By Grace Princess Tarwo, GNA
Accra, June 24, GNA- The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has disbursed GH?814,000.00 out of GH?1,030,258.61 to support the June 3, disaster victims to cater for their health needs and improve their living conditions.
The amount was derived from the donation of $200,000.00 by the government of Benin and GH?25,000.00 by the Omni media to carter for the victims.
The June 3rd disaster, which occurred in 2015 in Accra, took away many lives and left several others injured, after a fire explosion engulfed many persons who sought refuge at a fuel station during a downpour.
Mr Seji Saji, Deputy Director of NADMO and Chairman of the disbursement committee said, the government of Benin had redeemed a pledge of $200,000.00 in support of the victims.
He said to disburse the amount to the victim, the government through the Ministry of Interior inaugurated a seven-member committee with membership drawn from NADMO, the office of the Chief of Staff, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
He noted that, the committee decided to disburse all monies raised for the victims, including the said amount donated by the government of Benin, collaborate with all groups, organisations and non-governmental organisations that raised funds; know how much had been accrued; and whether it was enough or more was needed to support the victims.
Mr Saji said, the amount at the committee’s disposal would not be able to help all the victims hence it chose to focus on the fifteen families of the deceased yet to be supported with GH?10,000.00 each, another GH?10, 000 for the 40 severely injured persons, GH?8,000.00 each for the 28 persons with minor injuries and support one Mr Kasim Suraj with GH? 40, 00.00 in aid of his impending surgery at the 37 Military Hospital.
The balance of GH?216,518.61 would be reserved to take care of new persons who may show up afterwards, he added.
He acknowledged the government of Benin and all stakeholders for their enormous support.
Mrs Martine Dossa, the Ambassador of Benin to Ghana, said the people of Benin were shocked on hearing of the incidence that occurred hence the benevolent act to support the victims.
She said Ghana and Benin were neighbours and needed to support each other, adding that the government of Benin would continue to support to aid development between the two countries.
She congratulated the disbursement committee for the work done in distributing the funds.
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the Mayor of Accra, said the disaster was an incidence that shook the disaster preparedness of the nation, and shaped plans in managing disaster in the capital.
He said since the incidence, AMA had been working with the victims and families and that had helped them to come up with solutions to mitigate their hardship.
Mr Sowah said no amount of monies could pay for the lives that had been lost, but the disaster had awakened the consciousness of everyone to prepare for the rains.
He said it was important to give space to the Korle Lagoon to enable it to absorb enough water and urge citizens to be conscious of their health and safety bearing in mind that their actions were major contributing factors to the challenges facing the country in terms of disaster management.
He cautioned citizens who dumped filth in drains to desist from the act and be active citizens in making Accra the cleanest city, noting that the act was a contributing factor to the June 3 incidence.
Mr Eric Nana Agyemang -Prempeh, Director General of NADMO, said the $200,000.00 was received in 2017 from the Benin government but could not be distributed to the victims due to some issues and data that needed to be collected to aid the disbursement process.
He commended the Benin government for the gesture and thanked the victims who have been working with them in terms of data collection.
He advised the victims to use the monies given to them properly stating that the amount may not be enough but could help in various ways to better their lives.
Mr Thomas Sekyi, President of the June 3 Flood and Fire Victims Association, expressed appreciation to the Benin government as well as all stakeholders and organisations that raised funds to help them adding that those monies would go a long way to make their lives better.