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AMA institutes measures to control fire outbreaks in markets

market1The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Monday said it would work with the Electricity Company of Ghana to disconnect all illegal electrical connections within markets in the metropolis.

Besides, all containers in the alleys and walkways would be cleared to create easy access to the markets.

The action comes in the wake of recent fire outbreaks in the metropolis, for which AMA has been blamed for inaction.

Addressing the media in Accra on decisions reached at an emergency Metro Security meeting held on May 17, Mayor of Accra, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, tasked each market to submit its yearly Plan of Action to the assembly as regards decongestion, cleanliness and safety.

Mr Vanderpuije said from now on markets would be opened from 6am -6pm and that no persons other than scheduled officers of the AMA, Police and Fire Service in uniforms “shall on any occasion be in the market at hours other than the stated times.

There would also not be selling in all markets in the Central Business District areas on Sundays.

In addition, the AMA would not allow any person(s) to sleep or undertake any form of cooking in any of the AMA markets, except chop bars and restaurants which would only be allowed to operate from 6am-6pm.

The Metro Security has also banned selling of animals in any market unless the place has been designated by the AMA for such purposes.

“AMA will replace all damaged gates in the market” the mayor said and added that “periodic awareness and simulating training will be undertaken in the market by the Fire Service Authority”.

The mayor said monthly awards for best market, based on maintenance of safety standards and environmental cleanliness, will be instituted as a source of encouragement for markets to adhere to best practices.

Madam Mercy Nee Djan, President of the Greater Accra Market Association, refuted allegations that the fire outbreaks were caused by some leaders in authority, insisting the fires were stoked by negligence.

“Equally untrue is the impression that market fires are stoked because such markets have been offered for sale” she said and added that because of these rumours market women had always resisted modernisation.

According to her the markets were in bad shape making them unattractive to tourists who used to frequent those places.

Madam Nee Djan condemned the use of unqualified electricians for electrical works in the markets and called on executives to be proactive in ensuring safety in the market.

She said the market executives were in full support of the measures taken by the AMA and appealed to members of the Assembly to desist from unnecessary interference to bring sanity into the markets.

Source: GNA

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