Residents of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region are calling on the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to decongest the Kumasi Central Business district (CBD) which comprises Adum, Dr. Mensah, Kejetia and Alabar markets.
But the Ashanti regional Minister Simon Osei Mensah insists not until the Construction of the Kumasi Central Market project is completed the assembly cannot meet their demand due to lack of available market for the traders.
An explanation traders have disputed and explained there are empty shops and space at Adoato Adumanu, Kwadaso and Nana Afia Kobi Markets.
Hawkers have taken over the Kumasi Central Business District (CBD) with all manner of goods blocking all pedestrian walkways and creating avoidable human and vehicular traffic.
Pavements and main roads meant for pedestrians and vehicles also have been blocked creating inconvenience for commuters and other institutions that operate in the area particularly in Adum.
However, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly responsible for management of the City appears unconcerned about the congestion situation at the CBD.
A situation which the Kumasi traditional council bemoaned and threatened to lead a decongestion exercise when Bantamahene, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, addressed the media in January 2023.
Responding to the Concerns of Kumasi residents and the Kumasi traditional Council at the regional House of Chief meeting, Ashanti regional minister Simon Osei Mensah Justified why he cannot support the public call for decongestion.
“Baffour you will bear with me that we decongested the markets, Suame roundabout, Kejetia, Adum Dr. Mensah among other areas but we the people are back. So I was shocked to hear that I was going to lead a decongestion exercise in Kumasi. At the moment I don’t intend to lead decongestion exercise in Kumasi but rather manage the congested nature of the Kumasi central Business district’’
The regional minister also accused the KMA City Guards of failing to live up to expectation of ensuring hawkers do not seize pavement for their hawking activities.
“One of our major problems at the moment, Otumfuo, is the City guards. They are supposed to ensure adherence of bylaws of the assembly at the central business district but they are doing things otherwise there. They are friends with the traders there so they have forgotten about their responsibility. That’s why we see a lot of traffic at Komfo Anokye roundabout area. Suame roundabout when they sack them they go and return later. So Otumfuo that’s why all the major roundabouts around Kejetia have been converted into markets. So Otumfuo there’s nothing we can do now because we don’t have any place to send the traders to go and trade’’ he told Otumfuo.
However, GHOne News check at Afia Kobi Market confirmed availability of marketing space to accommodate over five thousand traders there contrary to the claims made by the regional minister before Asantehene.
The news team’s visit to the market uncovered that the majority of the shops in the market have been converted into convenient sleeping rooms.
These traders who conduct their trade here justified why the Ashanti regional minister must support the decongestion exercise at Adum and Kejetia to revive the collapsing Nana Afia Koby Market.
Kwame Gyan, a shoe maker at the Afia Kobi Market disputed the regional minister’s claim that there is no marketing space to move the Kejetia hawkers to.
“The Regional minister lied to Otumfuo and Nananom in Manhyia Palace. There are over one thousand empty shops here in the markets. The shops have been turned into sleeping rooms by our brothers here. There’s nothing seriously going on here so otumfuo must not listen to their lies. He Otumfuo can come and see the empty market. The market is named after his late mother so Nananom must take interest to revive this market’’ he lamented.
The news team’s visit to the Adoato Adumenu Market also uncovered several empty shops being swallowed by weed with few shoe markers occupying few shops for leader work.
The shoe makers question why Kumasi City authorities have sat unconcerned for the newly constructed Adoato Adumanu Market to be left to rot while people are trading on the Kejetia and Adum streets.
Ibrahim Mohammed, Chairman of Adoato Adumanu Market Shoe makers association also said” It unfortunate to hear this statement from the regional minister. He has been here several times. He knows the market is empty so why des he say there’s no space. This market can accommodate other 5000 people if they want to make here a market.’’
Chairman of the federation of Kejetia Traders Association, Nana Kwasi Prempeh also told the news team that the association will soon call on Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to share with him how the congested Kumasi Central business district is collapsing their business.
“The regional minister can decongest the DBD if he wants to do so. There are several empty spaces at the racecourse market, among others, so we follow the traditional protocol to meet Otumfuo and explain this better to him. We’ll brief him on the true situation on the grounds.”
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Isaac Bediako