The Committee set up to investigate the Takoradi market fire outbreak has presented its report recommending that the market be re-designed.
The 11-member Committee's report identified that 240 people lost properties while 52 stalls, 15 commercial electric metres and two electric poles were damaged in the March 15 fire that gutted the Takoradi Central Market.
It said an improperly extinguished coal pot fire re-ignited, spread into a wooden structure and it was fuelled by edible oil that was stored in the structure.
The Committee was constituted by the Western Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to investigate the cause of the fire that destroyed about ¢612 million worth of textiles, sewing machines and wooden structures.
The committee, which was under the chairmanship of Mr. Nana Ekow Abban, Western Regional Commander of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), recommended that the Takoradi Central Market must be re-designed.
To facilitate this, the Committee recommended that all traders at the market should be re-located to the Apremdo market as soon as possible for the work to begin.
Additionally, the new market must reflect modern trends and be provided with facilities such as security lighting, supervised electrical wiring by Electricity Company of Ghana contractors (ECG), fire lanes and restricted area specifically designed for fire use.
It noted in its report that all fire hydrants outside the market must be properly fitted and housed in metal or concrete structures to avoid tampering while new hydrants must be installed within the market.
It also called for the upgrading of the fire post at the market into a fire station with adequate office accommodation and structures for fire tenders.
The Committee recommended that the administrative structure of the market must be properly streamlined with clear job specifications.
The market administration must handle sanitation, fire safety, security and revenue collection as their major functions.
It called for close collaboration between the market administration and the traditional market queens. The Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA) must employ six well-equipped watchmen and the metropolitan guards should provide night patrols at the market, it recommended.
The Committee appealed to the banks, non-governmental organizations and other philanthropists to assist the victims with loans and grants to enable them to continue with their trading activities.
Mr. Anthony E. Amoah, the Western Regional Minister who received the report, commended the Committee for the speed with which it carried out the assignment.
He pledged that the various stakeholders would meet and study the recommendations and implement them to prevent future fire disasters at the market.