Fire Guts Youth Training Centre

THE LA Vocational and Technical Training Centre (LVTTC) has been burnt down by the ravaging fire that ensued after a gas explosion at the Louis Gas Filing Station, La, near the Ghana International Trade Fair in Accra.

The LVTTC is a youth training centre owned by a community-based non-profit organization in La, Accra – the La Mansaamo Kpee, LMK (La Town Development Association).

The gas filling station near the Trade Fair Center in Accra exploded on Thursday, 22nd December 2016 injuring many with claiming 12 people lives. The ensuing fire ravaged other adjoining structures including the Vocational and Technical Training Centre which is separated from the gas station by a drain.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) attributed the gas explosion to ‘irresponsible human error’. Chief Executive Officer of the NPA, Mr. Moses Asaga, explained that two bolts which should have tightened the lid on a gas tanker that has arrived earlier in the day to discharge gas at the station were missing. He told the media that the pressure of the fully loaded gas tanker was forced out ‘like a missile’ causing the explosion.

Other facilities which were affected by the fire were a Community Block Factory and a Carpentry shop both owned by the La Mansaamo Kpee as well as other buildings within the perimeter of the Ghana Trade Fair Centre.

Established in 1991 with the objective of empowering the youth, especially, teenage mothers and school drop-outs and Junior High School levers, the Centre provides training in in vocational skills including Dressmaking, Catering, Batik, Tie and Dye, Carpentry and Joinery and Masonry. The Centre is also utilized by other organizations for training purposes including the Department of Social Welfare of the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA) for training in soap making and batik, tie and dye.

Incidentally, two staff of the Association, the Supervisor, Madam Gladys Addo and a casual labourer of the Block Factory lost their lives. A relation of the Supervisor who has paid her a visit at the premises with her two grandchildren also lost met their untimely death after being burned by the ravaging fire.

Five apprentices at the Carpentry shop also suffered various degrees of burns and are receiving treatment at the 37 Military Hospital.

Various training equipment and material running into hundreds of thousands of Ghana cedis were lost to the fire at the Centre. These include sewing, embroidery and knitting machines mainly of the Dressmaking department and other equipment belonging to the catering department.

According to the Programme Manager of the La Mansaamo Kpee, Mr. Daniel Hammond, other modules of the training programme at the centre has been put on hold due to lack of support from donor agencies.

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