Monday, March 7, 2011

Kantamanto traders protest demolition exercise, Wednesday, February 9, 2011, Spread

HUNDREDS of traders yesterday turned up at a press conference to press home their demand for President John Evans Atta Mills to intervene in the intended demolition at the Kantamanto Market ordered by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

The leaders of the various trading associations took turns to address the media and called on the President to stop the AMA from denying them their livelihood.

Addressing the media, the Chairman of the Peace and Love Traders Association of Kantamanto, Mr Samuel Amoah, said although the traders had agreed to the expansion and modernisation of the railway system, the ejection of traders would put more than 30,000 people out of business.

He appealed to the city authorities to exercise restraint, extend the period of ejection and find an alternative place for the thousands of traders who would be affected by the exercise.

“Ejecting us from Kantamanto within this short notice will lead to dire economic consequences, since goods sold on credit will not be paid, leading to debts for the traders and their creditors,” he stated.
The National Spokesperson for the association, Mr Ohene Mensah Kakra, said the traders were willing to dialogue with the AMA to find a lasting solution to the issue, as their ejection and the eventual demolition of their stalls would increase social vices in Accra's central business district.
 Last month the AMA ordered the demolition of all structures along the railway lines at Kantamanto to pave way for the construction of new rail lines.
But traders along the rail lines at Kantamanto at the time demonstrated against the impending demolition of their structures.
Wearing red armbands and chanting songs, they ran after one of the coaches conveying an inspection team from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to the Kantamanto Railway Station.
The team comprised representatives from the China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation (CMEC), the contractors, some board members of Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, and journalists.
The team toured areas earmarked for demolition for the contractors to inspect the existing lines and determine the space needed for their operations.
Last week there was a similar inspection tour to remind encroachers on GRDA lands to evacuate for work to begin.
Meanwhile, the AMA says there are available spaces at the Odorna, Osu and La markets and urged the traders to take advantage of those spaces to relocate.
 Speaking in reaction to the traders’ demand, Mr Vanderpuije noted that the contractors were ready to commence work and were only waiting for approval from Cabinet and Parliament.

HUNDREDS of traders yesterday turned up at a press conference to press home their demand for President John Evans Atta Mills to intervene in the intended demolition at the Kantamanto Market ordered by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

The leaders of the various trading associations took turns to address the media and called on the President to stop the AMA from denying them their livelihood.

Addressing the media, the Chairman of the Peace and Love Traders Association of Kantamanto, Mr Samuel Amoah, said although the traders had agreed to the expansion and modernisation of the railway system, the ejection of traders would put more than 30,000 people out of business.

He appealed to the city authorities to exercise restraint, extend the period of ejection and find an alternative place for the thousands of traders who would be affected by the exercise.

“Ejecting us from Kantamanto within this short notice will lead to dire economic consequences, since goods sold on credit will not be paid, leading to debts for the traders and their creditors,” he stated.

The National Spokesperson for the association, Mr Ohene Mensah Kakra, said the traders were willing to dialogue with the AMA to find a lasting solution to the issue, as their ejection and the eventual demolition of their stalls would increase social vices in Accra's central business district.

 Last month the AMA ordered the demolition of all structures along the railway lines at Kantamanto to pave way for the construction of new rail lines.

But traders along the rail lines at Kantamanto at the time demonstrated against the impending demolition of their structures.

Wearing red armbands and chanting songs, they ran after one of the coaches conveying an inspection team from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to the Kantamanto Railway Station.

The team comprised representatives from the China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation (CMEC), the contractors, some board members of Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, and journalists.

The team toured areas earmarked for demolition for the contractors to inspect the existing lines and determine the space needed for their operations.

Last week there was a similar inspection tour to remind encroachers on GRDA lands to evacuate for work to begin.

Meanwhile, the AMA says there are available spaces at the Odorna, Osu and La markets and urged the traders to take advantage of those spaces to relocate.

 Speaking in reaction to the traders’ demand, Mr Vanderpuije noted that the contractors were ready to commence work and were only waiting for approval from Cabinet and Parliament.

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