Reconstruction work on a new pedestrian mall, popularly known as the Odawna Market, will start tomorrow, Thursday, a week after the edifice near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra was ravaged by fire.
Earthmoving equipment and heavy duty trucks are expected on site to start clearing the debris for the new market edifice, which is expected to accommodate about 4,500 traders and with facilities including stores, alleys for vehicular access and modern water closet toilets.
The Municipal Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for Korle-Klottey, Reverend Daniel Odei-Appiah, made this known to the Ghanaian Times in Accra on Monday, adding that various stakeholders would be included in the construction of the “modern market”.
According to him, a total of 1,300 victims of the fire disaster have so far been registered by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to benefit from financial support from the government to restart their economy activities.
The Municipal Director said most of the victims had become so traumatised that some were reluctant to come over and participate in the registration exercise.
“The numbers expected to turn out for the registration is not going as estimated, which is giving us a little challenge, but we are going to do with what we have at the moment,” Rev. Odei-Appiah stated.
NADMO, he disclosed, was putting together a report on the fire incident to come up with recommendations which would make affected persons recover from the trauma and also enable those finding it difficult to come to terms with the disaster to be part of the exercise.
Noting that some people would not have the zeal or passion to work anymore, he said, “It can lead to someone ending his or her life. Someone could go mad, and it can also shut people’s life entirely”.
Meanwhile, affected persons of last Wednesday’s fire outbreak are still counting their losses amid anticipation of receiving relief items and support to be able to restart their businesses and cater for themselves and their families.
A victim of the fire outbreak, Sarah Adjei, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on Monday, appealed to authorities to expedite the disbursement of relief packages to the traders.
“The President has been here and promised us his assistance and had our names taken, but we can’t tell how long it will take for us to receive the relief package. Life has been tough since the incident as we cannot depend solely on the government,” she said.
Some of the victims expressed appreciation to the government for taking steps to reconstruct the market, adding that it would help boost business in the area.
According to them, they are currently out of business and require such financial assistance and the new market to enable them to bounce back to make ends meet.
Fire gutted the pedestrian mall at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra last Wednesday, burning more than 300 shops and containers at the market which housed about 4,000 traders.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI, FRANCIS NTOW & BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY