kotokuraba market
kotokuraba market

There is every indication that Christmas is here with us once again, with its accompanying harmattan winds, Christmas goodies, heavy human and vehicular traffic in the Cape Coast Metropolis with prices of goods soaring.

kotokuraba market
kotokuraba market

Unfortunately, the usual brisk and tense trading atmosphere at Kotokoraba market, in the heart of the Metropolis during the period was absent due to the demolition of the market some few days ago.

The action could now be felt at the two temporary markets constructed for the relocated traders at Kotoka and Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, not too far away from the Kotokoraba market.

Other traders had created shops, mini markets and mounted tables and stalls at available spaces within the Metropolis displaying various wares including Christmas items.

The scene at the markets, especially at Kotoka, popularly called ?Chinese market? was that similar to the old Kotokoraba in its former days, with traders, customers, vehicles, passengers, porters and window shoppers trooping in and out of the market. Other shopping centres within the area were no different.

The one at Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, also nicknamed ?Dubai market? was gradually swelling up with traders who had earlier refused to occupy the sheds allocated to them for varied reasons.

An interview with some of them indicated that the place was isolated, whilst others claimed they were going to lose their customers because of it far away from the centre of the city.

Others still bet their hopes on the outcome of the court suit leveled against the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) and three other defendants by eight aggrieved Kotokoraba traders over the demolition of the market, originally scheduled for October 1, 2014.

The kotokoraba market which is the main centre of attraction for one?s first visit to Cape Coast had had its fair share of controversy surrounding its demolition and reconstruction to an ultra-modern facility to befit a Metropolitan status.

Eventually, the Kotokoraba market was demolished on Saturday dawn, December 20 to pave the way for the reconstruction of a modern market complex.

Some traders that the Ghana News Agency (GNA) talked to expressed pessimism over making Christmas fortunes due to their relocation from the main market.

Maame Ansaba, a trader at the Kotoka market chided, ?I just took a loan from a micro-finance company to trade, with the hope of making some profits during the season, but my customers cannot locate me easily from where I am now.?

Auntie Comfort, another trader at ?Dubai market? lamented, ?We have no option than to relocate since the Kotokoraba market had been demolished. We place our hopes in God,? pointing and looking upwards.

As at Tuesday, December 23, the principal streets of the Metropolis were choked with both human and vehicular traffic, with the John Atta-Mills Street running from the Barclays Bank at Chapel Square to Mfantsipim School junction being the worst affected.

The Tantri Street was also that of a bustling road with vehicular jam, beginning from Mrs. Enstill?s bakery, through the HFC Bank to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) head office, towards Kotokoraba, probably due to the lorry station at the area.

Some drivers that the GNA interacted with blamed the situation on the demolition of the market which they claimed had narrowed the loop linking the John Atta-Mills Street towards Sonturk Shopping Centre, thereby creating additional traffic.

Mr. John Ackon, a taxi cab driver, said ?boss, look, I have been here for close to five minutes without any vehicular movement. The CCMA should have waited for the festive season to pass before demolishing the market.?

Mr. Emmanuel Donkor, another taxi cab driver opined, it was a normal practice to witness heavy traffic at Kotokoraba, especially during the yuletide; ?the situation had always been like this, so we can?t complain,? he noted.

Other pedestrians that GNA interviewed expressed low key patronage of the festive season due to lack of money in people?s pockets and rise in prices of goods, with other public sector workers complaining about not being paid their salaries as at the time.

?For me every day is Christmas. I don?t wait for Christmas before I enjoy. I don?t have money to even buy clothes and shoes for my wife and children so it?s a normal festivity,? Kwesi Abban, a pedestrian observed.

?Today is 23rd, and I have still not gotten my pay. How do you expect me to celebrate the season? More over prices of goods and services are increasing by the day,? Mr. Patrick Debrah, a teacher cried.

Prices of Christmas trees, ranging from small, medium and large cost GHc 18, GHc 24 and GHc 35 respectively; Father Christmas hat costs GHc 4; children?s clothes ranged from GHc 50 to GHc 160; with children?s shoes also costing between GHc 25 and GHc 35.

A medium-sized chicken costs GHc 35, with a large one costing GHc 40 to GHc 45, with goats selling between GHc 120 and GHc 180.

At the Metro Mass Transit bus terminal at Aquarium, passengers were seen busily looking for the least opportunity to catch any available bus to their destinations.

Though there were buses to convey them, the numbers were huge, with others seeking to outsmart others in the queue to get ahead of them, occasionally resulting in quarrels.

Mr. Simon Zigah, a supervisor at the terminal, entreated the passengers to exercise restraint, saying there were enough buses to carry every traveler to their destinations.

The situation at the Tantri GPRTU one and two stations respectively was not different from the Metro Mass terminal just that passengers were not scrambling to enter available buses for their trip, but according to availability of tickets.

The Ford station at Bakaano was a different scene, with a lot of passengers seated gently and others boarding the buses as it got to their turns.

GNA

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