Traders at the Kantamanto market, Ghana's biggest second-hand shopping center in 2016 decided to appease the gods after surviving 3 years straight without recording any fire outbreak.
According to the Chairman of the Used Clothes Dealers Association of Kantamanto, Evans Ofori, their decision formed part of the activities to mark their 3-year "fire-free" anniversary.
Ghana has recorded a considerable number of fire outbreaks across various market centers in the country. Shops owners at Katamanto are not left out as they have had to count their losses annually due to fire outbreaks.
On May 5, 2013, fire guttered close to 800 structures at the market retendering several traders jobless.
New measures were therefore implemented to break the trend of fire outbreaks at the Kantamanto market.
Read the full story originally published on May 5, 2016, on Ghanaweb
Traders at the Kantamanto Market in Accra are set to pour libation to pacify gods and also offer prayers to God for protecting the market from fire outbreak for the last three years.
Chairman of the Used Clothes Dealers Association of Kantamanto, Evans Ofori, who revealed this to Onua News said it forms part of a series of activities being undertaking by the traders to mark the three years anniversary of the last fire outbreak recorded in the market.
He said a number of campaigns to educate the traders on the need to stop activities that could spark fire would be organised for the traders as a measure to prevent any possible fire outbreak.
Exactly three years ago Thursday, about 800 structures were all reduced to ashes when fire razed the market. Hundreds of traders lost millions of cedis to the fire which left many people in debt while others lost their trading capital.
Three years down the line, the traders appear to have taken a lesson from the incident as they have now become more concerned than ever in ensuring they eschew acts that could trigger another fire.
A visit to the market by the Onua News team Wednesday revealed the shadows of the past were absent as the place, which was reduced to ashes had been rebuilt totally by the traders. This time, electrical wires which hitherto hanged haphazardly, have now been done properly.
On May 5, 2013, the livelihoods of more than 2,000 traders and their families were destroyed when fire gutted the Kantamanto market, which has become the country's biggest market for used clothing from Europe, America and Asia.
The government, through the Micro-finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), presented a cheque for GH¢1,465,035 to 800 of the victims to make life bearable for them and their families.
Stanbic Bank Ghana also wrote off the debt of 14 victims who had benefited from its small and medium enterprise (SME) quick loans product. In addition, the bank issued a cheque for GH¢150,000 as its corporate social responsibility to the 14 victims to restart their businesses.
Star Micro Insurance Company also presented a cheque for GH¢390,000 in two tranches to some of the victims, with Vanguard Assurance paying GH¢45,304 as claims to 32 traders.