Tema residents call for social distancing at Tema Port, Oninku school park markets

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Residents of Tema have expressed concern about congestion and the lack of social distancing among traders located between the Tema Port Clinic and the Oninku Primary School in Tema Community 1.

The foodstuff sellers are part of the sprawling market on the Oninku Junior High School Park.

The new market is one of three open markets created by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly as part of measures to decongest the Community 1 market (quarters) and to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, the other two at Twedaase Junior High School park and Chemu Senior High School park have observed good social distancing measures.

During a visit yesterday to the Oninku JHS market the Ghanaian Times observed that traders at the Oninku JHS side were observing good social distancing but the same could not be said of those located close to the Port Clinic.

A housewife, Mrs Leticia Abbey, after waving through the crowd to buy some foodstuffs said she felt very uncomfortable.

She called on the TMA to decongest that portion of the market by sending some of the traders to outlying areas of the park.

Public Relations Officer of the Tema Central Market, Kwabena Andoh, said he went round with officials of TMA on four occasions to encourage the traders to space out their wares but their advice fell on deaf ears because most of the traders chose to settle close to the lanes to attract patronage.

He said the issue was discussed at a meeting on Monday between the TMA and leadership of the market and a Task Force was asked to intervene.

A good number of the traders said they were aware of the outbreak of the virus but did not see how they could contract it by getting close to each other. Some of them requested for more Veronica buckets, soap and water to wash their hands as what they had received from the City Authority was not adequate.

When contacted the Public Relations Officer of TMA, Frank Asante, said TMA planned to install poly tanks to serve free potable water to all the open markets so that the traders could wash their hands often as directed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He added that the Assembly had ordered a large quantity of locally made face masks to be distributed to the traders to reduce the spread of the virus.

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