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18.01.2005 Regional News

TMA, control development in Ashaiman to pave way for emergencies

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Ashaiman, (GAR) Jan. 18, GNA -- The Ashaiman District Fire Officer, D.O. Joseph Adda, has appealed to the Government to provide them with a permanent fire station to help with the monitoring of the daily activities of personnel for easy operations in the area.

According to him their current rented office has no training grounds so he had to send his men to a nearby school field for their daily training and organising them at times to fight a fire when call comes is difficult.

He also mentioned accessibility as another problem facing the service in the area and stressed the need for the Tema Municipal Assembly to strengthen its development control of Ashaiman to pave way for emergencies if possible demolish some unauthorised structures.

"For instance when we receive a call of fire outbreak it takes us about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the scene due to heavy vehicular traffic here because the streets have been turned into markets and drivers park where they load and offload passengers anyhow," he explained.

Mr Adda made the call when the TMA Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh visited the scene of fire outbreak last Saturday at Ashaiman and presented mattresses and second hand clothing worth over 4 million cedis to the victims.

The Fire Officer said the cause of the fire is still not known because the residents have refused to cooperate with investigations but their own investigations revealed that two kids were playing with a gas cooker when it came in contact with a material and resulted in an explosion.

He said around 11.15 am on Saturday, his officers on duty saw thick smoke in the skies around the Tsinai Agber area close to the market.

They sent radio messages to fire stations at Tema, Nungua, Tema Oil Refinery and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for assistance because the Ashaiman station's only fire tender was faulty and had been sent for repairs at the GNFS Central Mechanical Workshop in Accra. He said about 40 people have been rendered homeless as 12 houses they were living in were destroyed by the fire.

He expressed concern about the attitude of the people during fire outbreaks and said they at times assault Fire Officers for preventing them from looting items.

This makes their work very difficult, especially when they impede access to the affected area.

Mr Narh promised that the Assembly, by the end of February would make sure the people are moved to the market it provided for them. He however, urged the Service to intensify its fire campaign in the area to prevent outbreaks to save lives and properties.

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