Pulse Picks: Floods and fire disasters that wrecked Ghana in 2020

The year 2020 has been very eventful and, for many people, the last 12 months have not exactly been the best.

Floods and fire disasters that wrecked Ghana in 2020

While the Coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest downside of the year, there were still other disasters that sunk livelihoods.

In Ghana, aside from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, floods and fire outbreaks also really wrecked the country.

As we draw the curtains down on the year 2020, here are some notable floods and fire disasters that wrecked Ghana:

North East floods

In September, some communities within the West Mamprusi Municipality of the North East region were hit by floods.

Persons living in Gaagbini, Dimia, Tinkaya, Banawa and other villages woke up to see their communities submerged in floodwaters following massive torrential rains.

The rains forced the banks of three dams to overflow, and ended up displacing several residents and destroying their farms.

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia later visited the victims of the floods to support them with bags of maize, toiletries, rubber buckets, mattresses, mosquito coils and cash.

Fire at Accra Academy

In January, two residential halls at Accra Academy Senior High School were razed down by an intense fire.

School authorities said the incident, which happened at the Alema and Halm Addo halls, displaced more than 100 students, as the halls served as dormitories to the students.

Fortunately, though, no casualties were recorded, as the students were attending prep in their classrooms at the time of the fire.

Old Fadama fire

In April, another fire outbreak at Old Fadama in Accra led to the destruction of many wooden structures and also left many people homeless.

Reports suggest the ravaging fire started around 2am and razed properties worth hundreds of thousands of Ghana cedis at the slum.

Eyewitnesses also blamed the devastating nature of the fire on Ghana Fire Service (GFS), who apparently arrived very late at the scene after being informed of the situation.

Northern region floods

The Northern region was also hit by heavy floods in September when the Bagre Dam was opened to flow.

The floods submerged many communities, destroyed many homes and properties, while at least seven persons reportedly died.

Some students who were going to write the 2020 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) had to be transported by canoes to the exams centres.

Fire guts Takoradi Market Circle

A fire outbreak at the Takoradi Market Circle in the Western region also destroyed several stores in the area.

The sad incident happened on the Kingston Avenue at the market and it about five hours before personnel from the Ghana Fire Service to put out the fire.

The inferno, however, destroyed several groceries before it was eventually doused.

The Shiashie fire

The month of August saw many fire disasters in Ghana and one of those happened at Shiashie within the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in Accra.

Over 100 structures, including kiosks which served as shelter for some squatters in the area were destroyed by the fire.

The exact cause of the fire was not disclosed, but some reports claimed the closeness of the kiosks to each other made the fire more damaging.

The victims of the fire were, however, later supported with shelter and food items by Lydia Alhassan and John Dumelo, the two main parliamentary aspirants in the constituency.

Accra floods

In June, several areas in Accra were hit by devastating floods following a heavy rainfall in the capital.

Many homes were submerged, while some persons also died after being carried away or drowned by the flood waters.

A team of security officers including the military, and National Disaster Management Operations (NADMO) immediately responded to distress calls from residents in affected areas in order to mitigate the impact of the floods.

The security officers managed to rescue over 20 persons, Lt. Col. Michael Mfum from the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces said.

Fire at EC’s office

Again, in August, Ghanaians were sent into a state of shock when the office of the Electoral Commission (EC) in Accra was gutted by fire.

Luckily, fire fighters arrived at the scene in time to douse the fire, although they had a hard time finally bringing in under control.

Meanwhile, the EC later revealed that the fire did not destroy any important documents or data in the building.

Dome Market fire

In September, the popular Dome Market in Accra was also hit by a fire, which destroyed about 30 shops and stores.

The fire completely destroyed and burned parts of the market which had been partially closed to brisk business.

Fire at Odawna Market

In November, the Odawna Market at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra was also gutted by fire.

The inferno is said to have begun at around 1:00am and destroyed several shops and other properties.

"We saw the smoke from afar, so we thought it was the GCB bank but it was instead coming from the market. It took the Fire Service about two hours to douse the fire,” an eyewitness said.

Fire at Sekondi Landing Beach

Again in November, several fishing canoes were destroyed after a fire outbreak at the Sekondi Landing Beach in the Western region.

Several fishing gears got burnt to ashes, while three persons were also reported to have sustained serious injuries.

However, personnel from the Sekondi Fire Command arrived in time to prevent the fire from wrecking more damage.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox

Welcome to the Pulse Community! We will now be sending you a daily newsletter on news, entertainment and more. Also join us across all of our other channels - we love to be connected!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh