Hundreds of ejected traders from the Kejetia Bus Terminal have been left to their fate by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to clear reptile-infested bushes at the Race Course in Kumasi for use as their new location to ply their trade.
At the Race Course, these vulnerable and miserable looking women, some with their babies strapped to their backs, are also at the mercy of the weather.
They have no shelter to protect them from either rain or the scorching sun.
The women claim that they had been forced to scramble for the land at very exorbitant prices because the KMA has barricaded the entire bus terminal and locked out both those owning stores and their counterparts selling within the terminal.
Although the KMA has on several occasions indicated that the area had been clearly demarcated, filled and made safe, the women are of the view that it was just a small portion that was cleared and filled with sand which is being used as a bus station.
Already the assembly has secured other places like Afia Kobi Lorry Terminal popularly referred to as Abinkyi Market and Adehyeman Market. Some drivers and traders have moved and started doing business at these places.
Reacting to the concerns raised by the women, the KMA Public Relations Officer, Mr Godwin Okumah Nyame told the Graphiconline that the barricaded Kejetia Bus Terminal was still open for business and that it was only drivers who have been barred from using the place.
He explained that at the Race Course, the portions that the KMA wanted to use for drivers and traders had been secured and properly filled and that those areas being cleared by the women were not part of the KMA alternative to the Kejetia Bus Terminal.
He said the assembly was moving men to the area to clear the women from using the area, explaining that these are women who were not at Kejetia but wanted to use the opportunity to also trade at the unmarked and undeveloped areas of the Race Course.
Mr Nyame insisted that though the terminal had been barricaded the traders were not prevented from opening their shops and trade.
Sixty-two year old Madam Serwaa Brago could not hold back her tears when the team decided to seek her opinion about the new place.
She wondered what they would do should the rains start, adding that “right now we have entered the rainy season. Look at this forest Kojo Bonsu has pushed us to come and trade. Is this place habitable, safe and secured for mothers and old women to sell their wares?”
She pleaded with the Graphic team to urge the KMA authorities to come to their aid.
The timely intervention of a cutlass seller saved a one-and-half year old from being bitten by a snake in the bush where his mother was clearing to secure a place to ply her trade.
Scared and terrified by the threat of snake biting her baby, Madam Sylvia Opoku has had to abandon her cutlass and the piece of land she had purchased from some KMA officials at GH¢200.
Sobbing intermittently, Madam Opoku said “My husband lost his job recently due to the dumsor. Luckily he gave me the larger portion of his severance award to trade and look at what I am going through. If I don’t sell the family will not eat. Please tell Mr Kojo Bonsu that since Monday I have not sold anything. My family is starving”.