Persistent delay in collection and disposal of rubbish generated at the Kaneshie market and its environs has become a source of worry to traders, shoppers, pedestrians, travelers and residents.
They complained that it was an eyesore and nuisance considering the stench and flies from the different heaps of refuse around the market, hence their call on the Ablekuma Central Municipal Assembly to evacuate the rubbish to prevent outbreak of diseases, such as cholera in the area.
The name “Kaneshie” in the Ga Language means “under the lamp,” referring to its beginning as night market, before it was reconstructed in the 1970s as a market complex and a transport hub in the metropolis.
The delay in the garbage collection at the market appears to erase the once touted cleanest market in the metropolis, where one could easily get every traditional ingredients for most delicacies consumed in the West Africa sub-region.
A tomatoes seller, Adiza Haruna, lamented that the stench from the uncollected rubbish was driving away customers, thereby affecting daily earnings.
Madam Haruna, who sells around one of the two footbridges at the market, accused two sanitation workers from the Ablekuma Central Municipality Assembly of dumping rubbish around the footbridge near the Metro Mass Transit bus station.
She alleged that most of the times, these people carried the act between 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. while everybody was asleep.
Another trader, Ama Boateng, said the traders sometimes confronted these perpetrators for the indiscriminate disposal of the rubbish, but they would not budge.
One of such confrontations, she said, had landed her in the Kaneshie Police Station cells for few days two years ago, “after I fought with a woman who dumped rubbish under the footbridge.”
“We complained to the former Assemblymember about the problem but he did not do anything about it, yet, we pay market tolls each and every day.”
Madam Boateng also said some residents had to resort to using the Kaneshie market and the footbridges as refuse dump due to insufficient dustbins in their community.
Some of the shoppers said they found foodstuffs being sold close to the heaps of refuse, making it unhygienic for consumption, therefore, called on the Assembly to constantly clear the area of the nuisance as soon as practicable.
The Head of Waste Management at the ABCMA, Ms Shelli Sumbanyery, admitted that the market falls within the jurisdiction of the Assembly, citing their inability to tackle the problem due to lack of logistics.
“We start work at 4:00 a.m. and latest by 10:00 a.m., we are done but the only challenge we have now is that our two trucks have broken down.
“In the meantime, we are arranging for additional refuse collection trucks from Zoomlion but we are yet to take delivery,” she said.
According to her, the assembly’s sanitation workers collect refuse from the points of generation and dumped it beside the traffic lights, the footbridge and by the roadside “because the Municipal Assembly does not have enough land to dump the refuse”.
Ms Sumbanyery also said some of the traders and residents compounded the problem by not keeping their surroundings within the market clean.
“Very soon, we will introduce “Operation Clean Your frontage” whereby every trader must clean where they sell, so that those who would fail to comply with the rules will be sent to court,” she said.
She added that the assembly would conduct investigations into the case of sanitation workers allegedly taking money to allow certain people to dump refuse at the Kaneshie Market.
BY GLORIA NSIAH MINTAH