No Market, No Vote - Somanya Traders Tell NDC

Over 200 traders in Somanya, the capital of the Yilo Krobo Municipality in the Eastern Region, have expressed their dissatisfaction at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s failure to construct a market for them. The angry market women have threatened that in 2016 they would vote against the NDC government for failing to come to their aid. They bemoaned the fact that they have no market sheds or stalls to sell their goods, adding that they had often been compelled to put up their own sheds to sell their wares. They complained that despite this situation, the Municipal Assembly keeps extorting taxes from them. DAILY GUIDE’s visit to the market last Saturday confirmed the traders’ claim that they have no suitable places to sell their goods. The paper discovered that most of them had to make-do with make-shift structures roofed with palm leaves. It also became evident that the market has no fence, no gutters for free flow of water, resulting in flooding whenever it rains, whilst traders have to bear with the stench emanating from a nearby refuse dump. The paper further gathered that the market was awarded to a contractor by the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly in 2009 but five years on, it is still uncompleted. Sadly, even the stalls which have been built so far are not in good shape, as some of the bars have started breaking whilst the roofing sheets are equally giving way. Scores of the traders who spoke to DAILY GUIDE disclosed that the market structures had become havens for wee smokers and toilets for some residents at night. They also revealed that the activities of these wee smokers had resulted in a fire outbreak in the market, noting that but for the prompt intervention of fire service personnel, the market would have been razed down. One Madam Korkor, alias Assembly Woman, expressed her frustration about their plight, adding that it adversely affects their economic activities because whenever it rains they are forced to go home. According to her, whilst a few traders had been allotted the stalls in the partly completed portion of the market, majority of them have to erect their own structures or sell in the scorching sun. The traders further complained that the stench emanating from the garbage surrounding them does not only pose a health risk to them, but also drives away prospective customers. The traders warned the NDC government to come to their aid with immediate effect or risk losing their votes come 2016.