At about 2:45 pm, the fire service vehicle was seen moving towards the African Union Hostels with its siren blaring. Follow-up on the vehicle by legonconnect.com revealed the University of Ghana Botanical Garden in flames with some local residents in a desperate attempt to bring the fire under control.
One resident (name withheld) granted an interview to legonconnect.com on the outbreak of the fire. He said his sister was going to Madina market to buy some groceries in the mid morning at about 11 am when she noticed smoke in the grass. She ignored it thinking it was one of those smokes that would quench.
Later in the day, it was observed that there was so much smoke there and fire. The fire had entered the main garden and was eating deep into it. This then prompted the residents to call the Legon Branch of the Fire Service who then rushed to help bring the fire under control.
The fire occurred at the area adjacent Pentagon and behind the Engineering School. The Fire officer on duty told legonconnect.com that the cause of the fire cannot be determined instantly. He made mention of the fact that due to the presence of the Harmattan, we have to expect such fires and have to be careful of some of our activities. “Such fires can also happen naturally without human causes” he said “but the possibility of someone throwing away a lit cigarette or burning rubbish could not be overlooked”.
The fire is now under control.
Apart from the Achimota Forest, the Legon Botanical Garden is the only preserved continuous vegetation we have. Let us protect it for posterity to enjoy its benefits. In this Harmattan season, we ought to be cautious at the way we handle fire and flammable materials so that we avoid unwarranted loss of life and property.