The Ashanti Regional Command of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), has warned of dire consequences if authorities do not expedite action to demolish the sprawling slum dotted along the Asafo Railway Line in the Central Business District of Kumasi.
“We are sitting on a time bomb, because, the varied human activities being undertaken in the area could trigger fire outbreaks at any point in time,” Divisional Officer (DO) III, Desmond Ackah, the Regional Public Relations Officer, GNFS, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
He expressed concern at the way the area had become notorious for criminal activities, while serving as a den for drug peddlers, whose course of activities had made the area susceptible to fire.
Illegal electricity connections, naked flames and other unsupervised activities relating to fire had also compounded the problem, the fire fighter added.
The advice comes in the wake of Sunday’s (May 02) fire outbreak which swept through about 30 wooden structures at the slum, leaving one person dead.
The body of the deceased, identified as Nana Yaw and said to be in his early 20’s, had since been deposited at the morgue for autopsy.
The raging fire has left in its wake the wanton destruction of property worth thousands of Ghana Cedis.
When the GNA visited the scene of the incident on Monday, some of the affected residents were still searching through what had been left of the damage caused by the inferno.
A huge cloud of smoke had engulfed the area, barely twenty-four hours after the outbreak, as some of the desperate residents tried to put out the pockets of fire raging slowly to the untouched areas.
“It took firefighters several hours to overcome the fire,” DO III Ackah stated, stressing that they were forced to call for additional tenders and security reinforcement due to the intensity of the fire as well as the recalcitrant nature of the residents.
“We had to bulldoze our way through many illegally-sited structures in order to reach the affected zones,” he said.