Traders at Kantamanto within the Central Business District of Accra have hailed Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the government for providing them with a temporal place for trading activities.
Chairman of the Kantamanto Traders Association, Opoku Afreh, who confirmed the latest development after a meeting with the Vice President at the Jubilee House (Presidency) on Friday, December 18, said the intervention by the Vice President is timely and will ensure that they are still in business while government explores ways of restoring the old market.
According to him, the new place, which is at the Railways, can accommodate over 1,000 traders who were affected following the fire outbreak earlier this week.
“We are grateful to the Vice President for his timely intervention by providing us with a temporal place for us to continue with our trading activities. This is the peak period for our trade but unfortunately, this week’s fire outbreak nearly ruined our Christmas but we are happy hope has finally come at last following this intervention by the Vice President,” he revealed.
He observed that though the number of affected persons stand at 2, 592, he was hopeful that the new place will ameliorate their plight while government explores other alternatives as was hinted by the Vice President earlier this week.
Dr Bawumia led a government delegation to meet with leadership of the market and other stakeholders to look at ways to provide humanitarian as well as business support to the affected traders.
The meeting was aimed at discussing the modalities for the reconstruction of the market with more durable material instead of the current use of wood, as well as explore ways of beefing up security.
“This is a devastating human tragedy. I am told over 2,592 persons have been directly affected, with thousands more indirectly affected. This is a very sad situation. So many of our fellow citizens losing their day to day means of living is unacceptable,” he stated.
“While investigations continue into this tragedy, we also have work to do. I have thus called for a meeting on Friday, in my office, with the leadership of the market and all the stakeholders in the operation of this market in particular and markets in general, to discuss how we can, firstly, help the victims at Kantamanto, by providing some assistance. NADMO is already here, but we will do more.
“Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we will look at rebuilding, using more durable, fire-resistant material instead of wood, to prevent such devastation in future. We will also look at ways to better protect our markets. As you can see, I have members of the security apparatus with me here. We have already begun discussions on that front,” he said.
While consoling the traders for their loss, Vice President Bawumia assured of government’s intention to help get them back on their feet and secure their businesses against such occurrences in future, and called for their support when such works begin.