June 3rd, 2017 is exactly the second year of the tragic fire-flood incident which occurred at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.
The tragedy on that fateful Wednesday night claimed over 200 lives, injured several others and caused damage to properties worth hundreds of thousands of Ghana cedis, sending the entire nation into a state of shock.
As the nation remembers the victims – especially the departed souls – across the country this morning, some of the survivors who are unhappy that the previous government of President Mahama and the current President Akufo-Addo administration had not compensated them since the incident happened, have threatened to take a legal action against the state.
This came to light yesterday during a cleanup exercise jointly organized by Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) at the spot where the tragedy struck.
President of the Ghana Burns Survival Foundation, Dennis Opoku-Gyamfi, speaking to the media on the sidelines of the exercise, lamented the fact that more survivors of the disaster were yet to be compensated by the state.
According to him, for those who sustained burns alone, 25 of them joined the Foundation and that out of the number, about 20 persons, including a pregnant woman, had not been given anything.
Some of the survivors were present during the cleanup, among them was the pregnant woman who DAILY GUIDE gathered was seriously struggling to eke out a living.
NADMO, in an apparent move to stop the remaining victims from making their frustrations public, invited them to its head office in Accra on Thursday, June 1, 2017 to ostensibly see how best to compensate them.
Asked why the organization had to wait two years before calling the victims to have them compensated, the Metro Director of NADMO, Alhaji Seidu Benjamin, told DAILY GUIDE emphatically that it had not been easy compensating all the victims at once.
He indicated that an amount of GH¢10,000 was given to each family of deceased victims and some survivors of the incident, noting that about 60 percent of the victims had been compensated.
But Mr Opoku-Gyamfi argued that indeed all the victims could have been compensated at once but for what he termed ‘the selective manner’ in which the government at the time decided to carry out the compensation plan.
He said with frustration that even though the victims suffered similar fate on that fateful night, some of them were completely discriminated against when it came to the disbursement of the compensation packages.
He appealed to the new board of Ghana Oil (GOIL) to consider compensating the remaining victims in the interest of fairness.
Meanwhile, the authorities have called for attitudinal change by the masses with respect to managing waste, so as to save the nation from experiencing such a tragedy again.
Head of the Rapid Response Unit of AMA, Moses Abor, said the assembly had put in place several measures to get the city clean, as it forms a stronger partnership with Zoomlion and other key stakeholders.
Some staff of NADMO, Zoomlion and AMA at the site with cars that got burnt during the incident parked.