Former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Asokwa Maxwell Kofi Jumah, has said a lasting solution to the recent infernos at the country’s markets, will be the building of special purpose markets.
Speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Monday, the former Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) boss intimated he proposed this idea while heading the KMA but it has been buried with his exit from the post.
His comments come after fire gutted several shops at the Kantamanto market in Accra Sunday morning. Several properties worth millions of Ghana cedis were destroyed in the blaze but no life was lost.
There have been many fire outbreaks across the country recently.
Mr. Kofi Jumah explained that the special purpose markets are such that a large section of the market is dedicated to sales of products from a broader category of goods, to reduce congestion.
In his view, until conscious steps are taken to change the current trend, the market fires and their effects, will not cease.
He also proposed a streamlined training course to educate traders, that will take them through the requisite fire drills and other emergency situations before renewing their market licences.
According to the NPP stalwart, he was faced with opposition when he tried to introduce the training programming to the point where he had to drop it, but goings on have made it necessary to take a look at that idea once more.
Mr. Kofi Jumah stressed the need for a monthly fire drill as a reliable way to ensure traders know what to do in fire emergency situations.
He was critical about lack of spaces in the markets which prevent access to trouble spots by fire tenders.
Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur who visited the market hours after the blaze to speak to the traders, assured them that the Interior Ministry will investigate the inferno and other outbreaks in the country.
The Vice President has called on the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other government agencies to support victims of blaze.