It has been eight years since the disaster of the Achimota Melcom building collapse, and yet issues around the events of the day which took 14 lives and caused injuries to some 78 persons remain unaddressed.
The building which served as a shopping outlet for retail giants Melcom was said to have lacked proper permits as well as the required structural integrity.
On Monday, November 9, 2020 GhanaWeb TV spoke to Madam Comfort Amponsah, a victim whose shop was adjacent to the Melcom building and she expressed sadness about the failure of the landlord and city authorities to ensure proper restitution for her shop which she lost as the collapsed multi-structure fell.
“I can only give thanks to God when I remember events of that fateful day because I would’ve been dead by now. On that Wednesday I was with my sister Marikisu and we saw the building come down. Ever since the building fell on our shop and the things in it, nobody has been here to inquire of our predicament. We lost everything.”
“We had a lot of things in the shop. We had furniture, computers beds, wardrobes and a lot of things in there. We were cleaning up whiles getting ready for business and it happened. After the building collapsed the military came through our yard to the back of the collapse structure to rescue those who were trapped.”
According to Madam Amponsah, her ability to set up a food joint after losing her previous business to the disaster is by the sheer benevolence of her church who came to her aid by donating to her a start-up capital.
“I lost everything and nobody came to ask of how I have been affected up to today. It was only my church, Tantra Hill Methodist that gave me capital. I wouldn’t have been able to set up this business. They gave me and my sister a startup capital and that is how I’ve been able to get back up.”
An eyewitness of the events on the day, also, Nutsugbodo Frank, speaking to GhanaWeb TV said he feels sad recollecting the moment that cost the lives of as many as 14 persons.
For him the sadder part of the issue is how the victims have been treated by the landlord and authorities as he believes they should have been properly compensated.
“From my point of view they did not help anybody, those it affected. The people whose buildings were affected including the Melcom building. They just went away after the rescue; I don’t know about the people who survived if they have helped them. But for those of us around we know that nothing was done. It affected one building which was at the right side of our shop but they did not help them at all or in any way. It was a very bad moment, anytime we mark the date, we feel bad and think of the people. It’s a bad memory.”
Watch below the GhanaWeb TV report on the 8th anniversary of the Achimota Melcom Disaster
After the incident, a committee was set up to investigate the causes of the Melcom disaster and give its recommendations to the president for implementation. The Ghana Institute of Engineers (GIE) set up an 11 member committee led by Professor Samuel Innocent Kofi Ampadu to investigate the incident.
The committee headed by Professor Samuel Innocent Kofi Ampadu is said to have observed that “the situation in the Melcom building represents that of hundreds of other buildings, not only in Accra, but in many other cities and towns in Ghana”.