Regional News Fri, 29 May 2009

Asantehene consoles affected traders at Kumasi Central Market

Kumasi, May 29, GNA - Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, on Friday visited the scene of the fire outbreak at Kumasi Central Market to acquaint himself with the extent of damage and console the affected traders.

The Asantehene was accompanied by Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, officials of the Ghana National Fire Service and other security personnel in the region.

The visit which took about 45 minute saw the Asantehene expressing worry at the many stores and wares burnt as a result of the fire outbreak whose cause is yet to be identified. Officials of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) had estimated that about 400 stores, merchandise and cash worth several millions of Ghana cedis were burnt.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu decried the illegal structures at the market, especially along the railway lines where the fire started. He expressed concern about the manner some officials of KMA and Ghana Railway Company (GRC) flouted laid down regulations and illegally sold lands for development and other railway purposes to traders and asked them to be serious with their work to forestall such unfortunate occurrence in future.


The Asantehene said there was the need for KMA to initiate a move to give the market a facelift.

He pointed out that if the market was planned well, fire service personnel would not have difficulty to put out the fire which took them a considerable time to have access to the scene to put out the fire. Asantehene was optimistic that KMA would be prompt in setting up a committee to investigate the cause of the fire and suggest ways to forestall such unfortunate incidence in the future.

Mr Sarpong expressed concern about the fire outbreak and said the assembly was working feverishly to compensate the affected traders and investigate the fire outbreak and evolve drastic measures to solve the problem.

Source: GNA