The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and Chairman of the Appiatse Reconstruction Implementation Team, Benito Owusu-Bio, has disclosed that all 124 housing units at Appiatse which forms part of the first phase of the project are currently at various levels of construction and hopeful to be completed within the stipulated time frame.
This, he said is an impressive work as the committee used about 4 months out of the 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 led 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 the mushy nature of the land at the beginning of the construction, have been relocated successfully.
Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio 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 since this unfortunate incident occurred and as you are aware, so far government through the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu 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 stage 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 bury the dead while providing medial assistance for the injured.
Sticking to their promise, Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio disclosed that GETFund has also commenced the construction of a six-unit primary and kindergarten block 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 promises.
He indicated that road demarcations are currently underway with trenches and gutters to properly separate the walkways from the road and the buildings, giving the construction site a better outlook.
Mr. Owusu-Bio assured the media and the people of Appiatse that “as government has begun this good work, it shall surely bring it to completion as promised.”
Mr. Blankson-Hermans, a member of the ARIT team who spoke on the technical details of the construction said “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, urged the contractors to 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, 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 of gaining admission.
Mr. Benito after his tour of the construction site took the media to the temporary residence of the Appiatse indigenes to give them an idea of their living conditions.
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