Business News of 2014-01-09

Market squatters to be ejected

Squatters in the various markets throughout the country face ejection as part of measures to curb the perennial fire outbreaks in the markets.
The move, to be championed by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), with the support of local government authorities, is also to put an end to the domestic activities of the squatters, particularly cooking, which put the market at high risk of fire outbreaks.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, Mr Billy Anaglate, most of the fire incidents that occurred at the markets last year were due to fires that were left unquenched after cooking.
Last year
Last year, there was widespread fire outbreaks at markets in Accra and Kumasi. Notable among them were the Kantamanto, Kumasi Central, Dome, Makola Number Two, Makola Shopping Mall and Abuja markets.
Investigations by the GNFS concluded that most of the fires were caused by illegal electrical connections, cooking and, congestion in the markets and overaged wiring.
Other measures
Mr Anaglate said local authorities were being encouraged to provide containers to facilitate the establishment of temporary fire posts at the various markets to monitor activities in the markets daily.
He said the GNFS would also engage the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to make sure that overaged wires and illegal connections at the markets were removed.
Structures in the alleys of the markets would be cleared, he said, and added that the congested alleys made it difficult for fire men to go into the markets during fire outbreaks.
Furthermore, Mr Anaglate said, the GNFS would see to it that the markets had early fire detectors and fire-fighting facilities with provision of water hydrants by the Ghana Water Company.
He said the GNFS would also conduct fire safety audits on all government premises and industries.