Disaster strikes Appiate community, but children long to return to school.

UNICEF and UN in Ghana respond to disaster in Appiate

Kwesi Quainoo 8 years old, wants to be a furniture maker when he grows up
30 January 2022

“When I grow up, I want to be a furniture maker.” Says Kwesi Quainoo, an eight-year-old boy, who lives in Appiati in the Western region of Ghana. In January 2022, his home, and the entire village was hit by a truck carrying explosives (and passing) through his village. In that explosion, Kwesi lost his father who was a furniture maker.

The explosion destroyed his village and left his family and over 900 people in the community without homes, livelihoods and some lives lost.  

Portions of Appiati community, after the explosion

Thankfully, Kwesi and his two other siblings, Anti and Josiah, two and 12 years old respectively, were not injured by the explosion, it was their mother Dinah, twenty-five years old who was also injured, but is responding.

Kwesi and Josiah attended the Beppo Methodist School a few kilometers away from their village because there was no school in their community. In spite of the disaster, Kwesi says, “I want to go back to school and see how well I did during the exams.”

To commiserate with the victims, lend support and to do a needs assessment, UNICEF, and representatives of the UN Inter Agency Working Group on Emergency, (IAWGE) went to Appiati and interacted with the displaced persons who were housed in temporary shelters. The team inspected the damage at the explosion site and conducted focus group discussions. The discussions were to determine the extent of loss and needs required from diverse groups. The group also handed over various relief items to the displaced persons in their temporary shelter.

The group was made up of the WHO, ILO, UNFPA World Vision and UNICEF. At the end of the mission, they shared their findings and suggestions with the National Disaster Management Organisation, managers of the disaster.

Kwesi and other children like him in the shelter, may not be able to return to school immediately, but UNICEF handed over school supplies to help them continue with their learning in their temporary accommodation. Other relief items presented to them included Sanitation and hygiene kits, medical supplies and personal protective equipment.

Educational items handed over to NADMO, to support teaching in the shelter
Educational items handed over to NADMO, to support teaching in the shelter