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20.01.2005 General News

AMA to eject hawkers by February 1

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Accra, Jan. 20 GNA - Mr Stanley Nii Agyiri-Blankson, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Chief Executive, has warned that the Assembly would from February 1, take drastic measures to rid the streets and pavements of the national capital of hawkers and traders.

"This year is an action year of the AMA. The euphoria and the honeymoon days are over," he said.

Mr Agyiri-Blankson gave the warning when he joined a massive clean up of the business district capital, by AMA Taskforce on Wednesday night.

The exercise, which started about 1900 hours and lasted the whole night, involved 150 AMA workers and officials.

The Taskforce cleared heaps of rubbish and de-silted gutters at the General Post Office, Opera Square, Derby Avenue, Makola Market, Tudu Traffic Light, Okaishie and UTC areas.

The Ghana National Fire Service provided water to flush the gutters that were de-silted while private waste collectors supplied refuse trucks to collect the rubbish.

Mr Agyiri-Blankson said the one-night exercise was a wake-up call to all the hawkers and traders who sold on the pavements and streets in the business district.

"We are going to take back what we have lost to the hawkers and traders."

He said the Assembly was going to evoke its bye-laws to ensure that store owners and traders swept the spaces in front of their shops before leaving for their various homes and warned that those who failed to do so would be prosecuted.

Mr Agyiri-Blankson also said the AMA was talking to various market leaders about the proposed street markets which would be designated for the hawkers on certain days at the various sub-metros.

Mr Ben Laryea, Head of Waste Management of the AMA, said the Assembly spent about two billion cedis a month on garbage and waste alone within the Accra Metropolis.

He said 80 per cent out of this amount was spent on the disposal of plastic waste, mainly from sachet water, which is posing a big drain to the Assembly's revenue.

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