Koforidua, Feb. 28, GNA - The New Juaben Municipal Assembly on Monday embarked on an exercise to decongest the business centre of Koforidua of hawkers in a joint task force operation of police and municipal guards. Under the exercise, which began at down, hawkers who had been occupying around the State Insurance Company building, the pavement in front of the Ghana Commercial Bank among other areas were being asked to relocate at the new Koforidua-Zongo market.
The Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Adjei Boateng told the Ghana News Agency that the joint force had been deployed to enforce the Assembly's bye-laws, saying the exercise would continue until all street hawkers were cleared off the streets. He said apart from keeping the municipality clean, the exercise was to force the hawkers to utilize the Zongo market, which the market women had refused to patronize, despite series of attempts to relocate them there. He said the task force had not encountered any resistance so far, saying, "they are co-operating but a few of them have come to the Assembly with their problems and we are looking into it."
The Chief Executive expressed the hope that the people would continue to co-operate to ensure that sanity prevailed in the area. Nana Adjei Boateng explained that the problem the Assembly envisaged in the exercise was the traders, who come from other places with trucks on market days "but even they too were co-operating when they were directed to off-load their goods at the new market." A number of shop owners who the GNA spoke to, felt relieved and expressed the hope that with all those roadside hawkers having relocated at the new market, people would now patronize their wares. However, some of the displaced traders appealed to the Assembly to set aside some days, such as the market days, to allow them come to the open spaces and sell their goods, for until patronage at the new market was improved because they noted that sales there were not going to be like the open spaces.