Ghana: Assemblies Should Be Creative and Proactive

19 February 2021

Today, we have published a story about traders taking over some streets and pavements in the Accra Metropolis, in clear violation of the bye-law of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on public pathway.

The story says the activities of the traders have not only denied pedestrians a smooth passage through the pavements, but have also become a blot on the beauty of the national capital.

The traders are also said to disregard the various measures meant to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is happening in Accra, our national capital, is not different from the situation in other urban centres and big towns across the country. The Ghanaian Times believes that we belabour the point when we raise the issue of selling on the streets and pavements and the dangers and inconvenience associated with it.

Even though we are not in to criticise any public official or institution, we cannot help but to say there is negligence or dereliction of duty in the system or probably, there is a good reason for the authorities of the various assemblies to look on while traders carry on their activities with impunity towards any available bye-law that prohibits such activities.

It is sad that any time reporters contact the authorities on this issue, they give assurances of addressing it, yet the problem persists and still worsening.

The Ghanaian Times thinks the various assemblies facing such problem should put their act together and see the way forward to eliminating this canker once and for all.

The assemblies must first and foremost think of providing enough space for traders and for commercial vehicles, which, of a necessity, must come to the markets to offload cargoes and drop passengers.

One way to do this is to look at market structures. It is about time we redevelop some of these markets. For instance, we can raise strong pillars to carry the shops and what not and create space for parking lots.

This should have been the case for new structures, such markets as that at Dome in Accra.

Currently, the Mfantseman Assembly in the Central Region, for instance, wants to put up shops at Mankessim, at a place used by taxi drivers as their rank. The place has been sealed and the drivers have hard time loading. It is a hell to use the road from the roundabout towards the police station on Saturdays.

Meanwhile, the assembly could have raised pillars to carry the shops and left the ground space for the drivers to ply their trade there.

The Ghanaian Times believes it is about time the assemblies became creative and proactive in their activities while applying the law to check impunity.

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