May 30, 2024 7:58 pm

Apiate explosion: WACAM, CEIA commiserate with residents, call for effective regulations

The Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) and the Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis (CEIA) have commiserated with residents of Apiate over the explosion that buried the entire community last Thursday.  

In a joint statement issued by the two NGOs Friday, January 21, 2022, they expressed their “deepest condolences with the chief and people of Apiate who lost their loved ones” and wished those injured a speedy recovery.

Whilst commending the security and other health agencies for their quick response to the situation, they are also calling for the responsible institutions to enforce the regulations guiding the activities of mining companies to avoid similar occurrences in the future.

Below is the full release from the two organisations:

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT OF WACAM AND CEIA ON EXPLOSION OF DYNAMITE AT APIATE COMMUNITY IN THE PRESTEA HUNI  VALLEY MUNICIPALITY

Thursday, 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. Apiate is a small farming village and mining community in the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality.

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. Wacam and CEIA express our deepest condolence to the Chief and people of Apiate community who have lost their loved ones. We wish those who were injured a speedy recovery. We also commend Government for immediately activating the National Emergency Response Mechanism to address the situation. We salute 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.

Wacam and CEIA further wish to commend 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.

Wacam and CEIA recognising that it is too early to officially establish the root cause of  this tragic incident, call on government and relevant agencies to conduct full-scale investigation into the incident.

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. Our call for responsible mining practices in the country is 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. 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.

Signed

Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis Wacam

Dr Samuel Obiri Hannah Owusu-Koranteng (Mrs)

Executive Director Associate Executive Director

Dated: 21st January 2022.

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