There have been two fires in as many years, one in December 2020 and another in November 2022. While the cause of these fires remains disputed, it’s clear that the Kantamanto community has not been equipped with the tools to respond quickly when crisis arises & often face serious injury as they attempt to control the flames. In November one of the leaders of that section busted his kneecap when he rushed to shovel clothing out of the fire’s path, a baby was rushed to the hospital after suffering an asthma attack while his mother attempted to salvage her goods and another woman ran out without shoes on and stepped on a nail. While we hope not to see another fire, preparing for one is essential.
Last month, we procured our first batch of fire extinguishers to be installed within the entire Kantamanto Market as part of our efforts to provide the market with the resources to prevent fire outbreaks and also tackle fires when they occur.
So far, we have worked with market leaders to successfully install 60 fire extinguishers in two different sections of the market and look forward to installing more this month.
Also, to ensure the community develops safety measures amongst themselves and knows how to use the fire extinguishers, we partnered with the Ghana National Fire Service to provide fire training for three different groups in the market. Around 200 people participated.
Given that these fires tend to occur at night we are working to ensure that the night guards & anyone living in or near the market receive training.
This is part of our larger up-fit effort to create a more dignified and safe working environment.
On November 29, 2022, a section of the Kantamanto Market was gutted by fire. This section which predominantly houses tailors, retailers, upcycles and storage spaces was burnt to the ground in a matter of hours.
The losses incurred at this time were immense because many retailers and tailors had just stocked up on materials in preparation for a busy Christmas season. As part of our community engagement efforts at The Or Foundation, we reached out to victims of the fire to offer support and assistance since they had no means of getting back on their feet.
We collected 940 names and ultimately dispersed USD 263,794 between December 2022 and February 2023. The individual beneficiaries received between USD300 and USD 450 each. This support from The Or assisted the beneficiaries to acquire new sewing machines, pay for space and get their businesses back up and running.
We are happy that, in the troubling moments of the communities that are dear to our hearts, your contributions came in handy and made a great difference in their lives. Thank you!