Members of the Mankessim Timber Market Association on Wednesday appealed to the Ekumfi District Assembly and government to help them construct an appropriate timber market with the necessary facilities to keep them in business.
The market, which was relocated from the Mankessim Round-About seven years ago to its present location on the Suprodu Road, lack facilities like access road, lights, water, clinic and drainage system.
Mr Kofi Apreh Boakye, Chairman of the Association, made the appeal during a day’s stakeholder’s workshop organised and sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund at Mankessim.
The workshop, attended by more than 35 members from Suprodu and Mankessim, was to enable the members to put across their challenges to the district assembly and other organizations for possible solutions.
Mr Boakye said apart from the lack of accessible roads there were no toilet facilities and market sheds coupled with poor security at the site resulting in thieves stealing their wood and other items.
He said since the market was moved to its new site, it had not seen any significant development from the district assembly, though members continued to pay their taxes to the assembly.
He also expressed concern about the frequent power outages which was greatly affecting their work since they could not process the lumber without electricity adding that if nothing was done the more than 200 workers at the site will be out of job.
Mr Boakye said apart from the main market at Mankessim, the association also had outlets at Apam, Ajumako and Saltpond and that due to the bad nature of the road leading to the market, most of their customers found it difficult to come to the market, particularly when it rained, and that the situation was a drain on their resources.
Mr Alex Beechem, Presiding Member of the Mfantseman Municipal Assembly, commended the members for forming the association as it would enable them to acquire loans and other financial support.
He said the assembly was ready to assist them provided they officially informed it of their needs and suggested that the members should venture into teak and other wood plantation which could be a regular source of income for them.
He said the assembly would collaborate with the Ghana Highway Authority and Department of Urban Roads to have their roads tarred in the near future.
Mr Daniel Hammond, Presiding Member of Ekumfi District Assembly, urged the executives of the association to immediately meet with the economics and finance committee of the assembly for the necessary dialogue and assistance.
He said the assembly had started creating land banks and would be ready to lease some of the lands to the association to start a woodlot plantation.
Mr Cadmond Dadzie, Consultant with BUSAC, urged the members to desist from politicizing all development issues and urged them to remain focused and committed to their businesses.