The Center for Social Impact Studies (CeSIS) is saddened by the loss of precious lives and property as a result of the explosion that tragically occurred at Appiatse, near Bogoso in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region last Thursday.
So far a number of people are reportedly dead with many more injured and receiving treatment at various health facilities in the region.
We commiserate with families of the deceased and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
CeSIS also commends the government’s national emergency response mechanism since the incidence occurred with personnel from the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) among others coordinating efforts to ensure that normalcy is restored to the community.
While investigations are still on-going to unravel the circumstances that led to this tragic incidence, it is becoming obvious that there were some regulatory failures and negligence on the part of the regulatory agencies.
It will be recalled that the Interior Minister, Hon. Ambrose Dery had cause to raise concerns over the poor safety record of Maxam Explosive Company Limited after a tour of the company in 2017 and went ahead to issue an 8-week ultimatum to management to fix these issues or lose their permit to manufacture explosives. The public was not given any feedback after the expiration of the 8-week ultimatum. We have every cause to believe that if the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission had been up to their task this unfortunate incidence would have been averted.
We also believe that mining companies that patronise the services of these service companies do have a responsibility to ensure that these companies adhere strictly to the relevant regulations, in this case, the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012, LI 2177. To this end we cannot totally absolve Chirano Gold Mines of any blame.
As a research and advocacy organization in the extractive sector, CeSIS adds its voice to calls for a full-scale independent investigation into the incident with severe punitive sanctions against individuals and institutions found culpable. While the investigations are on-going, we urge government to work together with the mining companies in the enclave to provide immediate relief to the people, and efforts made to rebuild the community.
We call on state regulatory bodies in the extractive sector to be more proactive in dispensing their duties without fear or favour to forestall a future occurrence of this unfortunate incidence with its attendant casualties.
Robert Ali Tanti
For more information, please call:
Robert Ali Tanti (Executive Director) Tel: 0246486740/0245646567
Eric Anaane Ndebugri (Programme Officer) Tel: 0241907530