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General News of Wednesday, 5 June 2019


June 3 Disaster: Punish GOIL, NPA, AMA for negligence – One Ghana Movement to gov’t

The One Ghana Movement has charged government to hold accountable, persons and responsible institutions whose negligence led to the June 3, 2015 flood and fire disaster at the national capital, ABC News Ghana has gathered.

In a Press release signed by the Executive Secretary, members of the group expressed disappointment in the failure on the part of government to bring to book, the various institutions “responsible” for the accident that resulted in the death of many and the loss of properties.

“It is disheartening and disappointing that to date, no public or corporate officials have been held accountable for failure to discharge their duty of care to the people of Ghana and especially the victims. It is even sadder that a disaster of this magnitude has been treated like those before it; official speeches laced with empty platitudes followed by loud silence,” the One Ghana Movement stated.

June 3, 2015 is an unforgettable day in the history of Ghana when rainfall turned into a devastating fire and flood disaster leading to about 154 deaths and hundreds of people sustaining severe injuries.

Reports suggest the intense flooding at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle resulted from the overflow of the Odaw River and storm drains at Nima and Odawna.

Pedestrians who were forced to seek shelter at the GOIL fuel station during the rains, perished after fire broke out at the station with many also sustaining severe injuries.

Commenting on the incident after 4 years, the One Ghana Movement, according to the release sighted by ABC News Ghana, insisted failings by managers of GOIL to put proper safety measures in place, coupled with the choked drains in the lower parts of the Odaw river are some major causes of the catastrophic incident.

“The report of the Ministerial Committee that investigated the disaster attributed it to the floods, poor safety practices at the GOIL filling station and a cigarette spark by a person who has since been identified. The floods were attributed to blockages in Accra’s main storm drains, resulting from the non-desilting of the drains, as well as the building of settlements and habitations of squatters in the storm drains. The lower parts of the Odaw River in the area known as “Sodom Gomorrah” had been blocked by settlers who had reclaimed substantial portions of the Odaw channel and built houses, mosques, churches and a market on it, thereby reducing the discharge capacity of the Odaw Channel into the Korle-Lagoon,” parts of the communique read.

But, the responsible institutions listed as Ghana Oil (GOIL), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) have since not being punished for their complicity leading to the disaster, according to the release.

“Besides according blame for institutional failures, it is high time public officers are held responsible in their personal capacities for breaches of duty which occasion injury, damage to property and death,” the group indicated.

The movement further called on the media to join in the fight for justice for the victims of the ‘twin disaster’.

“As we press resources into service to ensure justice for the victims and their families, we humbly request media organizations and other public-spirited entities to join us in this fight for justice and a better show of responsibility by our public service institution” they urged.