Traders protest demolition of Bantama market

Traders at the Bantama Market in Kumasi are protesting a planned demolition of their shops to pave the way for the construction of a modern market by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA). The traders say a 10-day notice given them by the city authorities to evacuate their shops is short and will require three months to find suitable alternative for their trading. Some of the traders also say the proposed 60,000 to be charged for a new shop in the modern market is too expensive for them and should be reduced. Though metro engineers on December 20, 2018 gave them up to January 14, 2019 to vacate the about 220 shops earmarked for demolition, owners of the shops as at Monday, January 21, were still occupying the shops. They told that they are not enthused with the temporary wooden structure provided by the KMA. “We cannot be relocated to trade in a wooden structure because thieves will break into the structure and steal our goods,” one trader, Abena Yeboah stated. She said she has been a victim to such robbery citing an instance where her goods worth 50,000 cedis were stolen from her shop. According to her, if robbers were able to steal from a proper shop to steal, “how much more a wooden structure”. “We don’t know what we have done to merit such harsh treatment from the KMA. How can we be given just 10 days to relocate for our shops to be demolished?” Chairman of the Bantama Traders Association Kwaku Agyemang Duah asked. He argued “the notice is too short and we want more time from the Assembly to enable us find suitable place to trade”. Meanwhile the traders are calling for increased stakeholder engagements and proper documentation to assure them of access to their shops when construction is completed. The KMA has declined comments on the concerns raised by the traders.

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By Beatrice Spio Garbrah||Ghana]]>