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Appiatse Support Fund launched

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Appiatse Support Fund launched
Appiatse Support Fund launched

The government has launched an endowment fund to help in the rebuilding of the community, as well as the rehabilitation of persons, affected by the explosion that occurred at Appiatse, a community near Bogoso in the Prestea Huni Valley District in the Western Region.

Known as the Appiatse Support Fund, the initiative will mobilise funds from members of the public and institutions to reconstruct the Appiatse community, which was completely destroyed by the January 20 explosion.

Thirteen people died and many others sustained injuries when a truck carrying explosives from Maxam Ghana Limited, a company licensed by the Minerals Commission to transport explosives, to the Chirano Gold Mines Limited through a subcontractor, Joyderk Co. Ltd, exploded.

Buildings in the community were ravaged by the explosion.

Following the disaster, government officials and corporate institutions have visited the community and mobilised initial resources to help bring the area back to life.

The Appiatse Support Fund will, therefore, coordinate the mobilisation of resources to reconstruct the community.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, yesterday inaugurated a five-member board to help manage the fund.

Members of the board

The board is chaired by a Ghanaian stateswoman and Executive Director of the Salt and Light Ministries, Rev. Dr Joyce Rosalind Aryee.

The other members are the Managing Director of CAL Bank, Mr Philip Owiredu; the Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemanu Kone; the Paramount Chief of the Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, and a social development research fellow at the Centre for Social Policy Studies at the University of Ghana, Dr Antoinette Adjoa Tsiboe-Darko.

Transparency

Spelling out the terms of reference of the board, Mr Jinapor said the members were required "to raise sufficient funds and disburse the proceeds for the sole benefit of the people of Appiatse".

He urged them to be fair, prudent and transparent in the mobilisation and utilisation of the money that would accrue to the fund.

"You have the responsibility to disburse the funds in accordance with the highest standards of transparency and integrity for the sole benefit of the people of Appiatse," he said.

He assured the people of Appiatse that the government and Ghanaians would not neglect them in this challenging time but help restore their livelihoods.

"I passionately appeal to all Ghanaians, residents of Ghana, friends of Ghana, companies and civil society organisations to generously contribute to this endeavour," he said.

Accepting the role given them, Rev. Dr Aryee, on behalf of the board, assured the government that they would work diligently to deliver on their mandate.

She observed that it was a privilege for members of the board to be called upon to help the country to address a national challenge at a critical moment.

"It is an onerous task that we have been called upon to undertake, but with God, it is possible. We ask for support from all members of the public and the media to succeed in this endeavour," she said.

The former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines assured the government that the purpose for which the fund was set up would be fully realised.

Initial response

As an initial response, a government delegation, led by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, had earlier visited the community and offered support to the injured and the families of victims of the explosion.

Dr Bawumia also announced that the state would rebuild collapsed houses in the community and provide all the needed support to ensure that the community members got back on their feet, resumed economic activities and lived normal lives.

Consequently, the government has urged the State Housing Company (SHC) to liaise with mining companies in the area to carry out the reconstruction plan.

The Vice-President presented GH¢200,000, as well as food items, toiletries, mosquito nets and repellent, student mattresses and detergents for the upkeep of the affected community members.

The displaced people are currently living in temporary shelters and they have appealed for help to be able to rebuild their lives, as they have lost their homes, personal effects and means of livelihood.