The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has released a statement responding to former President John Mahama’s comments that Appiate’s victims should be compensated.
John Mahama has urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately work towards compensating victims of the Appiate explosion disaster who have lost their livelihoods due to the disaster.
The former President said this at Appiate while interacting with victims after he donated assorted food items, mattresses and GH¢5,000 to the Appiate Relief Committee.
Mr. Mahama while acknowledging the government’s response since the disaster said it is high time the government looked at compensating the victims for their loss before they seek redress from the court.
“Listening to the representative of the victims of the disaster speak for their colleagues, it is clear that their livelihoods now is critical. They have lost everything, so the government must look at compensating those who lost relatives and properties. It is my belief that if the President insists on this concern of compensation now, it will definitely be done.”
“Government must not wait for Appiate explosion disaster victims to go to court for redress before the government pays the compensation. So, I will urge the President and the government officials to listen to the concerns of the Appiate victims. As much as they appreciate government for the disaster response so far, their continued livelihoods are also important,“ he said.
However, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has absolved itself from the responsibility of compensating residents of Appiate who were displaced by an explosion in the town this year.
It says it is nonetheless committed to raising enough funds to “reconstruct the community and support the victims of the incident”.
The explosion killed 14 people and left several others injured.
Pressure is mounting on the government to fast-track the process of reconstructing the town after scores of residents were displaced by the incident.
Following the explosion, the government set up a support fund aimed at providing relief items to affected persons and the reconstruction of the entire community.
The Appiate Support Fund has received over GH¢35 million in donations so far.
The Ministry called on Ghanaians to continually donate to the Fund to help raise enough funds to complete the reconstruction and support the community.
It also indicated that victims of the Appiate disaster are not restrained from taking legal action to demand compensation.