Photo credit: David Andoh

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has commissioned a seven-member committee to investigate circumstances leading to the fire that ravaged 108 shops at Makola market.

The committee has also been given a week to assess the integrity of the affected building and recommend whether it should be pulled down or otherwise.

Announcing the committee’s establishment on Friday, Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, said the committee is made up of experts who will provide critical information for steps taken.

According to him, the committee will be coordinated by an officer from AMA, two Ghana Fire Service personnel, a senior police officer, and the Area Manager of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Again, the Metro National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) Director, and a senior officer from the Ghana Water Company, are on the committee.

Mr Sowah further indicated that some representatives from the Ghana Army will also assist the committee.

“This is a seven-member committee that has been formed with the mandate to investigate the cause of the fire, and to assess the extent of damage and the integrity of the structure and any more information that will be found useful.

“They have been given one week to finish their assignment. In the meantime, the building is going to be cordoned off, and we [AMA] will not allow any human activity in the building,” he stated.

According to him, the committee’s report will help in preventing future fires in the central business district.

On Monday, a fire outbreak at the Makola Market destroyed a three-storey building and valuables running into millions of Ghana cedis.

It took personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service about four days to completely douse the flame due to the combustibility of the goods in some shops.

As more traders continue to count their losses, the Mayor of Accra has revealed that processes are underway for government to provide relief packages to the affected traders.

But the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA)’s President, Dr Joseph Obeng, is urging the government to employ satellite market concepts to help decongest existing markets.

“Going forward, we think we all have to help the Mayor to decongest the city. [Crowdedness] is the cause of all these. And the government too must also take pragmatic steps to help build satellite market to help facilitate the decongesting process,” he told JoyNews.