By Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Kantamanto Used Cloth Sellers Association (KUCSA), the most affected traders at Kantamanto market in Accra, where the fire destroyed goods worth thousands of Ghana cedis have no insurance to claim.
According to the association, they have not insured the Kantamanto Market, not even the traders and their goods.
The KUCSA Market Coordinator, Michael Opong, popularly known in the market as Honourable, said they managed to approach several insurance companies in the country to insure their activities; however the companies failed to answer their request.
‘But the insurance companies which came here tried to do susu with the traders rather than insuring them,’ he emphasized.
He further explained that, doing susu with an insurance company does not means the company is insuring your goods for you.
To our surprise, some traders who were doing susu with a company like Vanguard Insurance and their goods got burnt, tried to ask for insurance package from the company.
Opong indicated that the explanation given to them by the insurance companies was that, there was a high risk in insuring a market with wooden structures like Kantamanto. ‘Our members numbered 1,648,’ he added.
He said that the association leases the land from Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), the land owners for 50 years. ‘We have just spent 4 years out of the 50 years and we have documentations backing our lease. Apart from this we also pay GHc3,500 to the Railways Authority annually,’ said Opong.
An insurance expert, Emmanuel Acquah in an interview said no insurance company in Ghana will insure a market like Kantamanto, especially when the risks are high.
He explained that the risk involve in insuring a market like Kantamanto is very high, far more than insuring a place like Kanehie market.
He stated that, what the Kantamanto Used Cloth Sellers Association could have done was to register a cooperative group, where they will improve the risk associated to their activities at the market, with support from the insurance companies and register for Fire Policy.
He said with the involvement of insurance companies in improving risk at the market, will be of benefits to all parties involved.
‘With this the cooperative will know what they are supposed to do and what they are not to do. Also, the insurer will know what the insurance package covers and which are not,’ said Acquah.
Meanwhile, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Mayor, Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije has promised to build a modern market at Kantamanto for the traders, but the traders have refused, fearing that if the Assembly builds the market, some traders will be left out.
The Kantmanto market has about 43 entrance gates and it situated on a large number plot of lands.