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Sanitation worsens at CMB market; Traders offload at unauthorised places

BY: Lydia Ezit
One of the heaps of garbage at the CMB market where many families buy their foodstuff
One of the heaps of garbage at the CMB market where many families buy their foodstuff

The already bad sanitation situation at the CMB enclave in the Central Business District of Accra where many families buy their food stuff has worsened.

This follows the offloading of tomatoes by some traders at unauthorised places within the area during the day and at night.

According to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Korley Klottey Municipal Assembly, Mr Nii Ofori Quaye, the traders had resorted to that practice to evade taxes and the assembly had not been able to keep up with the pace of cleaning after them.

He added that the assembly was gathering data on market women who did tomato bulk buying.

“There will be data on the various transport networks. We want to put them under one umbrella so that we can hold on to vehicles operating illegally,” he said.

Mr Quaye explained that tomato dealers were to offload and operate at the Accra Hearts Park.

Accra Hearts Park
But traders at the Accra Hearts Park claim the assembly had allowed some of their counterparts to trade on the shoulders and pavement around the Accra Brewery, CMB and the Abuja market.

They threatened to leave the area if the assembly did not compel those traders to relocate to the Accra Hearts Park.

The traders believe that those on the shoulders and pavement are making more sales than they are.

The Accra Hearts Park demarcated for tomato bulk buying is almost empty

Some of the traders have moved their goods from the park to sell at the bus stop at the Arts Centre while others hawked in traffic.

The market women who appeared agitated, told The Mirror that customers had ditched them for their counterparts in town due to the distance and traffic, and that was affecting their business.

The Executive Secretary of the Makola Women at the Accra Hearts park, Madam Emelie Quaye, alleged that some of the members of the task force whose duty it was to ensure traders stayed within their areas demarcated for trading took monies from the traders and allowed them space to operate.

She called on the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the municipality to stop those illegalities.

MCE
Reacting, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly, Mr Samuel Nii Adjei Tawiah, said some of the market women were corrupting the task force, prompting the assembly to begin processes to restructure the whole setup.

Though he admitted seeing sellers operating on pavements around the Accra Brewery, Abuja and CMB market, he explained that they were unable to prevent them because they were not trading on their land.

He said most of them were operating on the land of AMA hence, the assembly would liaise with the AMA to get them off.

“We have jurisdictions and l can’t cross my border”, he explained.

He said: “La to the Independence Square, Customs, National Lottery Authority and Accra Hearts Park are all under us. Opposite Kinbu is for us. Right side of Accra Brewery falls under us. However, Accra Brewery, Graphic Road through to the Railway are for AMA.”

Mr Tawiah said the assembly was in the process of moving the market women from the Accra Hearts Park to a more convenient place.

Background
As part of measures to decongest markets to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the AMA and other assemblies allocated some markets to traders.

The AMA, for instance, allocated the Accra Hearts Park to the Makola and Agbogbloshie market women to engage in bulk buying of tomatoes for wholesale purposes.

However, those at Makola are complaining of unfair treatment since some of the market women were not complying with the directive.