Non-publication of June 3 Disaster report is injustice – Baako

Kwaku Baako wants details of the June 3 disaster report made public

Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper has called for the publication of the June 3 report into the flood and fire disaster in Accra that left at least 152 dead.

He said the failure of government to release the report, constitutes a major injustice to family and friends of the victims who lost their lives.

Two weeks after the disaster at the GOIL fuel station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, a five member committee was formed and mandated to look into the possible causes of the incident.

The committee, Chaired by a retired Appeals Court Judge, Justice Isaac Douse, submitted its report to then Minster of Interior, Mark Woyongo, two months later.

Apart from bits and pieces of the findings and recommendations that were made public during a media event to mark the presentation, details of the report remain sketchy.

“We don’t know what the recommendations are, except the little bits that we are told so we are unable to evaluate or track the implementation of the committees report, and so there is much more room for speculation and that is not justice,” he said on Newsfile that airs on Joy FM and Multi TV Saturdays.

There isn’t much transparency,” Baako said about how details of the report have been managed.

Speaking on Newsfile Saturday, a member of the committee, Ing Wise Ametefe, would only repeat findings and recommendations already made public.

Key findings include:

  • The disaster was caused by the fire and flood that struck
  • The GOIL filling station was careless in not covering  the petrol tanks
  • 154 people perished in the disaster, another 154 persons sustained various degrees of injuries
  • Five houses, including the GOIL filling station suffered various degrees of damages, as a result of the fire, valued at GHȼ1,658,847.00
  • Seventeen motor vehicles, including a fuel tanker were burnt beyond repairs, a mini mart located within the filling station, Bediako Pharmacy and the Honest Chef Restaurant were completely destroyed.
  • Fire was started by Seth Kwesi Ofosu, who has been handed to security agencies to ascertain whether his action was intentional or otherwise

Recommendations include:

  • Complete dredging of the Odaw River,
  • Ban on the use of plastics as carrier bags, water dispensers and cooked food containers.
  • Standardised training, certification and licensing of fuel station attendants,
  • Creation of sanitation police,
  • Compulsory fitting of all commercial vehicles with refuse baskets or bins should be ensured
  • Disaster managers should be equipped with the requisite tools to effectively handle disasters.

These notwithstanding, Kwaku Baako say the government loses nothing in making the entire report public.

He said there must be full disclosure of details of the report to enable the public track and assess progress made with recommendations that will prevent a recurrence of fatal incident.

Baako said had the report been made public, speculations about payment of compensation or otherwise to survivors and families of victims would have been averted.

Meanwhile, Deputy Food Agriculture Minister, Ahmed Yakubu Alhasan, who was also on the news analysis progromme said government has supported farmers affected by the floods.

“We are restoring system that will allow them to get back to their feet,” he said.

He mentioned rebuilding of canals and engineering of lands on which farming is done to prevent destruction in the event of heavy rains.

 

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