Traders in Kumasi are growing increasingly agitated over the seemingly abandoned phase two of the Kejetia Central Market redevelopment project.
They have thus warned of an imminent demonstration to compel authorities to resume work on the project.
They are also asking the government to provide clear timelines for the project.
Since December last year, several critical projects in Kumasi, including phase two of the Kejetia Central Market redevelopment, the Mother and Baby Unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), phases two and three of the Kumasi International Airport expansion, and some Sinohydro projects, have all been put on hold due to lack of funding.
The traders, who have plans to occupy these spaces upon project completion, have repeatedly stressed the need for urgent action to resume construction, as they are getting agitated about the delays.
Emilia Kwofie, secretary of the combined Kumasi Central Market Traders Union, in an interview with Citi News, stated that they are demanding authorities to prioritize this project, adding that they will embark on the demonstration once they finish going through the process with the police.
“We have been to the mayor’s office a couple of times to inquire, because you just can’t demonstrate when you don’t have any concrete information. We were assured that if the IMF money comes, work will commence. Unfortunately, we have realized that even though the IMF money is in, no work is done. There are quite a number of us who were evacuated from the place.
So our people keep pushing that if we want to go diplomatically and the government is not listening to us, then we will have to take it to the streets. So that somebody sees us and nobody hears us. As we talk to you now, we are still talking with the police to give us a date when we can demonstrate. All we want is for work to resume so that we can start our businesses; we can’t stay in the house forever.”
Reacting to the concerns of the traders, the Mayor of Kumasi, Samuel Pyne, failed to provide an exact date for the resumption of work, but said there are ongoing discussions with the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Local Government.
He, however, anticipates that work on these projects will restart shortly.
“As part of the government’s debt restructuring programme, certain projects and funding have been put on hold. Kejetia-Central Market redevelopment, the Mother and Baby block at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Phases two and three of the Kumasi International Airport expansion and Sinohydro projects with the region, were all affected. The contract, project consultant, and officials of the local government ministry and finance ministry, were on site two weeks ago to do a comprehensive study. I know pretty soon they will come back to the site to continue work,” Sam Pyne assured.