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We should not treat our citizens as refugees

We the people of Central Region welcome the onion sellers and other traders and wish them a good/ perpetual stay in Central Region.

Just about a month or so ago, the onion sellers and other traders were flushed out from their usual business location Agbobloshie in the Greater Accra Region to Gomoa Dominase in the Central Region. We the people of Central Region welcome the onion sellers and other traders and wish them a good/ perpetual stay in Central Region.

However, there are mind boggling issues that must be brought to the attention of Nana Addo/ Bawumia government.

Location: The exact geographical location of the yet -to -resettle traders is not a problem, but siting it on the stretch of the highway is very challenging as we expect the government to have directed the Ghana Highways Authority to construct speed ramps ahead of the market on that stretch to reduce vehicular speeding and its likely problems.

Again, the market should have been sent relatively far from the highway to avoid the possible burden of vehicular traffic congestion in the near future owing to the activities of offloading goods and passengers just by the roadside. There is also a possibility of vehicles knocking down unsuspecting people around the area.

Moreover, there was no proper planning for bringing the traders to the new location. Government should have constructed structures and stalls to facilitate access and ease the burden of traders using their meager trading capital to construct structures on their own living them with something little to trade with. The status-quo does not befits the fastest growing economy as they claim.

The whole place looks extemporaneous like it was done in the implementation of the FSHS awaiting it attendant issues in the coming days/weeks/months and years.

Sanitation; In the period of COVID-19, one would have thought that sanitation issues would have been key in taking every decision but in the case of these helpless traders, their new settlement is very pathetic.

There is no proper place of convenience in the area (toilet and urinal) and non- existence of potable or running water as government has instructed us to wash our hands with running water per the dictates of COVID protocols, which we are supposed to observe.

Something must be done immediately to protect our citizens who have been displaced in the face of COVID. There should also be a change-over facility, washroom and bathhouses to ensure good hygiene practices during this trying moment of our time, as we are being told of a high rise in COVID positive cases.

There should be an immediate construction of crèche/ nursery in or near the market to give opportunity to myriad children who may be following their parents/guardians to the market, in order to help bring up well groomed and educated children than to be nurturing waywardness.

There should be a CHPS compound or clinic in the area to make health service accessible to the traders in the area. Security should also be beefed up in the area, to protect the goods and economic activities in the area.

So far, we will thank the Member of Parliament for Gomoa East Hon. Desmond Degraft Paitoo and Nananom of Gomoa Dominase for facilitating their smooth migration and the support the MP is giving them and the other impending support to make their lives comfortable.

In conclusion, we should treat our people as citizens and not refugees in their own country. The government should be concerned that the displacement of the traders must not make the physical quality of life of the people worse off and create broken homes along the path. We hope that the plight of our traders will be alleviated going forward.

Lawrence Kwesi Ghartey
Effutu Municipality – Central Region.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana

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