Accra, Ghana//-The Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis (CEIA) and Wacam, two leading mining and environmental NGOs have called for responsible mining practices in the country, following the recent explosion of mining explosives at Apiate in the Prestea Huni Valley in the Western Region.
According to the NGOs, responsible mining practices would prevent incidences of such nature and cyanide spillages which tend to expose host mining communities to avoidable dangers.
They made the call in joint press statement issued by Dr Samuel Obiri, Executive Director of CEIA; and Mrs Hannah Owusu-Koranteng, Associate Executive Director of Wacam to react to the disaster which claimed several lives and properties in the area.
On Thursday, 20 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 in the Western Region.
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.
“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”, the statement added.
Wacam and CEIA expressed their deepest condolences 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, and 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”, it said.
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.
African Eye Report