Appiatse Reconstruction To Begin By May 2022 – Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio

The Reconstruction of the Appiatse community which was razed by the unfortunate explosion incident on 20th January 2022, has been scheduled to begin by the beginning of May this year.

Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry and Chairman of the Appiatse Reconstruction Committee disclosed this during a Press Briefing on Friday, 25th March 2022 to update the media on progress made on their quest to reconstruct the Appiatse community.

Outlining a number of milestones the team has been able to achieve since their period of inauguration, Hon. Benito said they have been able to redesign a new spatial plan for the Appiatse Community. This, he said was done in deep consultation with the citizens of the town, their leaders and professionals from the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority.

He added that the plan which has been adopted by all stakeholders makes room for additional social spaces like transportation terminals, clinics, schools, markets, expansion of roads, and particularly, the greens to contribute to the reduction of global warming.

He mentioned that his team, who have been working around the clock on their mandate, have also been able to secure temporary structures at Odumase, a nearby community in the Prestea Huni-Valley constituency to as a matter of urgency, resettle the people of Appiatse temporarily, before the rains sets in.

“As we enter the rainy season, it is clear that affected citizens cannot remain in tents at Appiatse. Working together with Future Global Resources Company Limited, (FGR) we have secured structures for a planned relocation as a temporary shelter for the Appiatse citizens” He maintained.

Hon. Benito also indicated that the team is currently preparing road designs with costs estimates for the Ministry of Roads and Highways to reconstruct roads within the settlements which were in good shape before the explosion.

The Deputy Minister hinted that a Request for Proposals will be published on Monday, 28th March, 2022 for interested contractors to bid for the designing and construction of the Appiatse community.

Hon. Owusu-Bio on behalf of the Government and the Sector Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor applauded the Fire service, the Police, NADMO and other first responders to the incident for their efforts and support.

“I want to thank the Honorable Minister, Honourable Samuel Abu Jinapor and His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo for the honor they have done us in trusting us with this important national exercise. We hope to continue to receive the support, feedback, advice, and prayers of everyone as we execute on our mandate” he said.

On her part, the Chairman of the Appiatse Support Fund Committee, Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee who sat in the briefing shared a few thoughts saying “part of leaving out portions of the community untouched, like the hills and mountains, is part of the green concept that the President would like us to implement”

“In addition, having these very narrow roads, to encourage walking and bicycling, is also part of the Green idea because the more vehicles we use, the more carbon monoxide we put out, the more we destroy the environment and the planning has taken all these into account” She added.

Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee applauded the Reconstruction Committee on their progress made while beckoning the general public saying that global warming is not “European” and therefore “all hands must be on deck to ensure it’s eradication and all these presentations tell us that this is real and therefore we must come together to get this project done”.

She hinted that her Committee will soon meet the media, providing details on funds collected and also jaw-jaw on how to solicit more funds for the project, adding that it’s not always about the quantum but the ability to sustain the inflow of contributions.

Mr. Mohammed Alhassan Damba, the Director for Research, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Land Usage and Spacial Planning Authority (LUPSA), gave a detailed presentation on the redesigned local plan for the Appiatse Reconstruction on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kwadwo Yeboah, who is also a member of the committee.

In his presentation, he noted that the plan which has been designed to accommodate about 870 people on 205.64 acres of land seeks to foster a vibrant human environment by balancing residential land use with complementary land meant for commercial, industrial and public services.

He said to a large extent, the plan maintains the pre-disaster cultural settings and lifestyle of the people, providing four different varying land sizes; 185sqm, 279sqm, 372sqm, 585sqm and access networks that promote walkability to keep the community closely knit.

Mr. Damba alerted that to incorporate sustainability and climate resilience principles, 15% of the total land area has been earmarked as places for ecological assets such as waterways, green parks, and green reserves in wetlands and hilly areas, adding that tree planting corridors have also been provided along major roads.

Mr. Blankson Hemans, a member of the team and a representative from the Ghana Institute of Architects gave a brief presentation on the way forward, clearly stating that the road networks within the settlements are the first construction works that will begin the entire project in April ending.

He explained that from the plan design, the team will be moving on to designing the actual houses which have warranted the requests for proposals from contractors for the reconstruction.

Detailing the number of houses expected in the new Appiatse Community, Mr. Hemans said 124 houses will be erected in the core area of the community flattened completely by the explosion, plus some other 292 buildings which will be simply retouched, bringing the total number of houses to be constructed to 416 houses of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 bedroom apartments.

In a recent interview with the BBC, The Hon. Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor announced that the reconstruction of the Model Appiatse community will be completed in a space of 12 months and this timeframe, the reconstruction committee is committed to meet.

Story by:Kwaku Stephen

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