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Regional News of Monday, 28 February 2022

Source: GNA

Apiate is safe from pollution - Environmental Protection Agency

Ruins of the Apiate town in the Western Region Ruins of the Apiate town in the Western Region

Apiate, a farming community near Bogoso, in the Western Region, where an explosion of ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) occurred, is safe from all forms of pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said.

Per the result of the latest assessment, the area is deemed safe for reconstruction and habitation, Mr. Emmanuel Appoh, the Acting Director responsible for Environmental Quality issues at the EPA, told the Ghana News Agency on Monday.

He said the latest environmental assessment conducted in the community and its environs showed that the air, soil, and water quality were safe.

“Compared to the initial assessment we conducted right after the explosion; the chemical levels are all within the World Health Organisation (WHO) Environmental Health criteria,” he stated.

Mr. Appoh said the concentration of ammonia and nitrate analysed from air filters during the initial assessment was more than 300 percent higher than the WHO recommended limits for rural and urban areas.

“During our visit after the explosion, we found out that the whole area was highly polluted with ammonia nitrate. The situation was aggravated by the harmattan and crater at the site of the explosion,” he noted, stressing the area was safe now.

Mr. Appoh said the ammonia and nitrate concentrations analysed in water bodies and the soil were also within acceptable levels.

On Thursday, January 20, 2022, a truck, which was reported to be transporting ANFO to Chirano Gold Mines Limited, about 140km from the scene of the explosion was involved in an accident at Apiate.

Some 14 people died, 170 others were injured, and more than 400 people were displaced when the community was razed.