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June 3 disaster: Compensate us or we sue - Survivors tell government

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Mon, 5 Jun 2017 Source:

The frustration that comes with living with burns can be devastating especially when it has rendered you incapacitated; it is with this exasperation that survivors from the June 3 disaster are threatening a court suit against government for failure to honor their words as promised.

Government, following the tragedy pledged a sum of GHC 10,000 to the victims and families of those who perished; the monies were to serve as capital to help the affected persons recoup and rebuild their lives and or start businesses to fend for themselves. While some victims were compensated, several others remain unattended to by the state.

Speaking to GhanaWeb, President for the Ghana Burns Survivors Foundation, Dennis Opoku-Gyamfi indicated that out of the 45 survivors from the June 3 disaster who joined the foundation, only 10 of them have received some form of compensation from the government. The others, who he described as almost weakened by the burns are living life through serious difficulties and are bitterly complaining about government’s failure to fulfil their promise.

“Most of them are actually complaining of compensation and the economic challenges they are facing now as a result of the incident that happened”, he explained.

He credited the previous government for their work in footing the bills of the victims during their admission at the various hospitals. Though he acknowledged the change in government, he stated that officials still owe the victims the responsibility of compensating them.

Mr. Opoku Gyamfi maintained that members of the foundation will as a matter of priority push for these victims to be accordingly awarded what is due them, even if it means going through the legal means to secure this.

According to him, the foundation has very capable members who despite their physical challenges, can take on government in a legal suit and see the case through efficiently; this he said they will resort to if government disregards their appeals.

“I must say in all humility that we believe in the law court and the judicial system in Ghana and most of our members as I’ve already assured them that any means that we are going to go through to ensure they have their compensation, we are going to do it, we are going to ask them in a soft way to do it, if that persuasion fails, we have no other option than to go to court”, he threatened.

“I must say we have equally good physically challenged lawyers who are going to be in our shoes and deal with the issue accordingly”, he added.

Meanwhile, one of the survivors, Derick Appiah voicing out his frustrations on the issue told Ghanaweb that he managed to survive and rebuild his life through loans he got from his bank after the tragedy.

Mr. Appiah like several others explained that all efforts on his part to get his share of the monies government allocated to victims after the incident proved futile as he ultimately received nothing, “not even a pesewa” he said.

Saturday June 3 2017 marked the second anniversary since the country suffered a major disaster; the twin disaster. The fire and floods that occurred on the evening of June 3 2015 killed hundreds, injured several others and destroyed thousands of properties.

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