The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has started carrying out complete and careful examination of fire hydrants spread across the Ashanti Region.

The Regional Fire Officer, Mr. Robert Semekor Fiadzo, said the goal was to assess the structural integrity and to make sure that they were functional.

In all, there are 456 water hydrants in region and he told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that, the exercise was being done together with the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).

This comes amid the increasing destruction and erection of structures on many of the hydrants, a development, that is making firefighting difficult.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Fiadzo expressed deep concern about the disregard for building regulations and the springing up of slums.

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There is the added problem of non-maintenance of the hydrants, which has left some of the hydrants dysfunctional.

DCFO Fiadzo spoke of the need to build additional fire stations given the growth in population and infrastructure.

A proposal had been already been sent to the Interior Ministry for construction of 10 new stations at Kaase, Suame Magazine, Atimatim, Wawase, Appiadu, Sokoban, Abuakwa, Brofoyedru, Buokrom and Owabi.

It is asking for the establishment of a permanent fire station at the Kumasi Central Market with a fire engine to promptly respond to any fire outbreak.

The market has over the past 24 years recorded a total of 49 fire outbreaks and DCFO Fiadzo said this could not continue.