CMS fire was disaster waiting to happen – Kwesi Pratt

General News of Saturday, 17 January 2015


Kwesi Pratt Jnr Masa

Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper has said the inferno that totally wiped out Ghana’s most important drug supply center, was a disaster waiting to happen.

Kwesi Pratt Jnr. said the blatant refusal by authorities to adhere to simple fire safety procedures at the facility resulting in the loss of over GH¢ 230 million, could have been prevented.

Speaking Friday on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’, Mr Pratt said even though the situation does not augur well for the country, “it was obvious this was going to happen, it was so obvious.”

The fire has been attributed to a burning bush close to the facility. Arson has also been chalked down as a possibility. But Mr. Pratt questioned why authorities at the facility allowed someone to burn close to the country’s key medical supplies.

He also questioned why a facility like the Central Medical Stores was not well equipped with the latest technology such as smoke detectors and automatic sprinklers which could have mitigated the severity of the damage.

According to Mr Pratt, an immediate fire audit should be conducted on all government properties across the country.

On the importance of government to insure its properties, the veteran journalist said it would be a good idea but before that is done; a thorough empirical study must be conducted to weigh the gains with the losses before they are considered.

He said the committee appointed to investigate the fire should be ready to do an extensive investigation. He however said it will be unnecessary for an investigation to be conducted if the recommendations will not be implemented.

Fire gutted the country’s biggest drugs storage and distribution outlet at Tema, Tuesday morning. The facility, which belongs to the Ghana Health Service, was razed in an inferno that lasted for more than two days.

An interim report indicated that the fire consumed more than GH¢237 million worth of medical supplies. The report also pointed out that the facility had no fire certificate.

It has recommended the prosecution of certain individuals whose negligence allegedly led to the costly disaster.