A tour through the various principal markets in the Accra Metropolis like Agbogloshie, Mallam Atta, Kaneshie, Mallam, Salaga, Makola, Kantamanto and others have nothing close to neatness in places where foodstuffs are sold for human consumption.
The traders, at the end of the day, leave heaps of refuse behind, to the discomfort of nearby residents and businesses.
According to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), over 2,000 metric tonnes of filth is generated in the metropolis daily.
The sad aspect of the issue is that refuse generated are not properly disposed of to cut down the cost of collection and management by the assembly.
Interestingly, information gathered by the Accra File indicates that some traders and hawkers indiscriminately litter their surroundings, because of the daily tolls they pay to the assembly and the markets managements.
Two second-hand clothing traders at the Tema Station told the file in an interview that each day the assembly assigns officers to collect a fee of GH20p from them, and that these monies should be use to clean up the mess created by traders.
They were of the view that there were over 1,000 traders and hawkers doing business at the Tema station alone, and that the tolls collected, when put together, is so huge that it should be able cater for the management of rubbish created.
‘We are charged GH20p by AMA and GH30p by the station masters, and yet, we are asked to do general cleaning. Calculate how much they get from these daily tolls, because even ice water and head porters are not left out,’ they quipped.
The Agbogloshie market, which is described as the mother of markets, because it is highly patronised by people within and outside Accra, is the dirtiest place anyone could ever think off.
The traders create heaps of refuse and even dump spoilt foodstuffs into the nearby drains.
A trader, who gave her name as Akua Serwah, indicated that the foodstuff, when thrown into the gutter decompose, and which cannot create any blockage. Pointing into a gutter she said, ‘this filth can easily be carried away by the rain, because they are not solid.’
Aside the gutters getting choked, a terrible stench hangs over the area making shoppers and other traders who patronise the market uncomfortable.
Surprisingly, these traders sit and eat by these stinking drains without finding anything wrong with the environment in which they are operating.
Some are so choked that the drain water flows onto the roads. Shoppers, during rainy season especially, struggle to make their way through pools of stagnant water.
The file was surprised when it visited the Kaneshie market in the evening, when the majority of the traders had left to their various homes.
Since the market gates were locked at that hour, the only evidence available that trading activities had gone on, were the heaps of refuse left behind.
Pix by: Eric Owiredu