The government has promised to provide housing facilities for displaced residents of Bogoso-Appiatse after a huge explosion destroyed the town on Thursday afternoon.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia gave the assurance when he visited the scene to ascertain the havoc caused by the blast which killed at least 13 and razed all the buildings within the radius of impact.
Dr Bawumia said the government has engaged the State Housing Corporation and mining companies in the area to provide an instant haven for the stranded community members in the coming days.
Additionally, the government would foot the bill for victims who are receiving treatment.
“Government, on its part, is going to do everything to support the families and those who have been injured. We are also looking into how to make sure that all those who are injured are taken care of, some have been taken to Tarkwa, Kumasi, and other neighbouring communities.
“For the houses that have been destroyed, we are already beginning to think about how to rehabilitate and rebuild for the community. I have already to the State Housing Corporation and in consultation with the mining companies here, we will quickly try to put in place facilities that will help those who have been displaced,” he said on Friday, 21 January 22.
Dr Bawumia also used the opportunity to express his condolence to the bereaved families and speedy recovery to the victims.
“A major disaster befell us yesterday [20 January 2022], not only for the community here in Appiatse but it befell the whole of Ghana and that is why President Nana Akufo-Addo asked me to lead this government delegation to come and assess the situation and see what we are going to do for the people.
“I have received briefings from the Police, the Fire Service, NADMO and the Chief. On behalf of the President and the government, we wish to express our deepest condolences to those who sadly lost their lives from this very sad incident,” the Vice President said.
Dr Bawumia presented some relief items for the affected people.
Thirteen have been confirmed dead and 59 others injured as of 12 noon on Friday, following the massive explosion in the mining community located in the Western Region.
Additionally, 500 homes and 139 families were affected by the tragic incident.
The latest details from Dr Bawumia follow an earlier communication from Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah who placed the death toll at 17.
So far, 42 are receiving treatment, with the others in critical condition.
Body parts of several deceased persons strewed along some roads while buildings were reduced to rubbles.
A preliminary investigation by the Ghana Police Service revealed that a DAF truck, with registration number WR 2252-18, was conveying explosive material from MAXAM Company, Tarkwa, to Chirano Gold Mines in the Western North Region.
A motorcycle rider from the opposite direction ran under the van when it got to a section of the road between Bogoso and Bawdie.
The motorcycle caught fire and ignited the van, which exploded into flames.
An ECG transformer in close range was also destroyed in the process.
The explosion occurred at about 1:30 pm on 20 January 2022 and left a crater in the middle of the town.
Rescued victims are on admission at various hospitals and clinics within the Bogoso Municipality.
Consequently, a National Emergency Response Mechanism has been activated with personnel from the Police Service, Fire Service, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Ghana Health Service, National Ambulance Service, the Municipal Authority, and residents involved in providing support.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah explained that additional personnel and resources had been dispatched to the community to support the response effort.
An alternative route has been created to facilitate the movement of stranded vehicles plying that route.
All hospitals within the vicinity are being used to treat injured persons, and an evacuation plan has been activated to move those in critical condition to medical facilities in Accra so they can get the needed assistance.
“To forestall a secondary explosion, a joint team of police and military explosion experts has been deployed to examine the situation and put in place the requisite measures.
“Early reports indicate that several houses and structures in sections of the town have been destroyed and plans have been put in place to ensure that stranded community members are catered for in the coming days”.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah added that President Akufo-Addo would visit Appiatse to assess the effectiveness of the response effort.
Police said in a statement that they “have taken charge of the situation providing security to enable the emergency workers including the Ghana National Fire Service, NADMO and the Ambulance Service to manage the situation”.
The law enforcement agency has advised persons “to move out of the area to nearby towns for their safety while recovery efforts are underway”.