By Mariam Naa Dedei Aryeetey
The government of Ghana has begun the disbursement of the GH¢3.2 million emergency financial support fund allocated to the victims of the September 15, 2021 fire outbreak at Oda Central Market in the Eastern Region to mitigate the effects of the incident on their businesses.
The disbursement is being done through the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) to the 511 victims whose shops were affected by the inferno. On September 15, 2021, the Oda Central Market was gutted by fire, causing substantial damage to traders’ properties. The President of Ghana visited the scene on October 7, 2021 and informed that government would be making provisional support available to the victims.
The CEO of the agency, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh together with the Member of Parliament for Oda Constituency, Mr Alexander Acquah met with the affected traders to start the disbursement exercise in Oda. She also applauded government’s decision to mitigate the effects suffered by micro enterprises as a result of the fire outbreak.
She added that, on November 1, 2021, GEA initiated the registration processes by liaising with the Oda Assembly NADMO Department and the leadership of the market women. An initial meeting was held with the identified stakeholders to map out a strategy for the registration of affected persons.
The registration process was specifically aimed at avoiding double registration and to blacklist fire victims already supported by MASLOC; an apex body responsible for implementing the Government’s microfinance programs targeted at reducing poverty.
Data on the fire victims was collected from all the stakeholders. The GEA Team came up with a harmonized number of 511 fire victims of which 67 per cent of them were female and 33 per cent male. The CEO reiterated the commitment of GEA to the development of the country through the strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with various support projects and programs.