Catholic Bishop, Women Association in Ghana Pay Solidarity Visit to Gas Explosion Victims

Bishop John Baptist Attakruh and representative of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) during the solidarity visit to victims of the January 20 gas explosion that occurred near a mining town in the Southwestern region of Ghana. Credit: Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese

The Catholic Bishop of  Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese in Ghana and members of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) have paid a solidarity visit to victims of the January 20 gas explosion that occurred near a mining town in the Southwestern region of the country.

At least 13 people were killed in the 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.

A Tuesday, March 15 report indicates that  Bishop John Baptist Attakruh and representative of NCCW made donations to victims who are based at St. Michael Catholic Parish of Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese.

The items included clothing, bags, children’s wear, and a cash donation of five thousand Ghana Cedis (US$684.21).

Addressing himself to the victims, Bishop Attakruh urged them to remain firm in their faith for God has not abandoned them.


“It takes time to overcome the sad effects of situations like the disaster, but God's grace will help them to bounce back to normalcy,” the Ghanain Bishop has been quoted as saying in the report in reference to the victims of the gas explosion tragedy.

The Ghanaian Catholic Bishop said the charitable gesture “is not only an outward show but rather it is an act of faith born from our Catholic faith that teaches us to reach out to those in need.”

He said that the solidarity visit and the donations were to “encourage and strengthen them to overcome the sad experiences of the explosion and to deepen their faith in God.”

He offered his heartfelt gratitude to the executives of NCCW and, by extension, to all Catholic women from the 20 Dioceses in Ghana for their contributions, and further appealed “to all parishes to offer any form of assistance: money, used clothes, non-perishable food items etc., to help the victims.”

Also speaking during the March 15 solidarity visit, NCCW President, Perpetua Oppong, said the association “sympathizes with them (victims), especially women and children who are the most vulnerable.”

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She assured the gas explosion victims of God's providence and that their presence and donations “are to console them and to make reality the presence of God in their life.”

Speaking on behalf of the victims, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Prestea/Huni-Valley Constituency, Hon. Isaac Dasmani thanked NCCW “for the charitable gesture.”

He said in reference to the victims, “Ghana has not abandoned them, and the Catholic Church has been of tremendous support since 20th January when the sad event occurred.”

Hon. Dasmani also expressed gratitude to Bishop Attakruh for offering the Parish Hall of Bogoso on time to “temporarily accommodate the surviving victims until their current settlement.”

He appealed for “constant prayers for the surviving victims and those in charge of their upkeep.”


Since the January 20 gas explosion that reportedly resulted in the destruction of dozens of houses, rendering hundreds of people homeless, the Catholic Church leadership has been facilitating assistance to victims of the explosion.

In an interview with ACI Africa following the incident, the Parish Priest of St. Michael said the Parish opened its doors to welcome those who had become homeless as a result of the January 20 gas explosion.

“St. Michael Bogoso Catholic Church has wholeheartedly welcomed and accommodated the victims at her Parish Hall,” Fr. Edward Cudjoe said during the January 24 interview.

Fr. Cudjoe added, “The Church has embarked on this spiritual exercise with recourse to the parable of Christ and the corporal works of mercy: shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, feed the hungry.”

On January 25, members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) appealed for generous donations to help address the needs of victims of the gas explosion.

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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.