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Committee to investigate market fires   
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A five –member Committee was on Thursday inaugurated to investigate the recent fire outbreaks in major markets in Accra.

The Committee will ascertain the sources and causes of the fire outbreaks in Konkomba Market, Dome Market, Sodom and Gomorrah, Kantamanto and Makola Number two, near Agbobloshie Market.

A statement issued by Madam Mamle Ramani, Public Relations Officer at the Interior Ministry, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the Committee would also investigate remedial measures put in place to prevent or contain fire outbreaks in all locations prior to the fires and their effectiveness or otherwise.

The body would also ascertain the monetary value of the destruction caused by the fires to property and trading commodities.

The statement said the Committee is expected to analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency services especially the Ghana National Fire Service in responding to the distress call in relation to fires; and to examine factors that may have impeded the operations of the Service.

Other responsibilities include providing specific suggestions on how government could facilitate access to soft loans by affected traders from financial institutions and government agencies as well as modalities for timely repayments of such loans, it said.

The statement said the Committee would recommend efficient remedial measures to prevent future occurrences of fires and propose the framework or incentives for developing appropriate insurance schemes tailored to address losses incurred by market traders in such disasters.

Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of the Interior, gave the Committee, chaired by William Kwasi Aboah, former Minister of the Interior, a 21-day ultimatum to submit a report.

The statement said Mr Ahwoi expressed worry that six fire outbreaks had gutted the country’s major market within a period of two months.

It said Mr Robert Mba Barhwola-Tindana, a member of the Committee gave the assurance that the body would undertake the assignment it had been entrusted with.

Other Committee members include: Mr Hanson Adu, Director of Operations at the Ghana Airports Company and a former Head of Fire and Rescue Services, Ms Josephine Amoah, Former Commissioner, National Insurance Commission, Mr Robert Mba Barhwola-Tindana, Retired Captain in the Ghana Armed Forces and a Lawyer, and Mr Joseph Obeng- Poku, a Director at the Ministry of the Interior.
Source: GNA

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