Guards of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) are still evicting petty traders from pedestrian walkways and the shoulders of roads in the Central Business District (CBD) of Accra despite the assembly’s decision to give up the fight against them.
When the Daily Graphic visited the Okaishie area, a large section of the CBD, yesterday, it observed that the metro guards were evicting the traders from the walkways, in some cases seizing their goods.
The AMA last Thursday announced its decision to allow petty traders to sell on pavements and streets in the CBD until the reconstruction of 13 markets in the metropolis, due variously to the recalcitrance of the hawkers, the cost involved in the exercise and the assembly’s lack of the required number of guards to prevent the traders from going back after they had been evicted.
As a permanent solution to the problem, the AMA has decided to reconstruct 13 selected markets in Accra from June this year, to accommodate the petty traders in the CBD.
The selected markets include the Makola, Salaga, Mallam, Nima, Mamobi and Mallam Atta.
During yesterday’s visit, a metro guard who gave his name as Nii Armah told the Daily Graphic that they had not received any directive from the assembly to stop warding off the hawkers, for which reason he said, “We are still going about our normal duties to take them off the streets.”
Some traders, however, complained that when the guards seized their items they did not take them to the AMA office as expected, but rather took money from them and released the goods to them.
Ms Celestina Quarcoo, who sells detergents, said earlier in the day, a headload of the products she was hawking was seized by one of the guards and she had to part with GH¢5 before it was released to her. She added that she had not made any sales then but she had to give out the money to get the items back.
Petty traders’ reaction
Meanwhile, the petty traders have described the AMA’s decision to temporarily halt its ejection exercise and to reconstruct some markets as good and a great relief.
They said much as they would be prepared to relocate to the markets, the only hindrance to them would be the cost of the market stalls, which they said was often beyond the means of petty traders.
A petty trader, Patrick Asiedu, said there was the need for the markets to be reconstructed to accommodate them and that they would be prepared to move away from the streets but only if they could afford what would be allocated to them.
He, therefore, appealed to the AMA to make the stalls to be built affordable for the petty traders.
Emmanuel Owusu, a carpet seller, lauded the AMA for the initiative, adding that it was necessary they sold their goods at the right places to save them from the harsh weather conditions on the pavements.