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Kantamanto traders to pacify gods for three-years without fire outbreak

KantamantoTraders at the Kantanto Market in Accra are set to pour libation to pacify gods and also offer prayers to God for protecting the market from fire outbreak for the last three years.

Chairman of the Used Clothes Dealers Association of Kantamanto, Evans Ofori, who revealed this to Onua News said it forms part of a series of activities being undertaking by the traders to mark the three years anniversary of the last fire outbreak recorded in the market.

He said a number of campaigns to educate the traders on the need to stop activities that could spark fire would be organised for the traders as a measure to prevent any possible fire outbreak.

Exactly three years ago Thursday, about 800 structures were all reduced to ashes when fire razed the market. Hundreds of traders lost millions of cedis to the fire which left many people in debt while others lost their trading capital.

Three years down the line, the traders appear to have taken a lesson from the incident as they have now become more concerned than ever in ensuring they eschew acts that could trigger another fire.

A visit to the market by the Onua News team Wednesday revealed  the shadows of the past were absent as the place, which was reduced to ashes had been rebuilt totally by the traders. This time, electrical wires which hitherto hanged haphazardly, have now been done properly.

Background

On May 5, 2013, the livelihoods of more than 2,000 traders and their families were destroyed when fire gutted the Kantamanto market, which has become the country’s biggest market for used clothing from Europe, America and Asia.

The government, through the Micro-finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), presented a cheque for GH¢1,465,035 to 800 of the victims to make life bearable for them and their families.

Stanbic Bank Ghana also wrote off the debt of 14 victims who had benefited from its small and medium enterprise (SME) quick loans product. In addition, the bank issued a cheque for GH¢150,000 as its corporate social responsibility to the 14 victims to restart their businesses.

Star Micro Insurance Company also presented a cheque for GH¢390,000 in two tranches to some of the victims, with Vanguard Assurance paying GH¢45,304 as claims to 32 traders.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo/Onua FM/3news.com

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