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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The task of easing human and vehicular traffic in Ghana

The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has indicated that its decongestion taskforce will employ “reasonable force” to evict traders and transport operators occupying unauthorized places within the city.

The taskforce, in enforcement of the Assembly’s bye-laws, is also mandated to confiscate wares and haul recalcitrant traders before the courts for prosecution.

To ease movement of human and vehicular traffic, the Assembly has issued a two week ultimatum for the traders to voluntarily relocate to the newly constructed Afia Kobi Market and other markets within the metropolis.

Areas earmarked for decongestion include the central business districts of Adum, Kejetia and the Central Market areas, the Bantama main street, parts of Suame and Kronum. Metro Mass Transit buses and other cargo truck operators at Dunkirk and Pampaso are also directed to vacate the areas before the February 4, 2013 deadline.

According to the KMA’s Public Relations Officer, Godwin Okuma-Nyame, the assembly needs public support to succeed in the decongestion exercise.

Metropolitan assemblies in Ghana are faced with the persistent challenge of keeping hawkers off the pavements as the traders always returned to settle on the pavements.

A directive by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) for hawkers to vacate the pavements expired on Monday but the traders have remained adamant.

Some officials have stated that the decongestion exercise remains a process and not an event, hence the need for the authorities to re-strategize as to how best to clear offenders off the streets and the pavements, anytime they come back to the streets to sell.

In Kumasi, the local assembly has been cited for blame in supervising the construction of stores and other building complexes in the already congested city centre.

But Mr. Okuma-Nyame will not agree to this, stating that “people cannot use that as an excuse to say that because there are lot of buildings around Kejetia and Adum that is the cause of the decongestion there”.

He believes the construction of the Afia Kobi Market, which is close to the central business district, is indicative of the Assembly’s quest to decongest the city.

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh

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