Committee to probe March 15 Kejetia fire outbreak

A five-member committee has been inaugurated to investigate the March 15 fire outbreak that gutted the Kejetia market complex.

The committee is chaired by Professor Theophilus Adjie-Kumi from the Department of Construction Technology and Management at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

The other members are Francis Koffie Esq, private legal practitioner and Managing Director of Messrs Koffie and Partners Law Conclave, Mr. Kofi Ampong, member and Valuer, Property Manager and Real Estate consultant.

The rest are Mr. Daniel Kwaku Denteh, member and Deputy Director General of the National Disaster Management Organization in charge of Finance and Administration as well as Mrs. Emelia Ayebeng Botchway, member secretary and Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating director (ARCD).

The Minister of State-designate for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Osei Bonsu Amoah who inaugurated the committee announced that the committee  has three weeks to investigate the cause of the fire and submit its findings.

He said public announcements would be made and persons who have evidence or information to help the committee in its work would be asked to volunteer same to the committee.

According to the Minister-designate other persons who would be needed to help the committee would also be invited to appear before  the committee since such inputs would help in the construction of the Phase two of the Kejetia Redevelopment project.

Mr. Amoah, however, pleaded with traders whose stores had been affected by the fire outbreak to stay off the burnt area until investigations are complete to enable them take decision based on the recommendations from the committee.

Meanwhile, Nana Agyenim Boateng I, the Amoamanhene and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Kumasi City Markets Limited (KCML) has explained that  the suggestion to close the market for a further one week was guided by an expert’s advice.

Addressing the media in Kumasi, the Vice Chair said an expert from Avangarde Design Services as consultants to the project after initial investigations recommended that the burnt area be cordoned off to allow for integrity test of the entire section.

This, he noted, was to enable them to properly access the extent of damage caused to systems including the Electrical, Mechanical and Water in the entire area.

‘’The Board based on advice from the expert who had carried out initial checks at the burnt area noted that we allow for a week’s interval for a third party to check the systems in the area before traders are allowed entry”, Nana Agyenim Boateng stated.

According to him, the recommended  plan of action was for the bBoard to completely isolate the affected area with its connections until the inspections and the tests were concluded to enable them  review, repair and re-commission the fire pumps mechanically and electrically by a third party as recommended and advised by Contracta, the construction firm in the past.

The Vice Board chairman also indicated that they were to review the maintenance, operations and safety plans available in the market Phase 1 to improving the predictive or corrective maintenance actions and regular inspections practices’.

He also addressed the metering system at Kejetia Market saying the the bulk Metering system which has demarcation for every line of installation with its individual switches, was the best in the country.

He explained that the system is what is being used by all the shopping malls in the country and other big companies.

“The impression that one meter is serving the entire Market complex is wrong. The project rather is operating a bulk Metering system where all the electrical lines converge at one point but each of the lines have their own switches and this is the reason that even after the fire outbreak we were able to isolate the lines that were affected with the unaffected having electricity”, the chief Vice Chairman of the Board explained.

The Mayor for Kumasi, Hon. Sam Pyne, who is Board Chairman of the KCML said it is wrong for people to impute ill motives to the directive the Board gave in the aftermath of the fire outbreak.

He noted that in situations like fire outbreaks and other disasters, protection of lives of people were paramount.

The mayor indicated that the KCML would not allow anything untoward to be carried out at the market and expressed the Board’s commitment to safeguard lives and property at the Market Complex.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here