Traders at the Odawna Market located at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, are feeling insecure after a market fire destroyed over 80 shops.
In a bid to ensure sanity at the market during the aftermath of the disaster, authorities of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) temporarily shut down the Eastern wing of the market for investigations to begin.
The temporary shutdown, which elapsed on Monday, January 21 saw some traders return to their shops.
“Sales have been terribly slow, I don’t feel safe here. You just can’t tell whose shop will get burnt next,” Mabel Nsiah, a hairdresser, told JoyBusiness.
Eunice Nai, a victim who lost three of her shops was doubtful of ever getting back to the Pedestrian Mall to continue business. “I lost GHc6500 to this disaster. I wonder if I would ever come here again. It’s not safe,” she lamented.
Even though managers of the Mall together with the AMA and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) are yet to come out with a comprehensive report on the cause of the fire, preliminary checks by the Fire Service show an electrical fault was the main factor.
Commercial fires like that of the Pedestrian Shopping Mall have a huge toll on Ghana in terms of costs. Reports from the Ghana National Fire Service show that cases of commercial fires including market fire disasters increased from 644 in 2017 to 737 in 2018. On the cost of damages, Ghana lost GHc28 billion in 2018 as against GHc25 billion in 2017.