Scores of petty traders and hawkers operating at some unauthorised points in and around the major trading centres of the Kumasi Metropolis have been moved to other satellite markets in the city, ahead of the yuletide and the Asantehemaa’s funeral.
The development has significantly eased commuting and vehicular movement in and around the city’s trading centres like Kejetia, Central Market and other parts of the commercial district of Adum.
Although this is not the first time such adecongestion exercise is being carried out, some commuters were hopeful that the exercise will not be a charade since the traders are likely to return some few days after the exercise.
But according to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), the relocation exercise is being carried out in collaboration with the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (ARCC) for a number of reasons – including paving the way for some other works by the contractors working on redevelopment of the Kejetia Market.
The KMA also noted that it forms part of the plans to ensure that the city centre and other major trading centres are freed for easy movement of vehicles and shoppers – particularly as Christmas approaches.
And with the announcement of funeral rites for the late Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Serwaa Kobi Ampem II, by the Manhyia Palace, the development will also help to remove the unending traffic and congestion in some of these areas of the city ahead of the final funeral rites.
This is happening some days after the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, directed some petty traders and hawkers trading at Suame and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital roundabouts to relocate to some designated satellite markets by November 6, 2017, or be forcibly evicted.
The minister noted that the trading activities around these two major road intersections pose a serious security concern, and are also a danger to human lives – especially the traders, hawkers and other road users.
The Suame roundabout, in particular, has recorded a number of fatal accidents over the years due to vehicular and human activities around the area.
Mr. Osei Mensah observed that vehicles with failed brakes or faulty parts could run into the traders and hawkers during their trade.
Also, trading activities at these places often leave behind a huge pile of refuse; making it an eyesore to users of these roads.
The affected traders have been relocated to Adumenu, Abinkyi and other satellite markets in the Metropolis.
By Kizito Cudjoe, Kumasi l thebftonline.com l Ghana