The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has initiated an exercise to help curb the frequent fire outbreaks at the Kumasi Central Market in the Ashanti Region.
Under the exercise dubbed, ‘operation after 6 p.m.,’ traders are supposed to leave the market by 6 p.m. after ensuring that all naked fires are put off.
As part of the measures, cooking after 6 p.m. has also been banned. A team has, therefore, been put in place to monitor and enforce the directives.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the KMA, Mr Osei Asibey Antwi, who announced the new measures at a meeting with the leadership of the market in Kumasi last Friday, further indicated that all entry and exit points in the market would be under lock and key after 6 p.m. each day.
And as part of the exercise, the team will also check on electrical wiring and illegal power connections in the market, while perpetrators of such criminal practices will be brought to book. The exercise is to begin today (Monday).
The market women paid a courtesy call on the CEO to lend their support as he worked to accelerate the development of the metropolis.
Mr Antwi expressed concern over the frequency of fire outbreaks in the metropolis which he said had impoverished lots of traders following the destruction of their stores and wares.
The market has experienced about 50 fires over the last two years, the latest was last month.
The Queenmother of Yam sellers in the market, Nana Yaa Foriwaa, appealed to the CEO to relocate all traders on pavements around the market.
According to her, such traders should be made to occupy some of the empty stalls in the market.
Many traders have abandoned their allotted places at both the ‘Abenkyi’ and the main central markets to sell on the pavement, thereby creating unnecessary congestion and human traffic on the roadways.
Nana Foriwaa said: “The practice is depriving those in the market of sales since buyers would prefer to purchase their wares instead of walking into the market.”
Beyond the ‘ambush marketing,’ Nana Foriwaa also indicated that it was unhygienic for food items, in particular, to be displayed on the bare floor and that such practices could lead to an epidemic.