AMA designates pavement for ‘Xmas trading post’

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) says it is aware of hawkers selling on the streets and pavements of the Central Business District of Accra.

According to the assembly, traders are allowed to sell on designated pavements and not the streets for this Christmas, and would immediately be cleared after the celebrations. 

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of AMA, Mr Gilbert Ankrah, said this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra last Friday, stating that the Assembly’s task force in collaboration with the police were evicting traders who were selling on the streets.

Mr Ankrah said for those selling on the pavements, the Assembly had demarcated areas to the traders to allow them sell as Christmas approaches.

He said the Assembly was also constructing markets to accommodate 250 traders after completion.

Mr Ankrah said at Makola market, the first phase of the construction project had been completed and had currently accommodated 100 traders, adding that after completion, the market would accommodate more traders to address the street selling.

The menace of street hawking in the Accra metropolis is getting out of control.

Traders continue to defy the AMA Bye-law 2017, 2(a) on an obstruction on public pathways, which states that a person shall not park a vehicle or pack goods or items in a public pathway or on pavement.

They continue to evade the streets and pavements in the capital city to sell their wares such as clothing, cosmetic shoes, and foodstuff in the capital of the city to the consuming public.

There had also been a series of reports in the media on the negative practices by the traders over the years who trade their wares on streets and pavements competing with commuters for space on the pavements and streets which heightens traffic congestion.

When this reporter visited the Central District Business at Kingsway, Kinbu, and Makola areas last Friday, traders had flooded the streets, displaying their wares on the ground and selling. With few days to the Christmas season, the situation could be worse.

They have disregarded metal barricades erected on the pavement by city authorities to prevent traders from trespassing and selling.

Traders were spotted playing ‘hide and seek’ with city guards as they approach to stop them from selling their items on the streets. The traders quickly scream “Abaa yie,’’ meaning they are coming, to draw the attention of other traders to carry their items to outsmart the guards.

Some commuters told the Ghanaian Times that the issue had to be tackled holistically to ensure a clean city and promote sanity on the streets of Accra.

Mrs Gladys Ampah, a commuter, said the situation was an eyesore and stressed the need for determination from authorities to rid the traders off the streets, to ensure the protection of the traders and other road users.

She said the practice was very dangerous to the traders, explaining that there had been series of brake failures and vehicles crashing into traders selling on the trade, killing and maiming them.

Another commuter said more affordable market centres should be made available for the traders to trade their wares instead of being on the streets and pavements.

Some of the traders told the Ghanaian Times to appeal to city authorities to allow them trade as the Christmas approach.

According to them, during such period, business was at its peak and that all could not be at the markets to sell their products to consumers.

A commercial driver, Mr John Amponsah, said the activities of street selling heighten the already traffic situation.

“With Christmas at the corner, the situation of street selling would become worse; We need more affordable market centres to be constructed urgently for the traders to occupy to ensure they leave the streets,” he added.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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