Fire destroys 12 shops at Akweteman

Some residents of Akweteman, a suburb of Accra, Friday dawn had their belongings destroyed in a fire outbreak, which destroyed about 12 shops.

Eyewitnesses said the fire started around 0300 hours on Friday dawn from a single shop and spread to the other 11, burning down every item including; African prints, cooking utensils, sewing machines, fridges, and other valuable items.

Some of the shops housed commercial sewing centres, boutiques and food vending outlets, while others served as accommodation for some of the victims.

According to the victims, some of whom shared their stories with the Ghana News Agency, officials from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NaDMO) visited the scene, took their names and gave them an assurance that they would hear from them.

Ms Rashida Atiah, a 29-year old trader and victim said she lost a kiosk, which was her source of accommodation for her two sisters and two children.

“We are from the North and we hustled through hawking to get this kiosk to sleep in and now we are left with nothing. We even thank God that we got the hint when eyewitnesses were shouting to run away from it quickly because we would have been burnt by now,” she said.

She appealed to government to support them as they were in a state of confusion.

Ms Emelia Nyamekye, a 45-year old Seamstress, said she was called while sleeping at 0100 hours that her shop was on fire and rushed to the scene where she met fire service personnel trying to fight the blaze, but her shop containing two sewing machines and African prints of customers were already burnt.

She said the actual cause of the fire outbreak was unknown. Mrs Joana Gyampoh, a 48-year old chop bar operator, said she could not give an estimate of her things that got burnt.

“An eye witness came to knock at my door that my store was on fire so I run out naked to go to the scene without knowing I was naked until a co-tenant drew my attention to it and I went back inside to get a dress.

“The only thing I picked was my coal pot. I am completely devastated and don’t know what to do especially how to cater for my kids now,” she said.

The cause of the fire, she said was unknown, however, she heard some eyewitness pointing fingers at a man as the cause as the fire was suspected to have started from his shop.

Another victim, Mrs. Belinda Darko, a 38-year old seamstress, who was met crying said her biggest fear was that hundreds of customers had their African prints, materials especially ‘Kente’ fabric with her, saying, she didn’t know how to explain the unfortunate situation to them.

She said the Member of Parliament, as well as NADMO, had told them they would hear from them, hence the need for them to wait patiently.

Mr Fuseini Issah, the Member of Parliament for the Okaikwei North Constituency, who visited the scene to sympathise with the victims, said he would collaborate with NaDMO to support them.

He advised the public to desist from mounting buildings and shops at wrong places that could put their lives in danger, saying, no matter the support government could give them, it would not be enough to restore their lives.

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