The Madina market, one of the busiest trading centers in the Greater Accra Region has been reopened to allow market women to sell their products.
This follows a meeting between the market queens and the La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly to agree on proper guidelines that will ensure that health and safety protocols are adhered to.
Displeased with the social distancing being observed by the traders and their failure to stick to all safety rules set by the government and the Assembly, the Municipal Chief Executive for the area, Jennifer Afagbedzi, ordered the market to be shut down on Tuesday.
Surrounding markets such as the Bohy3 market at Redco and the Madina New Road Market were left to operate.
Speaking at a meeting organised on Thursday, to brief the market women on the agreement reached with their leaders, the MCE, Jennifer Afagbedzi, noted that the Assembly decided in conjunction with their leaders to reopen for trading.
However, anyone caught flouting the regulations will be dealt with as the law stipulates because the action of that person will put thousands at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
“God willing Saturday, the market will be reopened for you but you have to adhere to the agreements. Your leaders gave the agreements. The misdeeds of one or two people will affect all of you. If you do not adhere to the arrangements, the market will be closed again. We will not look on for a few people to expose us all to the virus. If there is someone around you who flouts the rule, you ought to put the person to order,” she told the market women.
The new arrangement will see traders allotted specific spaces to sell and some redirected to other markets where there is enough space to accommodate them.
Even though the directive seemed to have sat down well with the traders who ply their trade at the Madina main market, some hawkers and traders, who hitherto, sold their wares by the roadside say they feel left out by the new arrangement.
According to them, the Assembly focused on market women who had stalls and sold within the market and didn’t factor them in the decision-making process, a situation they complained, will leave them stranded and further aggravate their plight since they have no other source of income.
One of the women, the news team spoke to at the Madina market, after the meeting, lamented, “We are disappointed. I wish I could get one of the officers from the Assembly to speak to or share my concerns with. All I do for a living is to hawk since the lockdown I have not been able to do this. I am willing to adhere to all the safety protocols. All we want is a small space at any of the markets so we sit and engage in trading activities to generate some revenue to cater for our families.”
The directive to close markets that were not observing the social distancing was issued by the Local Government Ministry.
The idea is to protect traders and consumers from contracting or spreading the virus which has so far infected about 378 persons in Ghana, in 8 Regions, killed 5 while the others are responding to treatment.