The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly has today started demolition illegl structures on the pavements along the principal streets of the metropolis. The exercise is also to get rid of hawkers in the area. It is part of measures to beautify the metropolis for orderly development. The areas to being affected by the exercise is what the assembly calls 'the central business district'.
In an interview with Radio Juatice, The metropolitan Co-ordinatinmg Diresotr. Mohammed Baba said the decongestion exercise was necessitated due to hazards hawkers and illegal structures pose to pedestrians. Often times, pedestrians are forced to walk in the streets, thus leaving the walkways to compete for path with vehicles in the streets. The assembly has since 2003 been cautioning the hawkers against erecting illegal structures on the pavements, but they seem to have been paying death ears to the warning.
In order not to take them unaware of the decongestion exercise today, the assembly has for some weeks now been notifying the hawkers through radio announcements. Mr Baba stated that the exercise would be sustianed until no single hawker is found on the pavements. Speaking to some of the affected hawkers, who looked dejected and disorganised they expressed their worry, while calling onthe assembly to reconsider ts decision. they noted that, unlike Accra, Kumasi and other parts of the country where there are factories and industries for employment, Tamale has no of such and pleaded with the assembly to reconsider its decision and allow them to operate. Although three new places have been allocated for them, which are less than five minute drive away from the Central Buisiness District, the hawkers explained that market there was not good as some of thm have been there and retured.
The hawkers are currently peparing to mobilise themselves to meet the asembly for negociation.