The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has shared in the pains of traders whose goods and properties worth millions of Ghana cedis were burnt in last Wednesday’s fire outbreak at the Kejetia market in Kumasi.
The fire, which burnt 33 shops and affected 17 others at a section of the newly built €248 million Kejetia market, started when a trader was cooking with gas in a shop, the Ghana National Fire Service has established.
Investigations by the Fire Service also indicated that the shop was near other shops where turpentine, gunpowder and other combustibles were sold, resulting in an explosion when the fire started.
This is the second time a major fire disaster has occurred at the Kejetia market (Kumasi Central Market), following a May 11, 2021 fire outbreak also affecting some parts of the market.
“The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations wish to express its heartfelt sympathy to all traders whose wares and properties estimated at millions of Ghana Cedis were lost to the inferno that gutted Kejetia Market in Kumasi,” it said in a press statement.
The statement, issued by the President of GUTA, Dr Joseph Obeng and copied to the Ghana News Agency said it was happy to learn that no one died from the fire outbreak.
The Association called for stronger police oversight in all markets across the country and said repeated fire outbreaks at both old and new markets had alarmed them.
It stated that the situation was heartbreaking and needed to be addressed because it was consuming a significant portion of their financial resources and reducing trader income and productivity.
“Effective policing of the markets by the authorities will be the best way to ensure safety and security of the marketplaces rather than only collecting levies and leaving traders to their fate,” the Association said.
On insurance, the Association said it was engaging some insurance companies to start providing policies for members of the trading community in the markets based on a memorandum of understanding that would be beneficial to all in the event of such unforeseen calamities.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia paid a visit to the Kejetia market on Monday and expressed sympathy to the affected traders on behalf of the government.
He assured the traders that the Government would provide the necessary funding to rebuild the damaged area of the market but asked them to abide by safety regulations to stop any such fire outbreaks.
The authorities have also announced that the Kejetia Market would resume for business on Tuesday, March 21, at the areas that were not affected by the fire.