YEAR on year, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) embarks on decongestion and demolishing exercises which are always geared towards clearing the streets and pavements of Accra of petty traders and hawkers. These exercises are done primarily to ease vehicular and pedestrian movement in the national capital.
THE current Major of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, together with his team are currently embarking on a series of decongestions and demolishing of mini-structures which have been mounted on the shoulders of the roads, especially the pavements, which serve as the only walkways for pedestrians. The first phase of the exercise has seen major parts of the city cleared of hawkers and unauthorised structures, leaving the central business district (CBD) of Accra clean and clear. An exercise, which as usual, has received tons of commendations.
SO far areas that the AMA has cleared of hawkers and petty traders include CBD, Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Tip Toe Lane and Kokomlemle as well as other places within the metropolis. Other areas to be dealt with, we understand, are Kaneshie, Lapaz and Avenor.
WHILE the affected petty traders and hawkers are unhappy about the happenings, pedestrians are singing songs of praise for the assembly for the exercise.
BUT the question which Today believes is engraved on the many lips of Ghanaians is: will the exercise this time around last and stand the test of time? Will the petty traders and hawkers not bounce back after few months?
MOST often petty traders are left to ply their trade on pavements, especially during campaigns. However, right after the elections are over, they are chased to leave the same place where the AMA on a daily basis go there to collect levies.
IN any of these exercises, state resources are used in terms of hiring excavators and bulldozers, fuelling of vehicles and even the human resources who are involved. To answer the question we do not think that this exercise will be anything different from previous ones that have been organised by mayors in Accra.
THIS is simply because we have proven on countless occasions that it is one exercise that we cannot sustain as a people. In fact, Today will not be surprised at all to see in a few weeks time the hawkers and petty traders back on the streets and pavements of Accra. The reason is that the AMA goes to sleep after such exercises. Pure and simple!
AGAIN, our checks have shown that the Assembly’s bye-laws are not enforced because most at times human face is used in handling some of the issues and offenders are not prosecuted.
IT is in the light of the above that Today is charging the major of Accra to ensure that this current exercise is sustained to ensure that tax payers’ monies don’t go waste as we go over this exercise over and over again.
MOREOVER, bye-laws must be enforced with punitive actions taken against offenders to serve as a deterrent to others. We at Today want to assure the mayor that we will take him on if we fail this time around. We must tell ourselves that enough is enough, and that it is about time we stopped hawking on our streets and pavements not only in Accra but the other regional capitals.