The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has begun demolishing the weak main storey-building of the Asafo Market to avoid disaster.

The Assembly has so far relocated all the tenants in the building for a period of six months to return and re-occupy their shops upon completing the construction of market shops.

The project according to the Chief executive of KMA Samuel Pyne is expected to halt destructive fire disasters in the market.

The redevelopment of the market forms part of a “comprehensive strategic plan” being undertaken by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly among other developmental projects being carried out across the Metropolis.

Before the start of its redevelopment project, the market comprised more than 8,000 stores and stalls and attracted more than 600,000 people a day.

The project has been split into three phases to minimize disruption in the Kumasi business district and to ensure the market continues operating at all times.

The redevelopment of the Asafo market is estimated to be completed within six months and would have over 3,000 shops, restaurants food courts, a bulk breaking area, visitors’ parking space, fire station, post office, and administrative offices, among others.

The Mayor of Kumasi Samuel Pyne explained that the redevelopment of the Asafo market and its infrastructure would address the underlying cause of fire outbreaks since appropriate specifications including fire detection and combating systems would be provided.

“Our focus is to modernize the market to create a serene trading environment for the trader to trade in peace and tranquility by providing them appropriate security including protection against fire. It is going to be a modern market; the structures will not be wooden. We are also making sure the contractor will expedite action on-site to meet the terms and agreement in the contract we have signed. We are also going to monitor the work from day one to the end to ensure our expectations are met on the project because I personally don’t want the traders to stay home for a longer period’’ Sam Pyne stated.

He further disclosed that the assembly will build a police station in the market to improve security in the area.

“Currently we are almost getting international funding from our partners to have a beautiful police station around the same area to cater for the security needs of the people. We have all these in mind to make the place a standard marketplace to promote commerce without any security threat,’’ he stressed.

The relocated traders called on the management of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to expedite action on the project in order not to disrupt business activities in the area.

“We are not complaining much about the project and its effect on us because of the fruitful discussions we already had with the management of KMA. The project will serve our collective interest by addressing flooding and fire threats in the market. Our call to KMA is that they should expedite action on-site to meet the six-month deadline for the completion of the project’’.

Source: Ghana/ Justice Bediako