Committee set up to investigate Makola fire, assess integrity of affected building
A seven-member committee has been set up to investigate the fire outbreak that engulfed a three-storey building at Makola in Accra on July 5, 2021.
The committee has been given a week to carry out its work.
Speaking to the media after a meeting with key stakeholders, the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, said the committee is also expected to assess the extent of damage from the fire.
The committee will also “assess the integrity of the structure and whether it is fit to be there or has to be pulled down,” Mr. Sowah added.
The committee will consist of representatives from the Ghana Police, the Electricity Company of Ghana, the National Disaster Management Organisation, the Ghana Fire Service, the Ghana Water Company, the Ghana Armed Forces, and the AMA.
In the meantime, Mr. Sowah said, “the building is going to be cordoned off, and we will not allow any human activity around the building.”
The management of the fire has been marred by criticism of the Fire Service’s response to the incident.
Some affected traders accused the Fire Service of negligence, saying its response to distress calls was not timely enough.
The Fire Service also complained that the Ghana Water Company did not honour an arrangement to supply water in cases of emergencies.
Fire tenders had to leave Makola and go as far as Achimota, Circle, or Kaneshie in search of water.
Firefighters eventually spent over five hours bringing the fire under control.
The affected building was filled with wigs and other cosmetic products.
Appeal from GUTA
Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, Dr. Joseph Obeng, has said the data of the affected traders have been submitted for support.
“We are collating the figures as well, and the Trade Minister has given us the assurance that they will provide some comfort for the victims,” Dr, Obeng said.
In addition, the Union is also exploring insurance options for traders.
“We are as well also in talks with the National Insurance Commission so that we can adopt a very feasible way, so that we can access insurance for our members,” he said.