Society over the years has ignored the heart-breaking effects of countless preventable disasters that had taken precious lives that perhaps had dreams of contributing to the wellbeing of their families and the country.
It was common knowledge that their demise caused their families trauma.
Ghanaians over a decade now have clothed themselves in attitude of much talk than acting on their discourse. We promise a lot of doing this and that to prevent a certain predicament to make life better yet follow the opposite.
Disasters around the country over the years have seen hundreds of valued lives lost with promises of “we would do this and that to prevent it next time,” nevertheless, we go to sleep, dream and forget about it the next day.
The June 3, 2015 disaster would forever remain indelible in the minds of Ghanaians, especially those who have lost loved ones and properties.
With a night that started with heavy rain, which was a sign of blessing to Ghanaians and an answer to nurture seeds sowed on farmlands, it was least expected to end up as it did while innocent lives moves to and fro about their duties.
Per a rain that lasted many hours and deep into the night, many passengers who ply the local Trotro and apiece the circumstances could not afford a taxi, found shelter under a Goil filling station, at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, for at least until the rain ceases, so they can journey back home or to work.
However, their hopes and ambitions could not survive as the rain turned into floods mixed with storms that triggered a lit used cigar that fired the leaked fuel on top of the floods.
Witnesses said there were hopeless wailings and groaning and a fruitless attempt by victims for survival. But they died excruciatingly!
More than 150 lives were lost, with others injured including five houses together and the Goil Filling Station. The cost of the damaged was valued at GHȼ1,658,847.00.
Relief items worth thousands of cedis were donated by government and good Samaritan individuals to appease the trauma and property lost to the floods.
A five-member committee was established to investigate the cause of the disaster and make appropriate recommendations.
The investigation disclosed that a lit cigarette from one Seth Kwesi Ofosi ignited the fire.
The leakage from the fuel filling station and floods at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle were found to be the remote causes of the disaster.
The committee recommended among others a comprehensive dredging of the Odaw drain, as well as a ban on the use of plastics as carrier bags, a standardised training, certification and licensing of filling station attendants.
It also suggested the creation of sanitation police, compulsory fitting of all commercial vehicles with refuse baskets or bins and equipping of disaster managers with the requisite tools to effectively handle disasters.
Nonetheless almost two years after these recommendations, the authorities are yet to implement its promises of “we would do it”! Plastics as carrier bags still chocks our tax-paid constructed gutters and producers of it are still very much in business.
The only step taken by the then Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive Boss, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, was to demolish the Sodom and Gomorrah slum believed to have contributed to the filth that choked major gutter around the disaster venue.
On December 22 last year, a gas explosion at the Louis Gas Station, behind the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in La-Accra, caused more than nine deaths together with 42 injured.
An investigation, according to reports indicated that the inferno was triggered by ‘irresponsible human error’ of the operators of the gas tanker.
To be continued