A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources responsible for mines and forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, has disclosed that all 124 housing units of Apeate are currently under various levels of construction, and would be completed in due course.
He revealed that “the committee used about 4 months out of the one-year time-frame given by government to work on the temporary structures acquired from Future Global Resources (FGR) to provide safe shelter for the people”.
The Deputy Minister said this yesterday when he led the Reconstruction Implementation Team to pay a working visit to inspect the progress of work ahead of its one-year anniversary.
Mr Owusu-Bio, who is also the chairman of the Apeate Reconstruction Implementation Team, explained that all contractors who were trailing behind due to the marshy nature of the area at the beginning of the construction project had been relocated successfully.
Touching on the government’s interventions and efforts since the incident occurred a year ago, he said: “We have just about two days to January 20, which is exactly a year on since this unfortunate incident occurred, and as you are aware, so far, government, through the Minister of lands and Natural Resources, has been working tirelessly to salvage the situation”.
He recounted that the government, through the Ministry, NADMO and other agencies, had provided tents, food and basic amenities at the initial stages of the incident. According to Owusu-Bio, 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 Apeate Support Fund and the reconstruction team, while enforcing the safety laws to ensure that such an occurrence does not repeat itself,” he indicated.
He added that government also commiserated with the people of Apeate and helped bury the dead, while providing medical assistance for the injured.
The Deputy Lands Minister revealed that GETFund had commenced the construction of a six block primary classrooms and kindergarten for children of school going age at Apeate. That, he said, formed the Fund’s contribution towards the reconstruction of the township.
Mr Owusu-Bio further lauded their efforts, and called on other organisations to follow the GETFund example and redeem their promise.
He disclosed that road demarcations are currently underway with trenches and gutters to properly demarcate the walkways from the road and the buildings to give the construction site a better outlook.
“I would like assure the media and the people of Apeate not to fret. The government that has begun this good work will surely be the same Government that will bring it to a completion as promised,” he assured.
A member of the ARIT team, Blankson-Hermans, said, so far, the process is commendable because in terms of quality and speed, the most performing contractor is about 39% complete, with the lowest performing contractor being around 29%.
He was optimistic that, considering the project time-frame and work schedule, deadlines would be met.
For his part, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Prestea Huni Valley Municipality, Isaac Dasmani, said the municipality is on top of welfare issues, and commended government for the support.