Appiatse explosion; mining engineer calls for deeper assessment before rebuilding community
By Emma Akomea
Appiatse, Jan.25, – Following the decision by government to rebuild the Appiatse community close to Bogoso in the Western Region as a result of the recent explosion that occurred, mining Engineer and Lawyer, Theophilus Dzimega, has advised that a deeper assessment should be made by experts before rebuilding.
In an interview with Mr. Dzimega, he called on authorities, saying it will be very necessary if the services of engineers, sociologist are employed to assess the rate at which the chemical residues of the explosives can affect the community in the future before rebuilding.
He said in the course of the assessment, care must be taken such that they do not create new problems by trying to solve another.
“So I am of the view that we need engineers, we need psychologists and sociologists as well to handle the community side of things and water resources and mining engineers where we will assess the impact of the plaque on the economic activities.
If we are able to do those things then we can know what to do but it has to be done faster. We can module the blast, we can module the transport of the chemical within the ground. Those are the things we need to do,” he stated.
According to him, the explosives which was being transported to the mining site is a mixture of chemicals which is likely to have some negative impact on the soil which can in turn create problems for the inhabitants.
“On the idea of the chemical, what we were told was transported was ammonium nitrate fuel ore. It is basically a mixture of ammonium nitrate with the diesel. Usually when an explosion occurs, they all burn and what is left is the residue.
Now it has spread to a large area if there is a rebuilding of the community. Will it affect the community, will it affect the water body and underground water systems especially when there are wells and bore holes. Those can be done by assessment,” he advised.
Mr. Dzimega said there is the need for the appropriate authorities to begin a nationwide sensitisation on some of these harmful chemicals and the dangers associated with – citing the Chamber of Mines to be the lead advocate in this process.
“I think that the Chamber of Mines can take up the challenge because it will be a huge advantage for them. They are the biggest player in the mining industry, they can work together with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they can work together with the Minerals Commission and the local community to educate,” he said.