Mankessim Timber Association wants modern timber market

Mankessim (C/R), April 4, GNA – Mankessim Timber Market Association has appealed to the Government and the Ekumfi District Assembly to help them construct a befitting timber market to keep members in business.

The Market, which was relocated from the Mankessim Roundabout seven years ago to the present location on the Suprodu road, lacked facilities like accessible roads, lights, water, clinic and proper drainage system.

Mr Kofi Apreh Boakye, Chairman of the Association, made the appeal during a day’s stakeholder workshop organised by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund at Mankessim to enable the Association put across its concerns to the District Assembly.

The workshop was attended by more than 35 members including assembly members from Suprodu and Mankessim.

Mr Boakye said apart from the lack of accessible roads, there were no toilet facilities, market sheds as well as poor security at the site thereby making them to experience regular theft of wood and other items and called on the Assembly to come to their aid.

He said since the market was moved to its new site, it had not seen  any significant development from the Assembly, despite the fact that they continually paid their taxes, adding that if nothing was done, the more than 200 people who operate at the site, would be out of job.

He also expressed concern about the frequent power outages, which he said was greatly affecting their work since they could not process the lumber without electricity.

Mr Boakye explained that apart from the main market at Mankessim the Association also had outlets at Apam, Ajumako, Saltpond and that due to the bad nature of the road leading to the market most of their customers both from the outlets and the main town found it difficult to come to the market particularly when it rains.

Mr Alex Beechem, Presiding Member of the Mfantseman Municipal Assembly commended the members for forming the Association, which he noted could enable them acquire loans and other financial support.

He said the Assembly was ready to assist them provided they officially informed the Assembly of their needs and suggested that the members should venture into teak and other woodlot plantations, which he noted could be a regular source of income for them.

He said with bad road to the market, the Assembly could only do its regular maintenance. It said the Assembly would collaborate with the Ghana Highways and Urban roads to have it tarred in the near future.

Mr Daniel Hammond Presiding Member of Ekumfi District said, the Assembly was also ready to assist the members to enable them stay in business.

He said the Assembly had started creating land banks and would be ready to lease some to the Association to start a woodlot plantation.

Mr Cadmond Dadzie consultant with BUSAC, urged the members to desist from politicizing development issues and that they should deal with officials as they come to power and not restrict their demands to a particular political party.