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16.10.2008 General News

Make Good Your Promise - Kantamanto Traders

By Francis Xah - newtimesonline.com

More than 600 people whose stalls and stores at the Kantamanto market were gutted by fire on September 27, have complained that they have not yet received any assistance from the government, as promised them.

The traders told the Times on Tuesday that the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, who visited the scene with Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, promised them a relief package from the government.

They quoted the Minister as telling them that he had informed the President about the incident and that the government would arrange a soft loan package to support them to re-establish their businesses.

When the Times contacted the Minister on Tuesday on the issue, he said the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) had been tasked by his Ministry to meet the leadership of the traders and assess how much help they would need and how much the government could offer.

He said the AMA was to advise and brief him about the outcome of the meeting after which he would advise the government accordingly.

Mr Adjei-Darko said he had not yet received any report from the A.M.A.

The Times was unable to reach Nii Adjiri Blankson, but the AMA Public Relations Officer, Frank Kwasi Asante, said the assembly discussed the issue on Monday, and all efforts were being made to meet the leadership of the traders.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known but the traders said they suspected it was the result of an electrical fault.

Goods destroyed included sewing machines, leather folding machines, computers, deep freezers and bales of used clothing.

Shoe manufacturing shops, music cassette retail shops, and hair dressing, salons were also burnt.

The Metropolitan Chief Fire Officer, Michael Gabienu, had told the Times that poor access to the market and unavailability of hydrants made it difficult for firemen to fight the fire.

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