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Activities of small-scale businesses causing nuisance in Tamale

2008-09-29 20:57:27
This article has been read 850 times.

The activities of some small-scale business operators in the Tamale Metropolis is causing nuisance, which if not addressed, could cause havoc to life and property. The operators popularly referred to as "pity traders" invade and block the pavements of some major streets including the frontage to the Tamale Teaching Hospital and sell, ignoring the danger their activities pose to road users.

Some of them also sell food close to refuse dumps, which could cause an epidemic such as cholera and typhoid and affect innocent children, who normally patronize their services. At the frontage of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) offices in Kukuo, the traders had the turned the place into a mini market selling charcoal, yam, tomatoes, beans and groundnuts and also obstructing vehicular movement. Heavy trucks also load and offload yam and charcoal in the middle of the road in front of the GNA offices, which creates traffic congestion, particularly in the evenings without considering the consequences. At the Kaladan area, the traders have occupied the pedestrian pavements, while some of them have almost blocked the main entrance to the Tamale Senior High International School Complex with kiosks, thereby obstructing movement. At the Victory Cinema area, food vendors sell close to the refuse dump, which had always been left unattended to by city authorities. Speaking in separate interviews with the GNA, some of the traders said they had no other alternative than selling by the road side since they could not afford to pay the huge sums of money charged at the assembly's satellite markets at Kalpohin, Lamashiegu and Kukuo.

Madam Amina Awudu, a "pity trader" at the GNA premises, speaking on behalf of her colleagues said, they had been operating on a small capital and could not afford to pay the rental fee of GH¢ 20 a month at the satellite markets, hence their selling on the pavements. She said there were no opportunities for them to contract loans to increase their businesses and that "financial institutions were unfriendly to them, since most of them were illiterates and could not operate Bank Accounts to qualify for loans. One kiosk operator at the Kaladan area who had occupied the pavement and declined to give his name, told the GNA that, he had genuinely acquired the land for his business and was paying fees to the Assembly and saw nothing wrong with the citing of his kiosks. Some of the traders who spoke to the GNA, however, conceded that they were obstructing vehicular movement but could not afford to rent stores or use the satellite markets that the Assembly had built since they were expensive.

Some of them appealed to the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly to consider offering the market stalls to them on credit basis to facilitate their movement from the pavements. The traders also appealed to financial institutions to grant them soft loans to enable them to increase their businesses. Alhaji Mohammed Baba, Tamale Metropolitan Coordinating Director told the GNA that the Assembly was aware of the activities of the "pity traders" at unauthorized places, especially on the pavements. He said in view of the dangers the sellers pose on the streets, the Assembly had built some satellite markets at Kukuo, Lamashiegu and Kalpohin as measures to bring sanity unto the streets, but "the people were adamant to move to the markets with the excuse that there would be no patronage".

He debunked the assertion by some of the traders that the Assembly was charging GH¢ 20 for the use of the market stalls per month and explained that the Assembly was rather charging GH¢30 for the whole year. On the part of food vendors selling close to some refuse dumps, Alhaji Baba said the Assembly had not taken notice of it and gave the assurance that the Sanitary Inspectorate unit of the Assembly would take up the issue and advise appropriately.

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