Displaced fire victims appeal for support

BY: Issah Mohammed
 Debris left in the trail of the fire
Debris left in the trail of the fire

Displaced victims of a fire outbreak at Abofu, near Achimota in Accra, last Thursday, have appealed to the government and other philanthropists for support to restore their means of livelihood.

The fire destroyed mainly metal and wooden structures which served as shops, hair dressing salons and the dwelling places of the victims.

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As a result of the outbreak, majority of the victims passed the night at a nearby Presbyterian school, while others sought shelter in a Pentecost Church building in the vicinity. Many of the victims are still putting up at the school and the church.

Though no casualty was recorded, the victims, numbering about 250, lost properties running into thousands of cedis to the fire.

Victim

A victim who owned three container shops at the place, Mrs Emelia Kumordzi, told the Daily Graphic that she was not around at the time the fire broke out.


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As a result, Mrs Kumordzi said she could not salvage anything from the shop so all her items got burnt.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Mr James Oheneba Yaw Kwarteng, told the Daily Graphic that the GNFS received a distress call at about 4:18p.m on the day of the disaster and officers got to the scene at 4:28p.m.

Mr Kwarteng said it took the GNFS one hour, 10 minutes to bring the fire under control and that it was eventually extinguished after four hours, after they had deployed five fire engines to the scene.

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He noted that most of the structures at the scene did not comply with fire safety regulations as they lacked fire extinguishers and other fire safety gadgets.

“Many of the victims are not safety conscious. When they start their businesses, they don’t consider fire safety but you realise that it is a necessity,” he stressed. The cause of the fire, he indicated, was yet to be ascertained as investigations were ongoing.

Relief items

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has so far provided some relief items to the victims while the Regional Director in charge of Man-made Disasters at NADMO, Mr Abubakar Mohammed Tchafaram, has hinted of plans to temporarily resettle the victims currently taking shelter at the Presbyterian school, to pave the way for the reopening of the school next Tuesday.

“There is a bare land which has an injunction on it so we are trying to see if it is possible to mount a tent that could accommodate the victims who are occupying the school building so that we can free the school building latest by Monday,” he said.

Mr Tchafaram added that the organisation was working on providing more relief items to the victims, while a permanent solution to the situation was being worked on.