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11.02.2005 Regional News

SAEMA's ejection reduces traffic

By GhanaWeb Correspondent
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Takoradi, Feb. 11, GNA - Life in Takoradi Township has returned to normal after the ejection of illegal traders by the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA) on Monday February 7. The Market Circle, which was usually characterised by traffic congestion, slow movement of pedestrians and the display of wares, foodstuff and provisions on pavements, is now clear. The traders have disappeared from the Market Circle entirely.

These, notwithstanding, some traders have remained adamant and are mostly operating from the entrances of shops and stores around the Circle. A combined team of Police, Military and Metropolitan Guards of SAEMA ejected illegal traders operating around the Takoradi Market Circle. the exercise, which began at 0400 hours, took the traders by surprise and when many of them arrived at the Circle to begin their trading activities, they found out that, security personnel had positioned themselves at vantage points around the Market.

Mr Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Chief Executive of SAEMA, said the exercise was meant to make movement of pedestrians easier, faster and convenient and also to eliminate all unauthorised structures that had sprung up in and around the Circle. He said the exercise became necessary because the traders had taken over all the pedestrian walkways and parking spaces and had constructed wooden sheds and warehouses, thereby making the Market Circle untidy, dirty and congested.

Mr Nkrumah said the exercise would continue till the affected traders moved back into their stalls, stores and sheds in the market, while those without any shop would be re-located to the Apremdo Market, near Kwesiminstim. He said the traders were selling close refuse dumps, open drains and places of convenience while the Apremdo Market was empty. Mr Nkrumah said the Apremdo market had been provided with water, electricity, security and warehouse facilities to make trading activities safe, conducive and disease free but the traders and shop owners had persistently refused to use the place.

Mr E. A. Kwaitoo, the Metropolitan Solicitor, said the operation was meant to ensure sanity at the Takoradi Market, re-focus the attention of traders on the Apremdo Market and decongest the Market Circle. He said the assembly would soon contract the parking areas around the Circle to a private company to manage.

Madam Sophia Mensah, a Trader in the Market, said the ejection of the traders had resulted in many people patronising their wares. Several wooden structures and unauthorised warehouses around the market were demolished.

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