Traders who were ejected for plying their trade on pavements at Kwame Nkrumah Circle on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 have been left stranded at the burnt Odawna pedestrian shopping mall.
Government promised traders that the reconstruction work on a new pedestrian mall, popularly known as the Odawna Market, will start on November 26, 2020, a week after the edifice near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra was ravaged by fire.
The Municipal Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for Korle-Klottey, Reverend Daniel Odei-Appiah, made this known to the press in Accra, adding that various stakeholders would be included in the reconstruction of the “modern market”.
The new market edifice is expected to accommodate about 4,500 traders and with facilities including stores, alleys for vehicular access and modern water closet toilets.
Government’s failure to rebuild the pedestrian mall after three years compelled traders to move back to the streets and pavements to sell.
Reacting to why the ‘Operation Clean Your Frontage’ Taskforce forcibly ejected all traders selling on the pavements at Kwame Nkrumah Circle to move back to the ravaged mall, the aggrieved traders said it is unfortunate for government to ask them to go back to the burnt mall after it failed to reconstruct the mall it promised in 2020.
Republic Media’s visit to the burnt Circle mall saw traders sitting idle at the waiting for portions to be demarcated to them by the Assembly to mount their own temporary structures.
Aggrieved Traders at the burnt shopping mall were seen erecting umbrellas as shade and displaying their goods on tables in the open.
Speaking with the traders, they said the Korley Klottey Assembly has warned them not to build any structure on the portion of land because the assembly is going to rebuild a modern market.
Mr. Peter Adjei, a member of the Council of Elders at the Pedestrian Shopping Mall, called on the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Quartey to ensure the exercise is done at all market centers in Accra.
“We want to appeal to the minister to repeat the exercise at all market centers across the city, that way nobody will sell on the street and this will force buyers to patronize the various market centers,” he stated.
Speaking about the challenges at the Pedestrian Shopping Mall, he said the market is a water log area and therefore appeals to the government to construct a gutter to allow the stagnant water drain away when it rains.
He again complained that the limited space cannot contain all the traders at it current stage unless it is constructed and therefore called on the assembly to speed-up processes leading to it reconstruction.
Information gathered by the paper revealed that not all the current occupants of the burnt shopping mall were there before the fire disaster and therefore authorities are going to find it difficult to demarcate the markets after it has been reconstructed.
This is because after the fire disaster, some names were written by the assembly and the Disaster Management Organisation as occupants and were promised to be attended to first when the market is reconstructed.
Some of the traders who spoke to the Republic Media said they are ready to discipline themselves and allow the laws to work to ensure sanity in the environment.