Hawkers and traders have invaded pavements of major streets in the Central Business District of Accra with impunity to the displeasure of pedestrians and motorists.
A visit on Monday by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to streets around the Tema Station, Makola, Rawlings Park, and Kinbu witnessed traders and hawkers briskly conducting business on the pavements.
Items ranging from yams, second hand clothing, fruits and vegetables, drinks, exercise books and school bags, snails and mushrooms were boldly displayed in the hot scorching sun and under umbrellas.
Mr Samuel Dodoo, a media practitioner in an interaction with the GNA, said the issue of evicting the traders from pavements had become political; and that from past governments to date, various mayors of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) seem to have been restrained by “orders from above” from enforcing the bye-laws against hawking and trading on pavements.
He said the situation was bizarre because pedestrians were being pushed from the pavements and they had no option but to compete with vehicles on the streets for space and this could lead to road accidents.
Mr Dodoo said over the years, the AMA had been saddled with the problem of evicting traders and hawkers on pavements and successive governments had been mindful not to lose their votes through eviction processes.
He urged the government to be bold and deal with the situation decisively in order to ensure sanity.
Mr Fredrick Tetteh, a hawker on the Kinbu Street, said the economic hardship had pushed him and others to sell on the streets.
He said, though he and his group were aware that trading on pavements was illegal, government should provide them with an alternative.
Ms Esther Ohenewaa, a hawker, also appealed to government to settle them at an appropriate place to enable them to ply their businesses.
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