Catholic Parish in Bogoso for releasing their church hall to be used in accommodating the displaced residents from the community.
The 20th January 2022 which appeared to be a normal day for the people of Apiate turned out to be a sad day for the people and Ghana.
A vehicle conveying explosives to Chirano Mining Company exploded at Apiate community after colliding with a motor cycle.
The explosives detonated, setting the whole town ablaze killing and maiming scores of residents as well as destroying properties of the residents.
Apiate is a small farming village and mining community in the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality.
However, WACAM and CEIA was of the view that, the people of Apiate and the nation could have been spared the agony of the incident that had shocked the whole nation and its related damage if due precaution had been exercised and the safety provisions in the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 ( LI 2177) had been adhered to in the transport of the explosives.
Therefore called for responsible mining practices in the country to prevent incidences of such nature and cyanide spillages which tend to expose host mining communities to avoidable dangers.
“We want to use this medium to reiterate our call for all mining companies to adhere to responsible mining regulations.”
Adding “In furtherance to this, we call on mining sector regulatory agencies to effectively regulate the mining companies to avoid Regulatory Capture and Agency problems to ensure strict adherence to all regulations governing safe and responsible mining practices.