Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Maritime Dockworkers Union of the Trades Union Congress (MDU) says it can confirm that leakages on the ferry called Nana Besemuna, which belongs to the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC), caused the recent accident.
According to the union, management is trying to create the impression that the accident of February 17, 2016 involving Nana Besemuna occurred due to overloading.
A statement issued by MDU accused the management of VLTC compromising safety measures, which almost resulted in the sinking of Nana Besemuna.
“On 17th February, 2016, Nana Besemuna, which is one of the ferries belonging to the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC), was involved in a near sinking accident whilst travelling from Makango to Yeji. The ferry was carrying about 100 passengers, one articulated truck loaded with logs; two DAF trucks carrying yams and dry cassava, a KIA truck which was carrying yams, four private cars and a crew of eight.”
“When the accident occurred, there were media reports that overloading of the ferry was the cause of the accident. Contrary to the reports that overloading of the ferry was the cause of the accident, our union is aware that leakages on the ferry had been reported to the Marine and Operations Manager of the company and the management of the company had adequate knowledge that there were leakages on the Nana Besemuna Ferry for about a year before the accident.”
According to the union, a team of welders from the Maintenance Department of VLTC that was working to plug the leakages on the ferry were ordered by the Managing Director of the company to stop the repair works on the ferry though he was adequately informed of the seriousness of the leakages on the deck of the ferry.
“Despite numerous complaints, Nana Besemuna Ferry has been operating without a water pump for more than a year which compelled the captain of the ferry to use a private pump on the vessel at his own cost because the management of the company had refused to pay for the cost of operating the water pump. The water pump was very useful in saving the ferry from sinking.”
The MDU called for investigations into the accident in order to identify the causes for appropriate measures to be taken to prevent such accidents in future and to apply appropriate sanctions against people, whose actions and inactions contributed to the incident.
They also commended the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Salaga, Luke Manu, Ghana Navy, officials of NADMO, Awugyakope Community, Salaga District Police for helping in rescue efforts.