KMA, GNFS Investigate Kumasi Central Market Fire
5/15/2012 10:49:44 PM -
Investigations have commenced into last Sunday night’s fire outbreak that destroyed about 70 stores and stalls at the Kumasi Central Market.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) are the institutions conducting the investigations to establish the cause of the fire.
Cost of damage is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of Ghana cedis.
The fire, which started about 7.30 p.m., swept through the area where cloths were sold. The plume of smoke that drifted into the night sky attracted many to the scene.
It took about two hours for fire-fighting personnel to bring the blaze under control because of the inaccessibility of the disaster area to fire tenders that were brought in to fight the fire.
For about two hours the tenders remained static as the fire continued to rage.
The Public Relations Officer of the KMA, Mr Godwin Nyame, told the Daily Graphic that the assembly had tasked the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to submit a report on the fire.
The KMA Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, rushed to the scene in the night to see things for himself.
He expressed shock at the situation and gave an assurance that the assembly was bent on seeing to the re-development of the market.
Fire outbreaks are an annual ritual at the Central Market and all promises by city authorities over the years to rebuild the market to modern standards to forestall fire disasters have failed to materialise.
The Kumasi Central Market is considered the largest in West Africa. An estimated one million people visit the market daily and it is one of the biggest sources of revenue generation for the KMA. But it lacks the ingredients of a modern facility befitting the status of Kumasi.
Many of the traders who lost their wares were still counting the cost as of Monday.
Madam Comfort Osei, a leading cloth seller who had all her goods destroyed, told the Daily Graphic that it was a shocking moment for her on seeing her store reduced to ashes.
“I have lost everything and the cost is huge. Now I don’t know what I am going to do next,” she said.
Another trader, Akosua Pokua, lamented the periodic fire outbreaks at the market and called on the authorities to do something about it.
She said she had borrowed money from the bank for her business and wondered how she was going to pay back.
The KMA Market Manager, Mr Charles Gambrah, was meeting some of the affected traders on the way forward.
He told the Daily Graphic that the victims would be registered to enable them to benefit from any future support.