War and conflict have been noted as a main cause for the destruction of many local markets and trading activities. But the advent of the coronavirus has brought about a new dimension of market been disorganized. Hence affecting sales by traders and internally generated funds for many District Assemblies in Ghana.
Today I decided to pay a visit to some of the satellite markets in Ashaiman to familiarize myself with the market organization and how thriving they were. I first went to the Nurumustafia park, and then Kofi Nimo Park, 31st December market, and finally to Star light at community 22.
I was not surprised to hear, see, and sympathize with the state of some of the traders and the markets state. I predicted these happening earlier in my article “many people will be fired after coronavirus” published on modern Ghana. On grounds, whiles some have to rent a canopy for GHC 10.00 per day, together with paying GHC 2.00 for security, others have to carry their goods to and from other markets, all to help get the goods sold before theY perish. “Look at the heap of yam I have thrown away this morning because they are rotten. I have not been able to sell all of them since I ordered them, and yet I have losses each day” said one woman at the star light market. “I have been sitting here since morning, and have sold to only one person. “Last two weeks it was better, now things are getting worst” lamented Cecilia, a trader that was moved to Kofi Nimo Park to sell as a result of the COVID-19 and social distancing directives. Some of us cannot take it anymore, because our colleagues have returned to the main market whiles we sit here and cannot sell, yet we all have families to feed, pay fees for children schooling abroad, and send remittances each month”.
For Madam Cecilia and her colleagues they first had to put monies together and get the area boys to serve as security for their stuffs in the night. In the day time she said “we pay others to clean the park, and contributed to the installation of light around the parks. And now we cannot sell because the buyers are all going to the main market”. They come once and if they cannot get all the goods they want, they will not return here the second time. Having said this, Cecilia added that, they have also decided not to pay daily tolls to the Assembly anymore because they feel it is not fair to let others return to their old place of sales whiles others are pitched at one place when the buyers are not coming because they cannot travel that far and not get all the goods they want at one market.
To normalize the markets, it is demanded for the Assembly to start and deploy people to sweep the markets, provide canopies, and ask those traders who have left to return to the parks until the COVID-19 is over. If these are not met then the parks will be empty and the main markets choked to its formal state because we “have to sell to survive, and giving us veronica buckets does not solve the problem. We want the Honorable Member of Parliament – Hon. Ernest Henry Norgbey to come and listen to our concerns and stop sharing the buckets which some of us have even bought and shared them ourselves” said Cecilia.