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16.03.2007 General News

AMA official concerned about markets being used as homes

By s: GNA

Professor George Ofosu Armah, Presiding Member of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), on Thursday expressed concern about people using markets as their homes saying their activities had led to some fire outbreaks.

He noted that some people had used the various markets as places where they cooked, ate and washed without paying any heed to the disasters that their activities could trigger.

Professor Armah therefore pleaded with professionals to educate their relations against using markets as their homes.

He gave the advice when the Students Representative Council of the Ghana School of Law called on the Mayor of Accra to invite him to the School's 48th annual celebration.

Prof. Armaah, who is also the Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, recalled that during the recent decongestion exercise in the metropolis, some 10,000 persons were made homeless as a result of the removal of illegal structures.

He blamed the continued behaviour of these persons on lack of support from the public whenever the Assembly embarked on decongestion exercises at these markets.

Prof. Armaah said the AMA had byelaws, which could be enforced to ensure sanity in the city and urged all to support the Assembly in enforcing these laws.

"We do not have enough professionals in the Assembly; we need more of them to help in the activities of the various assemblies."

He implored lawyers to take active interest in the formulation of laws and issues affecting the district assemblies.

On revenue, Professor Armaah said there was the need for the Assembly to widen its tax net.

"There are thousands of people who visit the city everyday to transact businesses without paying for amenities they utilise."

Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, Mayor of Accra, expressed concern about the plight of female porters, aka, "Kayayee" who passed the night in these markets.

According to him "some unscrupulous men in the night draw out knives demanding sex from these poor girls".

The mayor said when the girls became pregnant they did not know who was responsible.

A visit to the Tema Station at about 1800 hours showed that some female porters were seen carrying their belongings to the station.

While some were seen cooking on the pavements others were washing and playing games, while some were breastfeeding their babies.

A driver, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the porters had been using the station as their sleeping place.

“As soon as they see that the number of vehicles has reduced at the station, they take over. On Sundays this place is like home for the porters," he added.

Sources: GNA