Sack W/R heads of EPA & Minerals Commission over quarry explosion – Journalists


A cross section of members of the Western Region Branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is incensed at the seemingly lackadaisical attitude of state institutions, often leading to avoidable loss of lives in the Region.

Of great concern is how, according to them, officials of state institutions renege on their responsibilities only for them to “talk tough when their negligence has left people with life threatening injuries and in some cases needless deaths”.

The concern comes on the heels of an explosion at a quarry site in Shama, where five lives were lost with some unaccounted for.

A statement from the Minerals Commission confirmed the company was operating illegally.

Checks by some media houses in the Western Region have revealed that the new owners of the quarry company have been operating for months.

“Is it not annoying that this company has been operating for months now and the EPA and Minerals Commission have all watched on all this while? Exactly what is their purpose? These state agencies are gradually becoming a waste,” Abraham Mensah, a freelance journalist, asserted.

Nana Kumi, a journalist in Tarkwa, suggested that the regional head of the Minerals Commission be sacked for gross dereliction of duty.

“If indeed the company is operating illegally and you have watched on for this explosion to happen, then you must be sacked. The Minerals Commission in the region are not serious,” Western Region Correspondent of Kantanka TV Benjamin Bray said.

For Eric Adjei, a former worker at Connect FM, “a whole community was wiped away due to negligence and no lessons were learned, what do you think will happen with five deaths. Big English will be spoken, toothless threats will be issued. We will go into auto pilot and wait for the next incident to happen”.

He added, “I think the owners of the quarry site should be left off the hook. Rather, the regional bosses of the Minerals Commission and EPA should be arrested and prosecuted because they are rather the culprits and not the company.”

Stephen Buah, a former worker at Radio Marxx, agrees and says, “You have laws to ensure safety and you sit aloof. You want to punish the man who because of your negligence took advantage not to do the right thing.”

Kwame Malcom with Radio 360 is so angry he responded, “it is befuddling, no brainer. Heads must roll. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results.”

Kwame Offei of Spice FM commented: “Clearing the site to hide evidence and operating without licenses and the best of punishment could be temporary withdrawal of licenses and compensation for victims. These consequences for flouting important Safety Standard does not deter the companies hence the continued record of similar incidents. Sometimes there are a lots of minor incidents that are equally dangerous which happen on these sites but go unrecorded. When you flashback to Appiatse’s incident and its associated interests from the top, punishment that came with the negligence, the suffering of victims in terms of medical treatment,  my conclusion has always been for every worker to pray that he/she sails through the day by God’s mercies na Y3y3 buntus papa.”

“It’s like people don’t understand the kind of Ghana we live in. We recycle news every year, it’s the same news we say and write every year. The only thing that changes is the location and names of persons involved. When these issues happen, just report and go to sleep because nothing will happen irrespective of whatever you do. Waste of time,” Eric Gyatuah of Connect FM indicated.

“It was shocking to learn that the quarry company did not even have a license to operate, yet the Minerals Commission looked on for such a disaster to happen before releasing a two-page unnecessary statement after lives were lost. It is obvious that the soul of the country has been sold for money which is heartbreaking, now we sit patiently for another similar disaster, maybe worse to happen and the officials responsible will release another statement.” Alex Tagoe, Editor of, added

Marlvin James Dadzie, a freelance journalist, joined in the heated exchanges on Western Region Journalists Platform ‘Western Pen’ and stated: “EPA and Minerals Commission are set up for a purpose. So if we are not seeing any results I don’t see why those in charge should still be in office. To continue wasting taxpayer’s money? I’m not a doom monger but there is no guarantee that this will not happen again. We simply do not care about people’s lives.”

Henry Eliud Yankey of Connect FM questioned the relevance of a 9-member committee set up to look into the issue when, “we have already been told the company was operating illegally. This penchant for setting up committees is becoming so frustrating. Do you remember the Ghumco committee? Do you remember the Appiate committee. How many of these committees have birthed anything productive. A report will be issued and we will go to sleep and wait for the next disaster to happen.”