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Rehabilitated Bolga Market in Jeopardy

2007-06-20 22:34:06
This article has been read 856 times.

THE DREAMS and aspirations of rehabilitating the old Bolgatanga market seem to have been shattered as the market has become a home of comfort where some young lovers exercise their sexual prowess in the night.

The market has not only become a sex plaza but also a home of drug addicts and lunatics as well as a place of convenience for some uncivilized people who prefer the open place to the toilet facility on the premises.

Built at great cost, the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly anticipated that the market would bring appreciable revenue but almost all the initial plans to ensure that the Assembly derived maximum returns, until the re-constitution of the allocation committee, have hit the rocks.

The market, when put to use, would create employment which would not only contribute to poverty reduction but also generate substantial revenue to support the developmental agenda of the Municipal Assembly.

The Chronicle at a recent nocturnal visit to the market, spotted some of the youth who were on their usual smoking and sexual expeditions. The stalls, corridors and pavements of the market have been littered with human excreta and some possessions of lunatics.

Residents around the market who spoke to these reporters said there had been instances where unknown persons sexually assaulted female lunatics.

Some expressed the fear that if nothing was done to halt those activities, the market might not attract the expected patronage by the time the committee finishes with the new allocations, noting that the market was likely to lose its importance due to the disgusting odour.

But others strongly believe that all those activities might cease when the market becomes fully operational since security lights as well as security personnel would be engaged to ensure safety and sanity.

It may be recalled that sometime last year, the allocation of the Bolgatanga Market stores and stalls generated much controversy and confusion. This unhealthy development necessitated the intervention of the Upper East Regional Minister, Boniface Gambila and as a result of the extensive consultations the Minister held with all the stakeholders, the market allocation committee was reconstituted.

The reconstitution of the committee nullified all the previous allocations made by the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly which brought about the hullabaloo and the composition of the popular rebellion song "Te kan seke" (in Grune) literally translated "we won't agree" by the associations of market women and traders during their serial demonstrations last year.

The committee, according to the terms of reference, was to ensure fair and equitable allocation of market stores and stalls. It was also tasked to give prior consideration to the traders who originally occupied stores and stalls in the market and paid their rent regularly.

The committee was also to ensure that no individual got more than one store or stall and that stores allocation was done in an orderly and transparent manner to reflect commodity sections while ensuring systematic numbering and classification of stores and stalls. Further, it was to incorporate any other suggestions and recommendations that the committee considers essential to the efficient allocation and functioning of the market stores.

The all inclusive committee, made up of representatives from religious bodies, the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly, Association of Market Women, Market Users Association, Tindanas (Landlords), the Traditional Council as well as an official from Town and Country Planning, had two months ultimatum, which expires on June 15, 2007, to submit its report to the Regional Minister.

However, The Chronicle gathered that although the committee has been working tirelessly, it might not be able to meet the deadline due to the enormity of the work on the re-allocation exercise. For now, the controversy and confusion surrounding the allocation of the stores and stalls of the market rehabilitated under the District Wide Assistance Project (DWAP), have come to a halt, pending the outcome of the committee's report but the sanitary condition in the market is getting worse day by day.

source: allAfrica.com

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