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Traders divided over Tamale Central Market guidelines

2013-05-27 20:46:41
This article has been read 4728 times.

Tamale Central
Traders at the Tamale Central Market (TCM) are divided over a directive by the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly that the market should be closed to business after 6 p.m. each day.

While some of them agree that this measure would augur well for the safety of the traders and the market, others opine that closing the market at 6 p.m. would affect their fortunes because business booms in the evenings, between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Last week, the assembly issued a directive that the TCM should operate within the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

It also directed that traders should avoid setting fires with charcoal because it could result in fire outbreaks.

In addition, the TaMA implored the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) to check illegal connections in the market and ensure that all sections were well-wired.

A Deputy Director at the TaMA, Mr Jafaru Abdul-Aziz, told a local radio station, Kesmi FM, that the assembly was compelled to enforce those guidelines on the operation of the market because it had to act to avoid any market fire in Tamale.

“Most market fires occur at night and so it would be better to let the traders leave the market early to guarantee their safety and also prevent a situation where the activity of traders who are in the market at night result in a fire,” he said.

Mr Abdul-Aziz mentioned that the assembly was still working towards developing other markets, such as the Kukuo market and other satellite markets, to ease the pressure on the TCM, also known as the old market.

“We have a huge plot at Kakpagyili reserved for the construction of a market and so in the future when we get funding we would develop that one too,” he hinted.

However, some traders insist that the time could be extended to 8 p.m. when business would have come to a close naturally.

“By 8 p.m., most traders would have left and then the market could be closed,” Ayisha Musah, a seller of smoked fish, stated.

Other traders, like Mba Fuseini who sells kola, disagree with the sentiments expressed by their colleagues.

“It is a good measure and I am in full support of it,” he said and added that “each time we leave, we are not sure what others are doing in the market and some of them set fire to cook.”

Meanwhile, the TaMA has also cautioned traders who have encroached on the right of way in the market to evacuate before it commences an exercise to decongest the market.

Although the TCM was built with wide gates and large passages, big enough for cars and humans to use simultaneously, owners of stalls have done extensions in the form of sheds, cages, containers and zinc roofs, thereby narrowing these passages.

Other market operators have also raised new structures in the middle of these pathways, further reducing the space and making it impossible for vehicles to access the market.

What remains uncertain is how committed the assembly is to implementing the planned decongestion exercise as well as enforcing the various guidelines regarding the operation of the market.


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