The Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, has asked the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to relocate a bus station at Asafo in Kumasi operated by the VVIP Transport Company because it is sited dangerously.
According to him, part of the station, which is under one of the bridges of the Asafo interchange, posed danger to lives and property.
Mr Agyemang-Prempeh gave the directive when he visited the Asafo market last Monday with the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Kumasi, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, and the Deputy Minister of Works and Housing and MP for Subin, Mr Eugene Antwi, to inspect destruction caused by two fire outbreaks at the market.
The bus station is also located close to the Asafo market.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, Nana Agyemang-Prempeh said, “I have asked the KMA to act immediately to prevent any unwanted development. We should not wait for something serious to happen before we act.”
The NADMO boss also asked the KMA to reconstruct the Asafo Market because it was in a very bad state.
About 50 per cent of the market was destroyed in the blaze.
“I have asked the KMA to put up a completely new market to replace the existing ramshackle structures at Asafo,” he told the Daily Graphic.
The NADMO Director-General admitted that the assembly would have to spend huge sums of money to reconstruct the market.
However, he said, opportunities existed through the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system for the project to be undertaken.
“Today we have BOT so if the government or the assembly cannot bear the cost, we turn to that. In order to save lives and property we cannot continue to be experiencing this type of situations as happened at the Asafo Market and the Kumasi Central Market,” he said.
Narrating what he observed at the Asafo Market during his visit, Mr Agyemang-Prempeh said: “I saw a lot of problems. If we are not careful we can experience the twin disaster we had in Accra within the Asafo enclave.”
The twin disaster, he said, occurred because drains in the area were small and poorly constructed leading to flooding whenever it rains.
Nana Agyemang-Prempeh said he had appealed to the Ministry of Works and Housing, to expand the drains at the Asafo Market as part of the drainage reconstruction works it was undertaking in the country.
He said also that illegal structures people had erected on the three hydrants in the Asafo Market was an eyesore and also made it impossible for firefighters to gain access to water to quench the fire.