Kantamanto traders make U-turn, reject Bawumia’s temporal venue
Some traders at the Kantamanto market in the Central market of Accra have rejected the offer from the government to temporarily relocate them to the car park of the Accra Railway Station to ply their trade.
They are opposed to the arrangement because they fear they will not be allowed back.
Some of the traders, dressed in red, had gathered in protest drum home their concerns.
“We aren’t happy because we are afraid if we leave and the market is rebuilt, I don’t think there will be a place for us,” one man said.
“We will not go anywhere. The government should empathize with us and let us stay here,” another declared.
“We want to stay here because those plying their trade at the new place being suggested by the government have been sacked. We are not moving,” a trader said.
The gathered traders also reiterated their calls for government support.
Fire gutted parts of the Kantamanto market on Tuesday evening, destroying properties worth thousands of cedis.
Dr. Bawumia led a Government delegation to meet with the leadership of the market and other stakeholders to look at ways to provide humanitarian as well as business support to the affected traders. The meeting was aimed at discussing the modalities for the reconstruction of the market with more durable material instead of the current use of wood, as well as explore ways of beefing up security.
“This is a devastating human tragedy. I am told over 2,592 persons have been directly affected, with thousands more indirectly affected. This is a very sad situation. So many of our fellow citizens losing their day to day means of living is unacceptable,” he stated.
“While investigations continue into this tragedy, we also have work to do. I have thus called for a meeting on Friday, in my office, with the leadership of the market and all the stakeholders in the operation of this market in particular and markets in general, to discuss how we can, firstly, help the victims in Kantamanto, by providing some assistance. NADMO is already here, but we will do more.
“Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we will look at rebuilding, using more durable, fire-resistant material instead of wood, to prevent such devastation in the future. We will also look at ways to better protect our markets. As you can see, I have members of the security apparatus with me here. We have already begun discussions on that front,” the Vice President