We’ve been totally sidelined! —Appiatse victims cry to government

A community engagement forum for the people of Appiatse in the Western Region has revealed the total sidelining of the community in the reconstruction process.

On January 20, 2022, Appiatse, a community close to Bogoso, was ravaged when a truck carrying explosives that was on rout to the Chirano Gold Mine, run by Canada-based Kinross, exploded killing 17 and injuring about 59 people amid other damages to properties.

According to many of the victims, who attended the forum, Appiatse has completely been sidelined in the whole reconstruction process, leaving them to survive on the benevolence of churches and philanthropists.

The meeting, organised by Wacam, a human rights and environmental mining advocacy NGO, with support from Oxfam in Ghana under the Fair for All project, came off Friday, March 15, 2024, at the Appiatse Relief Camp.

It was attended by over 80 victims of the Appiatse explosion, with several of them still reeling under and suffering from that devastating incident.

The victims complained bitterly that the Appiatse community has not been involved even in the building of the new houses, adding that the already completed houses have stated developing deep cracks.

“For the past two-and-a-half years, our human rights continue to be violated, and it is sad that we drink polluted water,” one of the surviving victims, Kojo Adjei, bemoaned.

According to the victims, Appiatse is in ‘deep crisis,’ lamenting that most of victims who have become sick as a result of the explosion have all been abandoned.

“There is no transparency on the part of the NADMO officials who come to share the relief items to us, and it is sickening that over two years since the incident we have heard nothing so far as compensation is concerned,” they expressed.

“Those of us who had stores before the explosion are now being asked to pay revenue tax before we will be given our stores back to us,” they further noted.

Against this backdrop, the victims led by the leader of a delegation from the chief’s palace made a passionate appeal to Wacam to impress upon the authorities to come out with the police report to enable them receive their compensation.

Furthermore, they pleaded with Wacam to assist them seek redress in the law court.

For his part, the Technical Director of Wacam, thanked the people for their participation in the meeting.

He, however, advised them against preventing people from joining associations or groups of their choice, insisting that this is a right guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution.

Earlier, there was a presentation by the lead researcher of Wacam’s report on the Appiatse explosion, Dr Emmanuel Yamoah Tenkorang of the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

Dr Tenkorang urged the people to draw lessons from the incident.

Wacam gave copies of its report christened: ‘The Appiatse Explosion Disaster In Ghana: An Analysis of the Situation A year On’ to each of the participants.