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Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Embarks On De-Congestion Exercise   
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The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) on Thursday, embarked on a de-congestion exercise to rid hawkers off the streets of Kumasi.

The exercise, which was carried out by the Assembly’s Task Force, saw hawkers at the Central Business District (CBD) being cleared off the pavements and the streets.

The move appeared to be a reaction from the KMA to a two-hour street demonstration held exactly a week ago by Abinkyi market traders to demand action from the Assembly to stop traders from using unapproved areas to go about their trade.

The demonstrators claimed the behavior of these traders was not making business boom at the Abinkyi market, where stores they have already acquired have been abandoned, because they preferred to trade at the Bantama Market and on the streets where there is buying and selling.

The traders, until the exercise, had taken over the streets, creating congestion at the Central Business District (CBD).

Members of the the Task Force seized merchandise, including wheelbarrows, cylinders, phone accessories, detergents, plastic plates and cups, among other items.

These had been displayed on the open pavements and in the middle of the streets for sale.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Isaac Bassanyin, in-charge of Noise Control and Prosecution at the KMA, said the action was backed by the Decentralisation and Local Government Act 462, which stipulates that “No hawker shall sell or offer for sale anything in an unauthorized place.”

He said the legislation mandates the Assembly with deliberative, legislative and executive powers, and that the exercise aimed at easing congestion at the CBD to enhance business and economic activities, adding that it was also meant to bring under control all manner of social vices which thrived in overcrowded areas.

Mr Bassanyin pleaded with the traders to co-operate with the Assembly, and move to the 15 satellite markets to provide revenue to the other Assemblies for development.

Some of the affected traders expressed concern about the exercise, saying that they were not given prior notice.

A female dealer in electrical appliances, told the GNA that the whole exercise should have been given a human face, indicating that currently, the traders found it difficult to trade in the satellite markets, which were far away from the CBD- a situation that did not boost trade and commerce.

She described the whole exercise as unfair, since most buyers could not come to the satellite markets to buy because of the distance.

She said unfortunately, in most cases, some of the affected traders whose wares are seized, do not get them back intact, since some of the items normally get missing.
Source: GNA

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