July 21, 2024
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Kejetia market fire victims demand release of report on fire disaster

The Combine Traders Associations in Kumasi Kejetia market is demanding the immediate release of the Ministry of Local Government investigative report on the cause of the Kejetia market fire on 14th March 2023.

The group wants to know the cause of the Kejetia Market on 15th March 2023.

According to the Association, if the report is made public it will help the market community curtail future recurrence by promoting behavioural change among the traders. 

Speaking to GHone the General Secretary of the Association, Ruben Ameh alleged that they suspect the government through the management of the market might be indicted hence a decision to cover up their shame.                                                             

On 14th October 2023, the Kumasi Kejetia market was unfortunately caught by fire. At least 50 shops on the upper floor of the market full of goods were completely burnt down.

The Local Government Ministry through Deputy Minister Osei Bonsu Amoah popularly known as [O. B Amoah] constituted a committee made up of experts to conduct a forensic investigation into the fire disaster.

Over five months after the Committee submitted its report to the Local Government Ministry, the Local Government Minister, Dan Kwaku Botwe has refused to make the report and its recommendations public to promote attitudinal change among the traders in the market.

The General Secretary of the Combine Traders Association in Kejetia disclosed the Local Government Minister has refused to respond to all three letters he wrote to the Minister requesting a copy of the report.

“What are they hiding from as in the report? I suspect the report has indicted the management of the Kejetia Market including the board over poor management of the facility,” he alleged.

Currently, the portion of the market which was caught by fire has been off to business activities completely pushing out victims out of active business while others have become squatters and hawkers in the market selling in front of their colleagues’ shops.

A victim of the fire, Nathaniel Boamponsem narrated to GHone News that “at the moment we have lost our capital to start business afresh however, banks and goods suppliers are willing to assist us to bounce back but there’s no commitment by the government to rebuild the shops. Our situation is very unfortunate but what can we do? 50 shop owners and our dependents are home struggling. The housekeeping money from the NPP as a party and personal donation Mr. Alan Kyeremanten made to us is finished and we are now facing the real struggle. We are begging the government to redevelop the market. The Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh MP Manhyia South and General Secretary of NPP Justin Kodua Frimpong promised us a day after the market fire but in fact, we are losing trust in them,” he stated.

At the moment a portion of the market is full of stagnant water bleeding mosquitoes and also producing bad odors in the market.

The area also leaks any time it rains soaking goods being sold in the market, a development the traders described as unfortunate.

Augusta Berko and her colleagues and other traders re-echoed other concerns of other victims. “My shop was not directly affected by the fire but at the moment I am worse off. I can’t stay in my shop because the place smells very bad because of the stagnant water. All the plumbing pipes in the market I mean in the area which was caught by the fire have all been destroyed so there’s free flow of water any time it rains. The stagnant water is also breeding mosquitoes, which is the unfortunate situation we are dealing with at the moment,” she said.

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