Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and Chairman of the Appiatse Reconstruction Implementation Team has disclosed that all 124 housing units of Appiatse which forms part of the first phase of the project are currently under various levels of construction and hopeful to be completed within the stipulated time frame.
This, he said is impressive work as the committee used about 4months of the year time frame given by government to work on the temporary structures acquired from FGR to provide safe shelter for the people.
The Deputy Minister made this known when he lead the Reconstruction Implementation Team to pay a working visit to Appiatse on Wednesday, 18th January, 2023 to among others, inspect the progress of work ahead of the 1year anniversary.
Addressing the media the Deputy Minister explained that all contractors who were trailing behind due to mashy lands at the beginning of the construction, have been relocated sucessfully, and therefore currently, all 124 housing units which is the core part of the Appiatse township are being constructed.
Hon. Benito in his interview with the media gave a brief on government’s interventions and efforts since the incident occurred a year ago. “We have just about two days to 20th January, which is exactly a year on since this unfortunate incident occurred and as you are aware, so far government through the Minister for lands and Natural resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor has been working tirelessly to salvage the situation”.
Taking the media through the process he recapped that “government through the Ministry, NADMO and other agencies provided tents, food and basic amenities at the initial stages of the incident, government also had to move the people into the temporary settlement provided by FGR when the rains set in, the Ministry on the instructions of government also set up the Appiatse Support fund and the reconstruction team, while enforcing the safety laws to ensure that such an occurrence does not repeat itself”.
He continued that government also commiserated with the people of Appiatse and helped buried the dead while providing medical assistance for the injured.
Sticking to their promise, Hon. Benito disclosed that GETFund has also commenced the construction of a six block primary classrooms and Kindergarten for children of school going age at Appiatse as their contribution towards the reconstruction of the township.
The Deputy Minister applauded their effort and called on other organisations who made similar commitments to follow the GETFund example and redeem their promise as the time to put actions to their words has come.
He indicated that road demarcations are currently underway with trenches and gutters to properly demarcate the walkways from the road and the buildings, giving the construction site better outlook.
Hon. Owusu-Bio assured the media and the people of Appiatse not to fret “as government has begun this good work, it shall surely bring it to a completion as promised”
Mr. Blankson-Hermans, a member of the ARIT team spoke to the technical details of the construction saying “so far the process is commendable because in terms of quality and speed, the most performing contractor is about 39% complete and the lowest performing contractor around 29% and considering our time frame and work schedule I believe it’s great work and we will surely meet the time”.
He however hoped that the contractors will speed up work as he noted that when the rains set in, it may disrupt or delay the progress of work.
Responding to the question of government supporting some students in Appiaste to the tertiary level, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality, Hon. Isaac Dasmani said the Municipality is on top of welfare issues and so far one student has been successfully admitted at UMat with some others in the process to gain admission.
Hon. Benito after his tour of the construction site took the media to the temporary residence of the Appiatse indigenes to give them an appreciation of their current state of living.
The media explored this opportunity to interview a number of indigenes of Appiatse who testified that adopting to a whole new lifestyle was not easy at the beginning but with the support of government, the Red Cross and other organisations who visit every now and then to donate, has helped their economic growth and progress.