Some victims of the June 3, 2015 twin disasters of Accra have approached The Republic with complaints about neglect that they are suffering two years down the line after the disaster.
In spite of the fact that many individuals and benevolent organizations donated to the cause of helping victims of the flooding that led to the explosion of a gas filling station that killed at least 150 people and injured scores, the victims say they have not received help from government to rehabilitate their lives.
“It is true that some families who lost loved ones were assisted to bury their dead but beyond that no help has been given us. I cannot really tell if any other form of help will come for the rest of us,” a victim who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Republic.
Apparently, some of the living victims of the disaster have been incapacitated by physical harm that befell them as a result of the catastrophe and thus are unable to really work to earn a living. These victims have since been abandoned by the government.
As part of putting together this report, The Republic had made attempts to get a perspective on the issue from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly. However, several calls to the Metropolitan Coordinating Director, Mr. Ayeh Dartey, were unanswered.
A text message to him on the issue too was never replied, even though an anonymous source at the AMA tells The Republic that the Coordinating Director is the person with the locus to speak to the issue.
On June 3, 2015, torrential rainfall in the nation’s capital had led to flooding of the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, a central hub of Accra, that later led to the explosion of a Ghana Oil Company Gas Filling station.
A total of 150 people had died, mainly burnt in the ensuing inferno, while many had been injured.
Following the disaster, many benevolent organizations had donated towards the cause of helping victims who had lived through the nightmarish experience bounce back in life.
However, two years on, nobody knows what has really happened to all the donations, even as the surviving victims generally remain unhelped.
The OneGhana Movement, a pressure group, in June, this year, raised issues with the government’s seeming abandonment of the victims under the banner of a campaign called “J4J3 Campaign.”
“It has been two years after the disaster struck and the closest the victims got to justice was the government’s decision to foot their hospital bills and a little cash to help bury their dead and upkeep of the living. Many of the surviving victims were breadwinners for their families but their injuries have left them incapable of ever engaging in any form of employment. What happens to these victims and their dependants? Isn’t anyone or institution accountable for the disaster?” A press statement questioned.
Even though many victims do not seem to know who to approach for help, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is in charge of the jurisdiction within which the disasters occurred and is known to have received donations on behalf of the victims.
The J4J3 campaign by the OneGhana Movement also questioned the whereabouts of outcome of an investigation that had been instituted into the disaster.
“A committee was set up to investigate the disaster and as at date, its report is yet to be published or cited by the victims. What at all is there to hide? A smoker is said to be blamed for the fire. One wonders how cigarettes can light a flood of water. Even miraculous is the smoker’s survival. Who failed to manage the hydro-carbons displaced to provide fuel for the inferno and how responsible are they? How would such disasters be halted when inactions are not punished? At June 3, we said never again but then again the La Gas explosion occurred. It is no wonder that the Takoradi explosion occurred thereafter and surely it should be of no wonder when the next avoidable disaster occurs. We certainly cannot go on like this as a country!” The J4J3 Campaign statement had said.