By Dennis Osei Gyamfi /Mariam Haruna, GNA
Accra, March 13, GNA – The Fire Service Ladies Association (FISLA) in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has organised a fire safety education for the traders at the Odawna Market.
The programme, organised on the theme; “Reducing Market Fires; the Role of Women,” engaged the Pedestrian Traders Association - predominantly market women, to help in the crusade against market fires.
The traders were educated on the various causes of fire in markets and taught how they could be prevented.
Divisional Officer Grade Two (DO II) Edith Agbeve Dunyo, the President of FISLA, said the group was an all-female group in the GNFS who were committed to fighting fire against women.
She said women had suffered the most in recent fire outbreaks in various markets across the country, which was of great concern to FISLA.
DO II Agbeve said the Odawna Market was the most recent to suffer a devastating fire outbreak where about 80 shops were completely burnt.
She said the sensitization was FISLA’s contribution to the ‘safety education drive’ to reach out to women deemed most vulnerable in times of fire outbreaks.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Obeng Dankwa, the Director of Safety of GNFS, said many fire outbreaks in market places had culminated in the loss of wares worth thousands of Ghana cedis.
He called on the women to have designated places for cooking in the markets and respect the demarcations by the market authorities to control the use of fires.
“You are to ensure that all naked fires are put off after use. You should also switch of electrical gargets before leaving the market. Remember also to hire qualified electricians to work on your electrical installations,” he said.
DCFO Obeng urged the women to put the knowledge acquired into practice both at the market and home so as to help reduce fire outbreaks to the barest minimum.
DO II Ellis Robinson Okoe, the Head of Public Relations at GNFS, on his part, said the stores in the market were too close to each other, which would hasten the spread of fires.
He expressed worry about the inadequate fire hydrants in the markets and the ignorance of the market women on basic fire safety measures.
He noted, therefore, that the education had been helpful for both the GNFS and the market women, adding that more of such education would be held in other markets across the country.
DO II Okoe further pleaded with the public to allow the GNFS to do its work by calling their numbers and allowing them space, especially on the roads, in the event of fire outbreaks.
Akosua Agyapong, a fire ambassador and a musician, performed to entertain the market women and also used the opportunity to advise them on the need to be fire safety conscious.