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General News of Sunday, 5 May 2013

Source: GNA

Gov’t consoles Sodom and Gomorrah fire victims

A Government delegation led by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Julius Debrah, on Saturday toured Sodom and Gomorrah, a slum in Accra, gutted by a fire on Friday.

The regional minister, who was accompanied by Nii Lamptey Vanderpuiye, Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo Constituency, empathized with the victims and assured them of government support through the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

Mr Debrah called for a meeting between the leadership of the residents and traders at Sodom and Gomorrah and the Regional Coordinating Council to deliberate on conditions in the slum.

In 2009, the sprawling slum in the central business district of Accra was gutted by fire on four occasions, destroying properties running into hundreds of Ghana Cedis.

The situation has become an annual ritual in spite of consistent attempts by city authorities to de-congest the slum.

Last Friday’s fire swept through wooden structures housing hundreds of settlers at the Sodom and Gomorrah slum near Fadama in Accra.

The cause of the fire has not been determined yet, but eyewitnesses said the fire started from a kiosk and spread to the other wooden structures.

The Police Service and the National Fire Service were at the scene to help fight the fire. There are hundreds of wooden structures in and around the slum built on sawdust and this aided the quick spread of the fire.

Alfred Okoe Vanderpuiye, Chief Executive Officer of Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA), advised the residents not to build on the man-made sawdust covering the land to save lives.

Mr Vanderpuiye urged the victims to register with NADMO for relief items as government deliberates on their accommodation, saying, “Allow the technical people to work and continue with the dredging of the Korle and Odorna lagoon.”

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