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Kantamanto Traders Are Now Cautious   
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Second-hand clothes’ dealers at the Kantomanto market on Friday said they were now cautious following last year’s fire outbreak that consumed stalls and displaced scores of traders.

They told the Ghana News Agency that the fire outbreak taught them lessons and had compelled them to desist from engaging in illegal electrical wiring and connections as well as storing combustible materials close to fires or potential fires.

A 55-year old curtains seller, Awo Akosuah, said she lost 23 bales of used clothing with a unit price of GH₵750.00 and could not afford to lose more through negligence.

Though the traders have reconstructed the stalls many of those stalls are left unoccupied, a phenomenon, Ms. Awo attributed to lack of funds to cushion owners’ come-back, abysmally low patronage by customers and soaring cost of bales.

She said the current unit price per bale of clothes ranges from GH₵400.00 to GH₵1,800.00 and in some cases more, saying: “this is too expensive and many people cannot pay for them”.

Forty-seven –year-old Vida Darko said though the amount given to the traders by the government was not enough, it went a long way to relieve them of some parental burdens including payment of fees.

She said with the reconstruction and regular public education, many of the traders had become disciplined, particularly with the way they arrange their wares as well as the layout of structures.

Other traders who expressed similar sentiment also appealed to the government to take steps to curb soaring prices of foreign currencies and review downwards tax on the used garments.

The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), after the last fire outbreak at Kantamato Market last year, warned of more fire outbreaks at the Kantamanto market due to congestion and illegal electrical connections and that lack of access paths to the market thwarted efforts by fire fighters anytime there was an outbreak.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Kwame Kwarteng said failure by assemblies to comply with fire safety standards was responsible for some of the fires.

He said wooden materials used by traders to erect structures and widespread illegal electrical connection coupled with indiscriminate mix of explosive and non-explosive materials posed serious threat to lives and property in the market.

Dr Albert Brown-Gaisie, GNFS Director of Operations, said most of the fire outbreaks were due to delay in reporting and non-compliance with fire safety standards by the assemblies.

He also mentioned bad attitudes, ignorance, apathy and carelessness as some of the things that spark off fire at various places.
Source: GNA

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