The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is demanding compensation for all traders whose shops have been affected in the market fires recorded in the country in recent times.
Several markets, including the Odawna, Kantamanto, and the most recent one, the Kaneshie market have been razed by fire within the last two months.
The President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, livid about these unfortunate incidents, among other things, demanded for answers from the government.
“We demand an immediate forensic investigation into these fire outbreaks. All manner of explanations are coming through, but we are not going to take it till forensic investigation has been done and proper solutions are put to this. Otherwise, we can’t continue to contain this pain.”
He further asked for his colleagues who have lost their wares in the blaze to be compensated.
“We demand immediate compensation for all the victims at Kantamanto, Koforidua, Kumasi, Odawna, and the other places. Because our responsibility is to pay our taxes. The security of the market does not belong to us. It belongs to the state so if security has not been provided and these things have happened, we demand it as our rights that we get our members compensated adequately,” he insisted.
On their part, the traders, most of whom are concerned about the situation, have appealed to government to look into the incidents to forestall further fires as such.
Helena Adofo, a seamstress at the Kaneshie market noted, “I want the security men to look inside. We have security men who come around. Even when you forget to put the main switch off, they will put it off for you. Even when you forget to lock your shop, they’ll lock it for you. So they should look inside the matter. If it’s someone who has been hired to come and burn the markets, the government should look into the matter for us.”
“Only God knows how the fire started. We need the government to look into the recent market fires. How come it is only the second floor that got burnt? We need some answers to this,” Faustina Ansah, another seamstress at the market added.
Market fires in 2020
The latter part of 2020 has seen quite a number of markets across the country razed down by fire.
In the Greater Accra region, the Odawna, Kantamanto, and Kaneshie markets have all been affected by fires.
In July, fire swept through the Juaben Serwaa market in Koforidua in the Eastern Region destroying at least seven shops.
The Ashanti Region also had its share of market fires after a dawn fire swept through about 54 shops at the French Line section of the Kumasi Central Market.
Although no deaths or injuries have been reported, goods worth thousands of cedis have been lost in these fires.
Unfortunately, there has not been any conclusive investigative report on these fires so far.