Hon. Benito Storms Appiatse With Reconstruction Implement Team (PICS)
The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio who also doubles as the Chairperson of the Appiatse Reconstruction Implementation Team has on behalf of the Sector Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor paid a working visit to Appiatse together with the other members of the Team set up by government to ensure the rebuilding of the Appiatse Community.
The purpose of the visit was to survey the Appiatse community and obtain first hand information on the damage caused on grounds to help inform their decisions even as they prepare to commence work as stated in their terms of reference.
The move follows the committee's first meeting during which the Chief of Appiatse, Nana Atta Kwadwo Bremebi II indicated that the community has received some donations, including building materials with about 6000 bags of cement being a part of these donations.
After a quick inspection tour of the community, the committee had a meeting with the assembly to discuss the way foward.
Hon. Benito, having been briefed on the situation on the ground, charged the Municipal Chief Executive of the Prestea Huni-Valley District Hon. Dr. Isaac Dasmani to work closely with National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and Land Usage and Spacial Planning Authority ( LUPSA) and as a matter urgency put together an inventory of the affected areas to capture and identify the main property owners. This inventory he said will be made public when ready to avoid fraud and litigation issues.
He also tasked the MCE to ensure that the 6000 bags of cement donated be immediately used to mould some foundational blocks to prevent the cement from caking up and going waste.
Hon. Benito and other members of the Committee agreed that the community be actively involved in the whole process of reconstruction, from engineers, surveyors, possibly suppliers are to be employed from the community and Region so that the people can fully benefit and gain a source of livelihood from this implementation process.
He said it is pertinent to engage the indigenes of the Community as instructed by the Lands Minister, Hon. Jinapor to input people's suggestions and specifications into the architectural design of the Morden Green and Sustainable community to be built.
"We must ensure we include everyone who matters so that there are no gabs after the implementation"
The team also made a stop at the Appiatse relief camp where Hon. Benito gave a brief about the government's plans to save the situation.
Hon. Benito urged them to corporate with teams that visit to inquire for information to make it easy for them to put together a good inventory.
He reiterated that the President's deepest wish is to see them move into their homes and normal lives, assuring them that the committee will do exactly that.
The Chief as a member of the committee pleaded with his people to be patient and wait for the government and the Committe to deliver on their promises.
The Western Regional Minister, Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah on his part, suggested that the MCE be made an integral part of the reconstruction committee for proper implementation of the plans as he is their best liaison on the ground.
Municipal Chief Executive, Dr. Isaac Dasmani disclosed that the assembly has already started clearing the affected buildings to make way for the reconstruction and also try and erase the physical memories of the incident.
He also hinted that other individuals and companies have promised to donate more building materials and assured that they will be able to soon start work and give the people some form of hope of restoring their social and economic life.
The reconstruction committee was set up by the Lands Ministry following the resolve by Government to ensure the complete reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Appiatse community after the explosion flattened the community leaving about 900 people displaced and 13 dead.
Below are some pictures:
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith