As part of measures to avoid the possible outbreak and spread of the novel coronavirus disease in Sunyani, the Bono regional capital, the city authorities through its COVID-19 Task Force, have taken stringent steps to decongest the Sunyani Central Market.
To this end, additional market centres have been created for the various groups of sellers for use during this period in the municipality to drastically reduce human traffic at the main market.
The additional places, which are now being allowed by the city authorities as market centres are the Jubilee Park, the forecourt of the Twene Amanfo Secondary-Technical School and the forecourt of the Coronation Park, among others.
These were contained in a Press Release signed by the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, Justina Owusu Banahene.
Below is the full text of the Press Release issued in Sunyani over the week.
The Sunyani Municipal Assembly, through the COVID-19 Task Force having met the leaderships of the various Market Associations, has instituted these tough measures to decongest the Sunyani Central market to control COVID-19.
This move is to protect the Buyers and Sellers at the Sunyani Central Market.
The Assembly in the meeting with the market women agreed that traders at the Central Market should break bulk at designated opened areas in the Central Business District (CBD) of Sunyani as part of COVID-19 safety protocols.
The directive, which takes effect from Thursday 16 April 2020 means:
1. All the second-hand clothes, bags and shoe dealers who flood the market and the street are being relocated to Jubilee Park till further notice
2. All Fruits and vegetables (banana, orange, pineapple, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, pepper, okra etc) are to ply their trade at the forecourt and the lanes of the Twene-Amanfo Senior high/Technical School (TASTEC) till further notice.
3. All Root and Tuber crops, including Cassava, Plantain, Yam, Maize, etc are to trade at the forecourt of Sunyani Coronation Park till further notice.
4. All kinds of Meat, Spices, Oil, and Stores are to remain at the Central Market until further notice.
5. Sanitizers, Disinfectants, Veronica Buckets etc meant to prevent or fight the coronavirus can be sold in all the auxiliary markets above.
6. Only foodstuffs, Sanitizers, disinfectants and Veronica buckets will be allowed at Nana Bosoma Market starting Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
All preparations in terms of lighting and spatial demarcation have been done already and the auxiliary Markets are ready to host the hundreds of auxiliary traders.
We also wish to state that the Assembly did not just impose the directives on the traders in the market;
There were series of meetings with the leadership of the market which resulted in this decision and the implementation of measures on social distancing protocol in the market.
As we all know, the Central Market is heavily congested and poses a high risk in the wake of the current COVID 19 pandemic.
The relocations are therefore meant to decongest the market and ensure that enough spaces are available for crowd control and social distancing.
We request all traders to help the Assembly enforce this decision to reduce crowding and observation of social distancing.
The Assembly is concerned about the consequences of the infections and as much as we know that your lives are dependent on the trade you engage in, we are also more concerned about your life because you can only live to trade.
Government alone cannot take up the fight against the disease; hence individuals, leadership and groups are expected to play vital roles in suppressing the spread of the disease.
We also want to encourage the traders to acquire veronica buckets in front of their shops and compel their customers to wash their hands with soap and acquire other disinfectants to ensure that by these responsible actions, customers who may be carrying the virus will not further transmit to non- carriers.
We, therefore, entreat all traders affected by this decision to prepare and move to the auxiliary Markets for now. We want to assure you that the Assembly has a joint taskforce that will be patrolling the various market created.
Signed: Hon. Justina Owusu Banahene
Municipal Chief Executive, Sunyani Municipal Assembly