Traders in Kpeve Market in the South Dayi District of the Volta region have staged a protest against payment of market tolls which they claim does not inure to their benefit.
The aggrieved traders, mostly women accused the District Assembly of failing to renovate the deplorable market despite being a major source of revenue for the Assembly.
According to the women, authorities have remained insensitive to their plights despite calls to provide the market basic amenities such befitting stalls and sanitary facilities.
“It becomes difficult to move about in the market when it rains, flooding most parts of it. A very serious side of it is where the yam sellers would have to incur double cost in getting their stuff to their side of the market. Sanitation is an important part of the struggle. Food brought to the market sometimes gets infested in the market due to the poor sanitation and waste management in the market. It will interest you to know that the market plays hosts to Zoomlion’s waste containers that the whole town uses. Refuse is dumped all around the containers attracting flies and unpleasant smell within that area” they lamented.
Aside health and sanitation challenges, the traders also expressed fears over their security as the market has become a home to criminals.
“The place has also become a refuse dump, a smoking haven and a public place of convenience. All of these put us at the mercy of wee smokers and poor health”
At the press conference today[ Tuesday ] to register their displeasure, the spokesperson for the market women, Madam Delight Ayoyo blamed their worsening case on the absence of a District Chief Executive for the area whose confirmation has been delayed by what she described as a noted stereotype against women aspiring for higher positions in the area.
She recounted how stakeholders have over the years suppressed dreams of women who aspire to occupy the office of the DCE.
“We are practically angered at how the district, since its inception, has been blended with gender discrimination against women. The first District Chief Executive nominee in 2004 was first rejected and was only accepted by the intervention of people from all walks of life. Again, the DCE nominee in 2009 during the Atta Mills administration was out rightly rejected. Afterwards, a man being nominated, Mr Bekui, was accepted in both 2009 and 2013 without any problems just because he was a male DCE nominee. A female has been nominated once again and here we are, seeing another rejection”.
The women are however insisting the district assembly leaves the collection of market tolls to them so they rather account to the assembly at the end of every market day and be involved in the efficient use of the funds.
Citi News tour of the market revealed the deplorable nature of the market with temporary stalls and palm frond sheds built by the women. The women have since been in red armbands and scarves to drum home their displeasure.