Representatives of the various traders Associations within the Kumasi Kajetia Central Business Enclave on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, expressed their readiness to battle the authorities of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and the managers of the new Kejetia market project.
According to them if by the two authorities do not act to solve the problems confronting them, they will face their wrath.
At a joint press organised by the concerned Associations, the Public Relations Officer of the Kajetia Traders Association, Mr. Andrews Kwofie (a.k.a Andy) speaking on behalf of the associations, noted that both Kma and managers of the new Kajetia market have been taken the Associations and for that matter, the traders for granted as they have in several occasions using deceptive words in an attempts to punish the traders who lawfully meet their tax obligations apart from serving the public.
According to Andy, for more than one year, the traders have been operating under leakage market roofs, besides experiencing poor drainage system, whilst the area sited for gas administration poses a serious threat should in case there is fire outbreak or emergencies. The lifting system, public address system for information dissemination and education on the market facilities, effective security management, the associations observed are non-existent, thus giving them a hell of a time to operate properly.
What is worse, Andy bemoaned is that at any time it rains, the goods of the traders are destroyed due to the leaking roof of the structures, stressing that the attention of the management has on several occasions been drawn to ensure that the roofs are properly fixed and the drainage systems restored to avoid flooding, but to no avail.
The traders further indicated the non-availability of access routes to some parts of the market, looming health risks due to excessive fumes from vehicles, and exorbitant electricity bills among other concerns as among other challenges confronting their business operations.
“We’re appealing to the management to immediately come to the aid of us and restore the flooding issues among others, failure, we may deem appreciate to advise ourselves without prejudice or bone of contention with anyone.
Below is the full statement
KEJETIA TRADERS ASSOCIATION, ELEVEN MEMBER STEERING COMMITTEE OF CENTRAL MARKET AND CONCERN CENTRAL MARKET TRADERS ASSOCIATION AND KEJETIA/CENTRAL MARKET PETTY TRADERS ASSOCIATIONS, FRANCOS ENTERPRISE LIMITED, KEJETIA TRADITIONAL CATERERS ASSOCIATION, KEJETIA UNITED TRADERS.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the press and fellow traders. We Are very grateful for your attendance even though we gave you a short notice, thanks you very much.
It has become necessary to hold this press conference due to the deception, poor attention, lack of concern and lukewarm attitude or approach of management as well as the board of directors by extension kma. to our plight. It is surprising to note that Traders needs which should have been the greatest concern and headache to management and the board of directors of the market, have rather been relegated to the background while needs of management are being championed in a manner very reprehensible and unacceptable. Ladies and gentlemen, the only attention our issues have had from management and the board of directors since the inception of this edifice are the following
- We are working on it
- It is stage by stage
- The board will take a decision on it etc.
The above inscriptions have been the daily CHORUS of management and the board of directors over a year now and we think it is time to call “a spade a spade”. For how long can this treatment of disrespect and disdain be allowed to fester and undo the very TRADERS who feed you Permit me at this time to rehash some of our main concerns which received no attention from management and the board of directors, in other words, they have been treated with disdain so to speak.
Public Address System:
The press, fellow traders is it not a surprising that a market as big as this hasn’t gotten a semblance of public address system for disseminating of information, education of occupants of this facility for we the traders. Anytime this concern is raised before either management or the board of directors, we are always told to wait or have patience and that things are been worked on. Sadly, and disappointedly it been over a year now and no sign of a public address system. When is talking going to give way for real concrete action to take place to birth results. Is there any reason why authorities wouldn’t want to get a public address system into this market? We are in the know that it was part of the original contract of which the contractors’ representatives, the consultant to the board and management have all confirmed to.
Functionality of Lift:
Before the operationalization of this market, we were told fantasy tales of facilities in this market. From lift system to modern cooking system and others. We dare the authorities i.e. management and the board of directors to tell the whole world if the lift system in this market has ever work for just for an hour carrying even goods or physically challenged persons to and fro the various floors in this market. Anytime we raise these concern authorities will sweet tongue us “it’s been worked on” and that very soon we will see the functioning of the lift. We have waited till eternity for this to happen. Maybe it will take the second coming of Jesus Christ to see the working of the lift(elevator).
Cooking and gas flow system:
Looking from afar anybody will conclude that this is a master class edifice of a market taking into consideration the food court. Ladies and gentlemen of the press let the whole world know that all is never rosy with the beauty of a food court they see. With a food court of this length one will think it should have multiple exit point for easy escape in case there is fire outbreak or any danger looming at this section of the market. Interestingly these long stretch food court have only single exit point which is soo dangerous. The lives of our fellow traders who ply their trade at the food court matter a lot and must not be toyed with.
This section of the market is supposed to use gas for cooking, but the reality is that ever since this market has been operational, gas has never flown through the pipes to the various outlets shops at the food court. Traders are now forced to use their own gas cylinders for cooking. Permit us to put these questions to the authorities who dreamt, planned, designed and built this market. Did they ever realize fufu was one of the major staple foods of our people? What provision was made to allow for preparation of this food? Why should traders have to get fufu pounded on the first and second floors of this market which is so dangerous for a structured market of this nature?
Now on the issue of gas flow and the citing of the gas reserve tank. Why will a gas reserve tank be cited this close to a densely populated area? Why will a gas reserve tank be cited this close to a structure that houses squatters? Has anyone thought how dangerous it will be should there be leakage around that tank with it coming into contact with naked fire? We forsee wailing, grinding of teeth of mothers and families.
We forsee danger ahead of us. This tank is just close to the children’s hospital of Kumasi. If the public is not aware we wish to place on notice that on the day gas was discharged into this tank it was very scary when leakage of one of the valve was spotted.
As we speak there is gas sitting in that tank without it been used. When is gas supply going to get to the various shops at the food court for cooking. Enough of the wait it been worked on. Enough of “we have ordered for an equipment to fix for the gas flow” which never get supplied to be fixed. Enough of the baked truth and sweet talking us to wait in perpetuity. We have run out of patience.
Why will an edifice as this with this huge investment start having a leaking roof anytime it rains? What went into the thinking in acquiring materials used for roofing this structure? Will this market keep on having leaking roof in perpetuity? Why bring us from well roofed shops to a facility that have to live with leaking roofs whenever it rains. Where did we go wrong for this to be visited on us?
When an edifice of this nature is put up it is very much expected that the drainage systems will be constructed in a manner that will get water from heavy rain flow freely. When this has been done, but yet authorities fail to maintain these drains by desilting them the end result is flooding. One would have thought that after the heavy rain in 2015 that got Kejetia flooded while the contractor was at site steps will be taken to forestall the reoccurrence of this. But just two weeks ago another flooding happened.
We expected to be relocated from a continuous flooded area to a more befitting edifice only to be relocated to another flooded place. It is the duty of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to get all major drains around the market desilted while management do the same inside the market to prevent the reoccurrence of flooding of our markets.
We traders will not take it lightly when another flooding is allowed to occur. We also call on our fellow traders to desist from pushing filth into the smaller drains in the market. The problem affecting traders whose shops are at the extension section of the market is the persistent flooding of their shop whenever it rains. The attention of authorities has been drawn to this and all we are told is that it is due to a design defect. The solution for this has never been their priority.