A team of Police personnel and the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal task force led by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, Simon Kweku Tetteh on Saturday, April 11, 2020, flushed out stubborn traders who defied orders to stay away from trading activities in the market to prevent overcrowding.
The directive, part of a number of steps announced by the Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly towards combating the spread of the coronavirus in the municipality instructed that all non-food stuff sellers stay away from the market for the next two weeks as they would be denied access into the market.
“All non-food stuff sellers (that is; clothes sellers, second-hand cloth dealers, beads & jewelries sellers, shoe sellers, phones & accessories sellers, tailors & dressmakers, hairdressers/weave-on, cosmetic sellers etc.) would not be allowed access to the Agomanya market for the next two weeks starting from Saturday 11th to 25th April 2020 subject to review,” part of the directive issued on Thursday, 9th April 2020 read.
The eastern region has recorded about 28 confirmed covid19 cases with all cases currently
Contrary to the directive however, traders in products that do not fall within the food value chain found their way to the market.
A high powered team consisting of the MCE, Simon Kweku Tetteh, Odumase District Police Commander, Municipal Health Directorate, Members of the Manya Krobo Traditional Council, the Municipal Task and Information Services visited the market Saturday morning to monitor and enforce the directive.
Municipal Health Promotion Officer, Madam Rose Lawer said the visit was also to ensure that the traders comply with the call for social distancing in the discharge of their duties which was the key motivation to ban non-foodstuff sellers from plying their trade.
Though the Municipal Health Promotion Officer said the team faced enormous challenges ensuring the social distancing in the market, she nevertheless maintained that behavioural challenge is a process.
Madam Rose Lawer was however optimistic that the traders would soon adjust to the new order and accept the changes as she advised them to fill the void created by the non-foodstuff sellers to allow for social distancing.
She also called on them to practice all the safety measures announced by the health directives.
Many markets sheds previously occupied by cloth sellers, second-hand cloth dealers, beads & jewelries sellers, shoe sellers, phones & accessories sellers, tailors & dressmakers, hairdressers/weave-on, cosmetic sellers etc, were visibly empty on the day.
Queen Mother of the Agomanya market, Manye Susanna Korkor Kpabitey, expressed her satisfaction at the level of corporation from the market women.
She said the team found its way to the market as early as 2am Saturday to begin the enforcement of the directive.
Madam Kpabitey who said authorities would have no option but to lock the market if the traders defaulted in obeying the directives and urged them to continue to comply with the directives of the local assembly.
Explaining why the traders failed to practice the shift system earlier announced by the local assembly which necessitated this new action, the market queen said practicing the shift system in the market would be difficult as many of the market women who ply their trade in the Agomanya market also trade in the surrounding markets including Akosombo, Gyemeni, Akateng, Asesewa, etc. on other days and hence will not be able to sell at Agomanya every day.