The Ghana Mineworkers Union has urged the government to intervene quickly through legislation to ensure that health and safety are given national prominence to prevent future explosions like the one that occurred in the Appiatse community. The Union emphasized the urgent need to discuss health and safety awareness among Ghanaians and integrate it into all aspects of the country's life, whether at the workplace, at home, or in public places. This was stated in a statement signed by the Union's General Secretary, Mr. Abdul-Moomin Gbana, and forwarded to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
The statement expressed deep concern about the mining explosives disaster that occurred on Thursday, January 20, 2022, at Appiatse in the Western Region, resulting in the loss of lives and the destruction of the entire Appiatse community. The statement praised agencies and the government for taking the bold decision to rebuild the Appiatse Community and urged Ghanaians and corporate institutions to contribute to the rebuilding effort.
"As a trade union that operates in mining communities, anything that negatively affects such communities affects us deeply, given that the majority of our members live and work in, or near, these communities." "Mining communities must therefore be assured that mining and related activities will not endanger their lives and livelihoods," the statement said.
The statement urged relevant state agencies, particularly the Minerals Commission's Inspectorate Division, to strengthen their oversight of enforcement and compliance, as well as to provide basic health and safety training on mining hazards. The Union called for thorough investigations into the Appiatse community explosive disaster to be conducted by an independent and impartial body to determine the cause of the accident and recommend appropriate measures to prevent it from happening again.
While calling for an independent investigation, the Union would also like to draw the government's attention to the ramifications, particularly on jobs, of Maxam Ghana Limited's total shutdown of operations on the entire mining value chain. "As a result, it is our considered opinion that investigations into the matter be expedited to ensure that jobs are saved and livelihoods are ultimately protected," the statement said.
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