Traders at the temporary marketplace provided by the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) following the commencement redevelopment of the Takoradi Market have expressed great worry over the perennial flooding in the market, which leads to loss of wares and other valuable items some times.
The traders, especially those around the two main boundary roads from the Ahenfie Hotel towards the Port Quarters and that of the one that leads to the Paa Grant Roundabout from the NIB traffic light and close to the First Baptist Church and surroundings are the worst affected.
Against this background, the traders reiterated the need to ensure that urgent measures were put in place to curtail the situation, which sometimes leads to financial losses.
According to them, the area is often flooded even with the slightest rain which leads to damages, adding that the flood breaks into their shops, destroys property and leaves many stranded sometimes especially at parts where the floor works have not been completed.
A cross-section of the traders also lamented on selling at the market under the scorching sun, and sometimes being vulnerable to rainfall, which at times comes with catastrophic effects.
Many of the affected traders who spoke to the Ghana News Agency in an interview attributed the flood menace to the smaller size of drains which cannot contain the volumes of water that passes the area, broken and choked drains which makes it difficult for the water to flow freely causing it to divert to other parts.
Others who spoke to the GNA complained about an increase in shop levies from GHc 11.00 to GHc 40.00 without proper consultation, market leadership not doing much to champion their cause and the failure to provide them with shades as promised by the city authority.
Madam Abena Noonoo mentioned the failure of the STMA to halt all illegal trading activities around the old Market Circle which were affecting sales at the new market as promised before sending them to the new place and called on the media for support since market leadership was in bed with the authorities.
She lamented, “Sometimes I get home from the market very late and am compelled to wake up at dawn to prepare myself for the market the following day. Through that, I’m able to cater for my children’s education, health and general well-being, and also help to contribute to the national economy, however intangible my efforts may seem. So the Assembly cannot treat us anyhow.”
When contacted, Mr John Laste, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the STMA admitted the flooding challenge and attributed it to uncontrolled human activities in that some of the traders position their structures at points that block the free flow of the water while others also leave their materials in the drains which tends to block the water when it rains.
He noted that some of the materials which were used for the construction by the contractor were still in place adding to the situation and that he would contact the contractor about it, and gave the assurance that he was going to make sure they were fixed as soon as possible.
Commenting on the rent increment he refuted the claim and said the Assembly undertook reclassification of the lots last year but could not implement it because of the heightened effects of COVID-19 and so those whose lots were bigger than what they had previously were asked to pay the actual amount due them.