Traders and businesses operating in the Kumasi Central Market have been urged to complete their relocation processes to the newly constructed Kejetia Market to make way for the demolition of the old one.
The demolition exercise, which will set the stage for the second phase of the Kejetia-Central Market Redevelopment Project, is set for January ending after several extension of the deadline for the exercise.
The KMA initially set November last year as the deadline for the evacuation of all traders but was prevailed upon to extend the deadline for traders not to miss business during the Christmas season, according to officials of the assembly. The KMA has, thus, given traders up to the end of January this year to move out of the market to pave the way for the construction of the new market to start.
The Public Relations Officer of KMA, Henrietta Afia Konadu, in an interview after a visit to the market, said the assembly has on several occasions sensitized the traders on the need to move for the project to start.
She said traders, who have received their allocation letters, are to obtain their keys and relocate immediately to the new market while those who are yet to receive their allocation were also to go through the processes to get them.
The construction of the new market is estimated at €248million and being financed by the Deutsche Bank of Germany, with an export credit guarantee from the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF). The project is being undertaken by Messrs Contracta Construction Ltd, a UK-based company, and is expected to be completed within 48 months.
The KMA, therefore, expected to expedite the evacuation exercise, at the start of the new year, for the project to commence. It was against this backdrop that the officials of the assembly were in the market with the consultant for Contracta, Emmanuel Danso, and the Administrative Manager of the Kumasi Central Market, Deborah Okrah, to give the final notice to the traders.
The team interacted with the traders and asked them to cooperate with the authorities during the evacuation period.
“So far, 98percent of processes leading to the movement of traders to the market have been completed,” Mr. Danso while urging all those with concerns to go to the administrative office for them to be addressed. He said “all keys to the new shops are ready” while alluding that many of the traders refused to go for their keys, as advised, perhaps because they were busily trading during the festive season.
He said materials for the project had all arrived in the country and being kept at the Kumasi Cultural Centre while waiting for the KMA to relocate traders for work to commence. Mr. Danso noted that unlike the first phase of the project which was delayed because of litigation with some private landowners, there would be no hindrance to the early completion of the second phase.