Catholic Bishops in Ghana Appeal for Support to Address Needs of Gas Explosion Victims

Logo of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference (GCBC). Credit: GCBC

Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) have, in a collective statement, appealed for generous donations to help address the needs of victims of last week’s gas explosion that occurred near a mining town in the Southwestern region of the country.

In their statement issued Tuesday, January 25, the Catholic Bishops thank “all service providers and the donors for their prompt response and interventions.”

“In the spirit of charity, we wish to appeal to our Catholic faithful and all people of goodwill to donate towards the relief process currently ongoing to help meet the needs of the Appiatse victims,” GCBC members say in reference to the location of the fatal explosion in Ghana’s Catholic Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi.

They direct that the donations “be sent through the Bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi for onward presentation to the victims.”

GCBC members acknowledge with appreciation the role played by the “Government of Ghana and other stakeholders to bring relief to the victims through their services and donations.”


On January 20, at least 13 people were killed in an explosion when a truck carrying explosives to a gold mine collided with a motorcycle near the town of Bogoso in the Prestea Huni Valley municipality, BBC News reported.

The explosion reportedly destroyed dozens of houses, rendering hundreds of people homeless.

In their January 25 collective statement, Catholic Bishops in Ghana express their “profound sympathy” to the victims of the tragic incident.

“We … wish to express our profound sympathy to all the victims of the fatal explosion at Appiatse in the Western Region of Ghana,” they say in the statement signed by the GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh of Ghana’s Tamale Archdiocese.

They note that this “unfortunate incident resulted in the victims suffering from varied degrees of injuries, the displacement of hundreds of the inhabitants as well as 14 deaths.”

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“We extend the same sentiments of sympathy to our Brother Bishop, Most Rev. John Baptist Attakruh, Bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese and the entire faithful of the Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi,” the leaders of the Catholic Church in Ghana add.

In the one-page statement, GCBC members express “hope and prayer that as a nation, we shall learn the needed lessons from this latest fatal development and ensure that regulations are strictly enforced in the country and the appropriate punishments meted out to deserving offenders.”

“May the necessary measures be taken to avert similar occurrences in the future,” they add.

They assure the victims, “especially the injured, of our prayers for speedy recovery as well as emotional and psychological healing for all.”

“We also pray for strength and consolation for the families who lost their relatives,” Catholic Bishops in Ghana say, and implore, “We pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of those who have died. May they rest in perfect peace, Amen. May Mary our Mother of Perpetual Help continue to intercede for us!”


The Catholic Parish of St. Michael in Ghana's Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese has since taken the action of providing accommodation to the victims of the January 20 incident, the Parish of the Ghanaian Parish told ACI Africa in an interview.

In the January 24 interview, Fr. Edward Cudjoe said the Parish has opened its doors to welcome those who had become homeless following the explosion.

Fr. Cudjoe said, “St. Michael Bogoso Catholic Church has wholeheartedly welcomed and accommodated the victims at her Parish Hall.”

Meanwhile, the leadership of Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese has paid a solidarity visit to those who have been offered accommodation at St. Michael Bogoso Catholic Parish.

In a January 21 report by the leadership of the Ghanian Catholic Diocese, the Vicar General, Fr. Francis Kofi Lemaire, paid a solidarity to the victims.​

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“Fr. Lemaire on behalf of the Bishop, Most Rev. John Baptist Attakruh and the faithful of the Diocese expressed their condolences to the bereaved families of those affected by the tragic incident.,” officials of the Ghanaian Diocese said in the report.

In the report, Bishop Attakruh also appealed “to all parishes to offer any form of assistance: money, used clothes, non-perishable food items etc., to help the victims.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.