Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh, Upper West Regional Minister, accompanied by officials of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) on Friday toured the Wa Central Market to ascertain the fire safety situation there.
According to the Minister, the exercise was necessitated by the recent fire disasters that have occurred in some major markets in Accra, destroying property worth millions of Ghana cedis.
The inspection focused on areas such as access routes to the market, the drainage systems, unauthorized structures and illegal connections that could trigger any form of disaster in the market.
Dr Nsoh, who earlier interacted with personnel of the GNFS, commended them for their role so far in keeping the region free from fire disasters and encouraged them to maintain the standards they had set.
He said the region was noted to be the poorest region in the country and, therefore, any such disasters would further aggravate the situation.
Dr Nsoh interacted with some market women and informed them that President John Mahama was worried about the recent fire disasters in major markets.
According to him, it was suspected that some elements were behind the disturbing fire disasters and that government was committed to instituting serious investigations into the matter to expose the perpetrators and have them punished according to the laws of the land.
He, therefore, urged the public to volunteer relevant information to the security services to assist them in unravelling the mystery behind the fires.
At the Wa Livestock Market, Dr Nsoh expressed concern about the lack of access routes to the market and appealed to the authorities to assist the Fire Service officials to construct access routes.
Mr Francis Agbavitor, Wa Municipal Fire Officer, said they had started an education process and would soon demolish all unauthorized structures to allow easy access to the market in case of any fire disaster.
Hajia Adisa Ibrahim Danwana, a market women leader, appealed to the minister to provide security at the market to ensure the safety of lives and property.
She expressed worry about the high taxes allegedly being imposed by the Wa Municipal Assembly and appealed to the minister to prevail upon the assembly to reduce them.
She also pledged the market women’s total co-operation with personnel of the GNFS to ensure safety in the market.