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General News Fri, 28 Mar 2008

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Fire destroys Bolgatanga Central Market

Bolgatanga, March 28, GNA - Fire swept through the grain section of Bolgatanga Central Market on Thursday night destroying shops and more than 1,000 maxi bags of cereals, legumes and vegetables. They included the main staples in Upper East Region, millet, maize, soya beans, groundnuts, rice, sorghum, beans, dawadawa and dry vegetables.

Madam Salamatu Abubakari, a spokesperson for the market women told Ghana News Agency at the scene that they had lost all cereals stored for sale.

"Some of us stock the cereals during the lean season and most people depend on us for their needs to feed their families. Our capital is gone and most of us would have to struggle again to get on our feet," she added.

Madam Abubakari said they were shocked about the incident because the area had no electricity and they did not cook at that side of the market.

An eyewitness account said the fire started at about 2300 hours but could not be put off immediately as the Bolgatanga Fire Service did not have enough water and had to call on their colleagues at Navrongo for assistance.

It said people in the neighbourhood assisted by carrying water to the scene and it continued until 0900 hours on Friday to put out the smouldering embers.

Mr Johnson Abu, Upper East Regional Fire Officer explained that security man at Ghana Water Company in Bolgatanga refused to allow Fire Service Personnel to fetch water during the night and had to rely on Navrongo Fire Service.

He said cause of the fire was not known but would be investigated. Mr Philibert Kuupol, Bolgatanga Municipal Coordinating Director who visited the scene sympathised with the victims and advised them to inform the assembly when they were ready to put up new stores to be offered technical guidance to allow enough space for free movement. Presently, millet and sorghum sell at 45 Ghana cedis per maxi bag, maize at 40 Ghana cedis and beans at 90 Ghana cedis.

Source: GNA

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