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27.01.2011 Regional News

Traders, Kayayei turn train stations into residence, dump sites

By Ghanaian Chronicle
Rubbish on the ground inside the railway station (left), Traders also have taken over parts of the Accra Railway Station (right)Rubbish on the ground inside the railway station (left), Traders also have taken over parts of the Accra Railway Station (right)
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Quite recently, the Mayor of Accra and also Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, together with some city authorities, visited the railway stations to serve notice to illegal residents and traders to vacate those places for re-construction works to take place.

The Accra File, which was part of the tour team, observed that almost all the train stations had become homes to some traders, disabled persons, and head porters, normally referred to as Kayayei.

These people have taken over the entrances of the stations make movement for patrons of the rail service suffer inconveniences and obstructions. Aside that, not only have they occupied the entrances of the stations, but also the parked coaches.

They sleep in and under the coaches, which could be very fatal when the train moves. The Mayor, on the tour, caught these people sleeping in the coaches, and had no option than to ask the police to arrest them. He told them: 'When yours friends are busy working on the streets this afternoon, you are here sleeping, and turn to rob people in the night.'

Another thing the file realised was that almost all entire stations have been turned into rubbish dumps, which seemed not to concern the railways authorities.

When the team visited, the whole place was not untidy, with a strong stench permeating the air. The Mayor said he had every right to take the Ghana Railways to court for failing to visit the stations regularly, and wondered why the railway authority from contacting the AMA to help keep the place clean and tidy.

The traders have also turned a part of the station into a place where they burn rubbish.

The Accra File further noticed that the drains around the rail lines are seriously chocked. The illegal residents throw all sorts of items into the drains without thinking of the consequences.

This situation has been there for some quite time now. Even though the AMA and some organisations periodically organise clean up exercises in the area, the recalcitrant illegal residents go on with their nefarious activities destroying all the good work done.

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