18.09.2009 Regional News

AMA satellite markets abandoned …with street traders angry as ``aaba ei`` becomes order of the day

18.09.2009 LISTEN
By Naa Norley - Ghanaian Chronicle

Traders displaced by the recent decongestion exercise by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) still hang around the streets and pavements, and now run helter skelter with the approach of the AMA guards, popularly known as “aaba ei”.

The metro guards, positioned at vantage points in the Central Business District (CBD) to ensure that no hawking is done on the pavements and streets, are sometimes overwhelmed by the large number of people who patronise the area.

Information picked by The File revealed that of the number of satellite markets in the municipality, about 90% are empty, and gradually becoming white elephants of the sub-metros.

A trip to most satellite markets revealed that the markets were occupied by only a handful of old women, who cannot stand the tension of 'aaba ei' (they are coming) – the call of the traders on seeing the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) City Guards approaching.

These guards confiscate their wares and only release them after a fee is paid.

The Tuesday Market at Mamprobi has 10% of its traders, mainly fishmongers and vegetable sellers, doing business with empty tables.

The market, which used to be a very busy place on Tuesdays, as the name suggests, is now a ghost con market days.

According to the traders, most of their colleagues who acquired spaces for trading had deserted the place for the central business district.

According to an Assembly Member, who pleaded anonymity, the assembly, over the years, had spent huge sums in maintaining the satellite markets to stop the influx of traders into the business district.

La Market The newly constructed La Market is a white elephant, as traders hawk on the shoulders of the road, while the old sheds are equally empty.

Osu Market The Osu Market has also had its share of traders abandoning their sheds for the streets in Accra.

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