The First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama, has urged the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to involve market women in the reconstruction of markets in the metropolis.

She described as unfair the situation where after the reconstruction of markets the new shops and stalls were allocated to new people at higher prices instead of resettling those who were relocated at the new place.

The First Lady was speaking at a meeting between leaders of the Greater Accra Market Association (GAMA) and the AMA in Accra last Friday.

She was at the meeting to acquaint herself with the problems facing the 13 markets in Accra and know at first hand how market women who benefitted from soft loans provided by Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) after the floods in June were faring.

Mrs Mahama noted that on completion of such projects, preference should be given to the traders who originally occupied stalls and stores in the markets.

On behalf of the AMA she donated a 33-seater bus to the association to facilitate its movement and advised that a body be set up to be in charge of its proper maintenance.

For his part, the Chief Executive of the AMA, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, announced that the assembly would reconstruct nine major markets in the metropolis through private/public partnerships.

He said the capacity of the new markets would be double or triple that of existing ones and that they would have banks, offices, clinics, day-care centres, temporary transit quarters, police posts, storage facilities, among others.

They would also be fitted with devices that would prevent fire outbreaks.

Dr Vanderpuije said the markets earmarked for reconstruction included the 31st Makola, Mallam Attah, Salaga, Kantamanto, London, Tuesday and Makola Annex Two and said work would begin in August, to be completed within two years.

He made a firm promise that every registered trader in the affected markets would be reallocated his or her stall and store after the completion of the project.

Dr Vanderpuije expressed gratitude to the MASLOC for going to the aid of the market women when their items were destroyed by fire and floods.

?We have resolved to continue to work hard to ensure the dredging and de-silting of the Korle Lagoon to curb the perennial flooding,? he said.

The President of GAMA, Madam Mercy Afoowa Needjan, expressed the association?s appreciation to Mrs Mahama for her offer of support to it in times of need and pledged its support to the AMA for the construction of the old markets into modern ones.

She commended the AMA for what she called the bold initiative and policies that would result in improved living conditions for traders.
Present at the meeting were Madam Sherry Aryeetey, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and the Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, Mrs Sedinam Tamakloe-Attionu.


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