Some women at the Wa central market have been in a verbal tussle with officers of the Wa Municipal Assembly over an ongoing demolition exercise sanctioned by authorities of the Wa Municipal Assembly to de-congest the market as part of enforcing the social distancing protocol in the fight against COVID-19.
According to the market women, it was astonishing when they saw some task force branded in the Assembly’s jackets with their demolition tools to enforce the exercise without a prior notice sent to them.
Some of the women who narrated their ordeal to www.myradiowaa.com stated their displeasure after they reportedly could not get access to their stores to take out their goods before the demolition exercise started. They added that, items worth thousands of Ghana Cedis were destroyed by the task force who could not give them the chance to convey their items.
“We were not told that on this day they were coming to demolish this part of the market, we sat here and saw able bodied men who came in and started demolishing the structures and when we inquired from them why the exercise they did not even say a word and continued” She anonymously stated.Another woman only known as Hajia Fati revealed that the areas set for the demolition were not marked out for them to know, which left them in a tumultuous state which led to the agitations. “they did not mark out the places to be demolished, so at the moment we are confused as to whether where we are operating now will be demolished or not, they should have done the marking first so that we will prepare but what they are doing now will affect a lot of us here”.
Meanwhile, Municipal Chief Executive for the Wa Municipal Assembly, Hon. Alhaj Issahaku Tahir Moomin, responding to the issue on Radio Waa 92.1fm’s Yelkaabaahe program on Thursday April 9,2020, debunked claims that the market women were not informed about the demolition exercise adding that, they engaged about 80 of them who were directly going to be effected and were asked to disseminate the information to the others. He was quick to add that the Assembly regrets it if some sections of the market women were indeed not informed.
Alhaj Issahaku Tahir says, the demolishing exercise was in line with the social distancing protocol and instead of locking the market, the Assembly though it wise to demolish some structures to give out space. He said the areas that they are demolishing, majority of the users in one way or the other have other tents in other parts of the market hence using the demolished stores as warehouses whiles others are in search of places to use.
The MCE was optimistic that the women are not going to be displaced as the Assembly strategically marked out places for them to use and those who have other stores within other parts of the market were told to go there whiles the demolition exercise continues.
He further revealed that, the Assembly is also planning to construct big pavilions within vantage points of the central market to cater for the increasing numbers stressing that the works and housing committee of the Assembly has good plans for the market women allaying fears that, no market woman’s store will be taken and given to a different person provided that the person do not own more than one store.