Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, has promised to assist victims of the Akwatialine wood market fire in the Asokore Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti region, secure interest-free loans to enable them rebuild their businesses.
Properties worth thousands of cedis were destroyed in the fire that occurred on Thursday, 3 February 2020, at the Akwatialine wood market.
The victims of the fire have since called on the government to assist them reopen their businesses.
The MP for the area who visited the scene of the incident on Monday, 14 February 2022, sympathised with the victims and promised them some roofing sheets.
“I know that this is a big loss, for example one of the shops had more than 11 machines and all of them are burnt and many of them have lost their capital, I mean they’ve lost their shops, their little wares, I mean this is a very serious concern so I came to empathise with them and to assure them that, we’ll do whatever we can in our own small way. I promised them some packets of roofing sheets that they can share at least among themselves.”
According to the MP the incident has occurred consistently ever since he became the legislator for the Constituency, thus, educating the victims on the causes and prevention of fire will help forestall future occurrences.
“I also promised them that I’m going to talk to the District fire officer to come and educate them about fire and its consequences and how to prevent the fire from spreading and all that. I’m sure if we do that and we emphasise more on that may help us,” the MP stated.
A wood market, including a sawmill at Akwatialine was razed by the fire.
Speaking to Class91.3FM’s Ashanti regional correspondent Elisha Adarkwah, some victims whose properties were destroyed in the fire appealed to the government to come to their aid as the sawmill was their only source of livelihood.
One of the victims, Mohammed Mashuud, disclosed that he lost all his seven sawmill machines in the fire.
Mr Mashuud explained: “This shop is for my senior brother who passed away 2 weeks ago, so, they asked me to come and take care of the shop so that I can take care of the house. The children and the wife, some are in school, some are even going to the university. So, I don’t even know what to do now because this morning, before I realised, they just called me that I should come, my shop is on fire”.
“When I came, everything [was] burnt. I have almost about 7 machines here, none of it survived and one of the machines will cost almost GHS250 million old Ghana cedis. I don’t know where to start from now.”
The Manhyia Fire Service that attended to the inferno indicated that upon reaching the scene, the team discovered that they needed more engines to douse the blaze.
The Manhyia Fire Service Commander, DOI Amos Abban stated: “We got here and upon our initial assessment, we got to know that one fire engine will not help us to extinguish the fire. So, we quickly informed our control room and they dispatched additional 3 engines that have helped us to bring the fire under control.”
He also refuted claims that the firefighters delayed in reaching the scene.
“So, it took less than 15 minutes to get here,” Mr Abban said.
The cause of the fire is not immediately known as investigations are still ongoing.