Bantama Traders Refuse To Vacate Market
5/15/2012 10:50:13 PM -
It appears the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is losing the battle to evict traders who have taken over roads and pavements around the Bantama market.
Promises to resettle them at the newly constructed Abinkyi market have not materialised and nothing shows it will be done in the immediate future, especially looking at the backdrop that such decisions are hardly taken by city authorities in an election year.
It will be recalled that in 2008 the KMA abandoned a planned decongestion in the central business district of the city.
The assembly had before then made noise to get traders off the pedestrian walkways but threats by the traders not to vote forced the assembly to retreat.
The traders at Bantama have complained about the high cost of trading space at the Abinkyi market and are determined to remain at Bantama so far as the KMA is not ready to offer them free space at the Abinkyi market.
It very uncomfortable going to the area these days because of the chaotic scene created by the large influx of traders and commercial vehicles competing for space.
It is true that the problem of unemployment is driving a number of people to take to selling in many parts of the metropolis but the rate at which Bantama is suffering under the weight of trading at illegal places leaves much to be desired.
Traders eager to earn a living have invaded the pavements and roads adjoining the market making it virtually impossible for pedestrians and motorists to make their way through.
They sell all manner of things – koobi, yam, cassava, tomatoes, mangoes, pepper and so on.
The offending odour resulting from the filth created by the traders and their customers is unbearable.
The KMA has however been able to move many of the buses that used the area as loading points to the Abinkyi market but some of them have resurfaced .
Bantama is one of the important suburbs of Kumasi. It houses the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, where hundreds of people visit daily.
The suburb never sleeps, as street life there is unparalleled in the entire Garden City.
Situated in the centre of Kumasi, it has historical significance. It was in Bantama that the legendary Okomfo Anokye commanded the Golden Stool, which had become the symbol power of the Ashanti Kingdom, to descend from the skies.
Bantama used to be a disciplined area in terms of sub-metro management until recently when things seem to have taken a head.
It is regrettable that in the 21st Century, when management of cities are being conducted on sustainable basis, this huge image of the suburb is being left to sink.
It is not the question that city authorities have not done anything at all to correct things. Some moves have been made but these are not enough to save the situation.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the KMA, Mr Godwin Nyame, admits the difficulty in getting the traders off the area.
Even though the KMW undertook a decongestion there not long ago, it appeared the desired results were not achieved.
“We expect cooperation from landlords and indeed the traders themselves to see this exercise achieve maximum results, “ said the PRO
That notwithstanding, Mr Nyame said the assembly would continue to use all legal means to resettle the traders to ensure normalcy.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, also expressed concern about the development.
She said in an interview that it was important for the city authorities to find acceptable places to resettle the traders “because we all know that there are no jobs.”
To her, in these hard times, evicting the traders must be done with a human face stressing, “Forcible eviction will not help anyone.”
Most of the traders are women and the MP believes any decision that would affect them negatively could trickle down to their
In that instance, she called for dialogue between the KMA and the traders to get things to move on peacefully.