Fire Safety 2

Image  Recent fire outbreaks in some of the major markets in Ghana’s capital, Accra has really brought to the fore the need for the government, traders, Fire and Rescue Service and all  stakeholders to come on board and tackle this menace which is bedeviling the country. The markets in question are the Kantamanto Market, Tudu Market and the Agbogbloshie Market.  In all these market fires, huge sums of monies were lost and most of the victims were women who are also the breadwinners in their families. The anguish and sorrow that has gripped all these traders is too much for me  to bear, as i am always moved to tears when they narrate their inability to pay off loans they have taken from some of the banks and financial institutions. Most of these traders are contemplating on committing suicide if the government does not come to their aid. I pray it does not come to that, because Ghana needs them alive. It is very painful for me to say this but since we are not prepared to do the right things in our markets all over Ghana, the markets will continue to burn and traders will keep on loosing their items and huge sums of money. Most of these traders  do not have have any form of insurance cover for their businesses. There is no market in Ghana that has an access road right through it. I want someone to prove me wrong. Even if there is one, traders have virtually taken over that space by placing their containers there.  This poses a challenge to the personnel of the Fire and Rescue Service preventing them from gaining access into the markets whenever there is a fire outbreak. They are also sometimes prevented by the very people they want to help from bringing the fire under control as they are always accused of arriving late at the scenes of these market fires.. They also find it difficult to use the fire hydrants in the cities as containers and other structures have been built on them. Due to all these disadvantages, the firemen are unable to prevent lives and property from being lost and destroyed, but are only able to bring these market fires under control. Most of the traders in these markets are also to be blamed for the frequent fire outbreaks. They  tap electricity illegally and also leave charcoal fires and other electrical gadgets on when they leave the markets at the end of the day. The frequent blackouts could also be said to be one of the causes of the fire outbreaks. Are we prepared to do the right thing and ensure fire safety in our markets? If not our markets will continue to burn and as painful as it is more monies and properties will be lost and we will keep on hearing the mantra “we want the government to come to our aid” on our radios and television news items. God bless my homeland Ghana, amen.

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