Ghana: Ghana media report anniversary of deadly flood, fire disaster

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – The Ghanaian media this week highlighted the anniversary of a deadly flood and fire disaster in the capital on 3 June last year that claimed the lives of more than 150 people.

Torrential rains in the capital on that day led to flooding in several parts of the city, where residents are notorious for dumping refuse in drains and building on waterways.

And while they were dealing with the floods in several parts of the city, a huge fire broke out early in the evening at a fuel service station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, a major intersection in the city.

Scores of people who had taken refuge from the rains in and around the fuel service station were caught in the huge inferno, caused by the leakage of fuel. Vehicles, houses and other property in the area were consumed by the fire on Black Wednesday.

A memorial service was held at the Anglican Church near the fuel service station in Accra on Friday attended by President John Dramani Mahama, government and city officials, relatives of the dead and survivors. It was under the theme, “Never Again!”
After the church service, wreaths were laid at the fuel service station by several people. Thousands of people also flooded the site of the fire to watch the ceremony.

"June 3 disaster remembered," was the headline of the state-owned Graphic on Saturday.

The story said Accra was filled with emotion on Friday as the nation marked the first anniversary of the 3 June fire and flood disaster with the poignant reminder that never again should the nation descend into such a calamity.

The President John Dramani Mahama, in an all-black outfit, attended the memorial service. Right Reverend Samuel Kofi Osabutey, spoke bitterly about the monstrous disaster and admonished the nation to learn from its mistakes to prevent any further occurrence.

The headline of the state-owned Ghanaian Times on Saturday read: "June 3 Flood victims remembered."

The newspaper reported that tears and wailing took the better part of some Ghanaians who attended a memorial service held in Accra on Friday for the victims of last years twin-disaster. Faces were buried in palms and families, friends and sympathisers mopped tears at the memorial service.

“Accra mourns June 3 victims,” was the headline of a story in the Ghanaian Times on Friday.

The story said in commemoration of the first anniversary of the 3 June twin fire and flood disaster at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, six statues made of plastic waste have been mounted in front of the fuel service station.

It said the statues, which comprised a giant fireman carrying a woman in his arms, and other bodies, all made of plain and black plastic waste materials, told the story of the disaster.

The giant fireman is made of plain rubber with shiny jewels depicting tears, while the woman is made of black polythene which symbolically represents a woman burnt to death as a result of the fire.

Two plain bodies represent a woman and her child, who drowned; two other statutes made of black and white rubber bags symbolise half burnt bodies. The statues are lying in a pile of white rubber which represents the flood.

The metal fence which seals the fuel service station from the public was covered with inscriptions which read, “Don’t throw refuse into gutters”, “Our gutters are not meant for solid waste”, “Dirty cities are made by dirty people”, “Waste management is everybody’s business.”

The Ghanaian Times quoted Faisal Dauda, the artist behind the exhibition, as saying his aim was to sensitise Ghanaians about the need to recycle plastic waste and assist in solving the sanitation menace in the country.

The Times also quoted Mr. Ibrahim Yahaya, a driver and a relative of a deceased, as calling on the government to ensure that appropriate measures were taken to dispose of waste while adequate drainage is constructed in flood-prone areas.

Mr. Yahaya said that property and lives would be preserved, if laws were adhered to and building in waterways was stopped to enhance the flow of water.

Meanwhile, the media reported a tweet by President Mahama had consoled persons who lost relatives and friends on 3 June, 2015 when Accra was rocked by the twin disaster.

He tweeted: “May the souls of those who departed on June 3, 2015 rest in perfect peace. We'll continue to correct dev'ts that led to the disaster.”

“Never again! Zoomlion boss says on 1st anniversary of June 3 disaster,” was the headline of a story in the Graphic.

It reported that Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the country’s largest waste management company, had pledged its support to the general public to ensure that the disaster that befell the country was not repeated.

It said the Executive Chairman of the Zoomlion Group, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, asked all Ghanaians to resolve never again to allow such a national catastrophe to recur.

According to him, the pains of the disaster had strengthened the resolve of Zoomlion to persist in ensuring that the drains were desilted regularly to allow for the free flow of water anytime it rained.

Dr Agyepong said it was on the basis of that resolve that the company recently handed over waste management equipment made up of 400 trucks and 4,000 motorised tricycles to the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to support them in arresting logistical constraints.
-0- PANA MA 3June2016

04 june 2016 08:59:36

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