Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Turkey market develops at Santasi roundabout

A new trend of vending livestock, especially turkey, guinea fowl and chicken on the streets at prime areas of the Kumasi metropolis was emerging.
Hitherto, it was newspaper vendors who were noted for standing in those areas in the middle of the road to sell newspapers.
However, the medians are gradually being taken over by livestock vendors.
This, if not checked, could develop into a menace in the likes of other street trading activities, which had become a problem for city authorities to control.
It has been observed that some traders were gradually turning one of the medians at the Santasi roundabout, a prime area in Kumasi, into an area for vending turkey.
The animals are brought unto the median in the middle of the road just in front of the Lavikus Hotel every morning and tied unto stones, ostensibly to invite probable buyers.
Apart from the fact that the animals defecate and soil up the entire area during the course of the day as pedestrians, motorists and tourists move about their daily activities, the lives of the traders, are at risk in case of an accident.
Apart from that, other traders have also mounted chicken cages on the pedestrian walkway a few metres away from the roundabout, also doing brisk business in that area.
It would be appropriate for city authorities to act now than to wait for the practice to degenerate into a situation, which would make it difficult to control.
This is because many of the street vending activities, which had become a nuisance and contributed immensely to the creation of congestion especially in the central business district (CBD) of the Kumasi metropolis, started on a gradual process as what was currently being witnessed at the Santasi roundabout.
Currently, almost every available space in prime areas of the Kumasi metropolis was gradually being turned into a spot for trading activities.
Unfortunately, city authorities have failed to act firmly to control the menace on a sustainable base.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) embarked on an exercise in 2007 and 2008 to get rid of trading activities on pavements and streets but that exercise was disbanded after the traders threatened to refuse to give the New Patriotic Party (NPP) their mandate in the general elections.
The issue of the enforcement of the by-laws of the KMA with regards to street trading have always turned into political debates and for fears of losing electoral votes, successive governments have failed to act firmly on the issue.
For how long would city authorities and politicians continue to play politics with issues of illegality with regards to trading activities on streets, on pavements and on pedestrian walkways instead of looking at the issue holistically?
Come to think of it, if nothing was done to stop the traders who have displayed the turkeys on the median in the Santasi roundabout, others would join in and the entire area would be turned into a turkey market.