Barely two weeks after the New Juaben Municipal Assembly undertook a massive decongestion exercise in the Central Business District of Koforidua to take traders and hawkers from the pavements and streets, brisk business has resumed with impunity.
Not even the warning signs of “no hawking” boldly written on the walls of the Ghana Commercial Bank and the Pintoa Wala area could deter the traders from displaying their wares and erecting wooden structures on the pavements.
Whiles some of the traders had improvised the remains of their structures during the exercise, some of them had erected new ones and umbrellas to display their wares.
Some of the traders who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in a post decongestion exercise survey said they knew the exercise would be a nine- day wonder and so were not deterred and had waited patiently for a while and then return to business.
Others also said until the assembly provided them with an alternative place in the area, they would not budge to any warning because they had been selling in the area for many years and nobody could dislodge them for any reason.
Traders had taken over the pavements and pedestrian walkways, lorry stations and every available space in the Koforidua business district making it difficult for pedestrians and vehicles to move freely.
Pedestrians had to compete with vehicles on the roads whiles pavements had become stalls and shops for traders to the extent that the few pedestrians who were bold to use the pavements were rather confronted by the traders.
Prior to the exercise the assembly led by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) conducted a one-on one sensitization programme to notify the traders of the violation of the law and its intention to decongest the area.
Mr Alex Asamoah, the MCE, in an interview with the GNA said the assembly would continue to ensure that the right thing was done; adding that, the assembly had market spaces at the Zongo market to accommodate them and therefore would not give in to any pleas.
He said the decongestion exercise was backed by the assembly’s bye-laws to check activities to ensure that they do not fall outside the development plan, including the provision of pavements solely for pedestrian’s convenience and safety.
Mr Asamoah called on all well meaning Ghanaians and the media in the region to support the exercise because it is in the interest of everybody and stressed that those affected would be given a place at the Zongo market to trade.
He debunked claims by the traders that they had permits, wondering how the assembly would give permits for trading on pavements and on the streets and challenged anyone who has such a permit to produce it as evidence.