Traders threatened by sewage


Traders at the Makola Number 2 Market at Agbogbloshie in Accra have appealed to the government to come to their aid as their lives are threatened by sewage running through the market.

According to the traders, initially, it was only the effluent that passed through the market, but now the stench emanating from it was unbearable.

They claimed the situation had forced many of them to abandon their stalls, and all efforts to get the managers of the market to come to their aid had so far proved futile.

The traders, who called at the offices of the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, said they had been given a raw deal by the government because it had failed to honour a promise to rebuild the market, which was razed down by fire last year.

History of the Market
According to them, about 24 years ago, they were trading at the old Makola Number 2 Market until fire razed down the whole market, causing authorities to  relocate them to the new site at the Agbogbloshie Market, where they had been for the past 15 years.

Incidentally in 2010, they suffered their first fire outbreak at their present location in which goods worth millions of cedis were lost.

At that time, President Atta Mills came to the market to console them, and assured them that the government would to assist them but unfortunately, he passed away.

They said just as they were trying to rebuild their lives, another fire razed down the whole market again in 2013, and on that occasion, not a single shop was salvaged.

President Mahama
After the incident, President John Mahama also came to console them and thereafter, the market was closed for weeks for repairs; but after waiting for while, without any immediate sign of serious repairs,  they moved to the parking lot within the market where they erected makeshift stalls. Unfortunately, the sewage currently flowing through the market has made trading and life unbearable for the traders, as well as their customers.

The traders claim they have to sweep the sewage daily before they can display their wares, despite the fact that the stench emanating from it is ‘killing’ them and has made it difficult for buyers to patronise their wares.

All attempts by the market women to get the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to solve the problem has so far not yielded any response. Meanwhile, they had to pay GH¢140 to AMA before the stalls were erected and now pay a monthly charge of GH¢12. 

Reaction from AMA
According to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the AMA, Nuumo Blafo, the first time the issue of the sewage came to the notice of the AMA, they quickly contacted the Sewage Department of the AMA, which solved the problem. 

He disclosed that nobody had contacted the AMA about the latest development, and advised the women to report the matter to the sewage department.

In connection with the construction of a new market, the PRO revealed that the market did not belong to the AMA but SSNIT and a private company, and that those two organisations would have to reconstruct it for the traders.

He, however, indicated that after the fire outbreak, the company in charge of the market promised to rebuild the market but up to date, nothing had been done.

Writers email: mary.mensah@graphic.com.gh

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