More than 500 slum dwellers at Dagombaline in the Ashanti Region have been rendered homeless after fire destroyed wooden structures that served as homes for head porters and scrap dealers.
It is barely a month after fire gutted other parts of the slum, displacing about 13,000 persons, according to the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
The latest incident happened at a portion of the slum which was set ablaze when some youth groups in the area clashed in 2019.
These victims say they are facing a double agony in the wake of the partial lockdown announced by the President.
“We are stranded because most of us are in the same kiosk. We already wanted to go to our hometown and this too has happened so it has affected a lot of things. Our money and other items are all burnt. We have lost a lot of things”.
“I can’t say all that has been lost. If I say I want to talk about the money, I will be a liar. We are about 100 people in this shop”, one noted.
Another said: “I have lost all our money. My wife’s money from her business has also been gutted after she left for the market. She came back and she didn’t find anything.”
Although the exact cause of the fire is not yet known, fire officers say they suspect an electrical fault.
But Francis Darko-Kono, Ashanti Regional Operations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service attributed to a possible electrical fault.
“At about 2:50 pm this afternoon, we dispatched an appliance and when we got there, we realized that this portion of the Dagombaline was on fire. We can’t give the exact number of structures but we can see that a considerable number of the structures were being burnt. I will say it was a minor one as compared to what happened last month. Previously, it was related to an electrical fault and this has also happened so we will not rule out electrical fault because if you look at what is burnt and the wiring connection, we may say it is an electrical cause.”
This is not the first time fire has gutted structures at the slum and victims are usually left helpless.
In February 2020, 13,000 persons were displaced while about 1000 structures were destroyed as a result of a similar incident at Dagombaline.
The structures that were gutted by the fire are part of about 200 clustered ones inhabited mostly by head porters and scrap dealers in some metal containers.