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09.02.2006 General News

"Obroni w’awu" underpants hit market

By Heritage

Some dealers in second hand clothing in Ghana are flouting with impunity the 1994 Legislative Instrument (LI), which forbids the sale of certain second hand clothing.

According to a report in the newspaper, Heritage, despite the said LI 1586, banning the importation and sale of some secondhand goods notably handkerchiefs, men, women and children's underpants, popularly called 'obroni w'awu supporters and drawers (underpants), the trade in these illegal goods continues to gain great patronage in some parts of the country, particularly in Accra.

Though the sale of these commodities constitute a criminal offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both, traders dotted around the metropolis have in clear violation of the law not only intensified the sale of the banned goods but also spread the trade in some parts of the country.

A visit to where some of the places such as Kantamanto, Kaneshie and Makola where the second hand clothing are sold revealed a high influx and patronage of these banned goods.

Even though the health hazards of these commodities are well known to scores of consumers of these goods, ironically, users of such goods seem not to be worried about the various health problems associated with their usage.

At one of the spots at Kantamanto last Friday, where an assortment of these goods are being sold, a 36 year old trader who only gave his name as John said though he was aware of all the problems thereof and the fact that they have been banned, but due to the harsh economic conditions in the country coupled with lack of employment, he had no option than to continue dealing in those goods.

“ My brother you know I have to survive. This government promised us jobs and where are they? You have to know that as a family man I need to survive. And that means I should get myself something doing and that is exactly what I am doing now, he said.

It would be recalled that12 years ago specifically on February 25, 1994 the then ministry of Trade came out with an LI (1586) revoking the previous (LI 1580).

In addition to the above, other banned goods include mattresses and sanitary ware.