The National Insurance Commission has presented an additional cheque for GH¢300,000 to the Ghana National Fire Service to complete an ongoing three-story forensic laboratory in Accra; this amounts to a total GH¢800,000 for construction of the laboratory building which will cost an estimated GH¢3.7million.
The laboratory unit when completed will assist the service to use scientific methods to determine the origin and clear cost of fire incidence for public safety. Already, the GNFS has been challenged with incessant fire outbreaks occurring in parts of the country.
The ongoing effort to build a forensic laboratory at the GNFS headquarters funded by the NIC is the first of its kind since the service was first established in 1963. However, when completed the GNFS will use scientific methods to determine the clear causes of fire.
Julius Kuunuor, Deputy Chief Fire Officer who received the cheque on behalf of the service, said: “With the establishment of a forensic laboratory, effective scientific methods will be used to identify the cause of incidents, including fire.
“We are confident that with the enhanced scientific method of investigation, sub-standard products will be recalled from the market and many more fires can be prevented.”
Michael Kofi Andoh, Deputy Commissioner of Insurance-NIC, speaking at the occasion said establishment of the forensic laboratory will assist the Commission to price fire risk properly.
“For us as insurers, it will help us price the fire risk properly – and also help us in our claims administration. Some people who have made fire claims before will tell you that sometimes the claims take long in coming, and that it is because they need to identify what caused the fire. I believe a laboratory like this will make it easier and faster for us to do this.”
The collaboration between the NIC and GNFS is going to continue, hopefully until the laboratory is completed. Present at the cheque presentation ceremony were: Joseph Dor, Managing Director of Prime Insurance who represented the trade association; and Esther Armah, Head Reinsurance- NIC.