Health News of 2014-06-14

CMB foodstuff market: A health risk in waiting

Filth?and congestion have taken over the foodstuff market adjacent to the headquarters of the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) in Accra. The market is not too far from the famous Makola Market in the central business district of the capital.

In the midst of the filth, the traders appear not bothered by the conditions in which they sell to the public.

Popularly referred to as the CMB Market, it is highly patronised by other traders and individuals in the metropolis because of its proximity to the centre of Accra.

Food items such as yams, onions, tomatoes, garden eggs, fresh fish, smoked or dried fish, among others, are displayed close to heaps of refuse around, with some foodstuff displayed on the bare ground.

Indeed, the recent rains have compounded the longstanding problem as traders do not only have to contend with piled-up refuse but also make do with mud on the unpaved ground and along the shoulders of the road where most of them have moved to sell their wares.

That market offers a wide range of foodstuffs and competitive prices.

For many people, including Madam Lydia Hesse, the prices of foodstuffs at the CMB Market are reasonable and comparable to those of Agblogbloshie, the largest foodstuff market in the Greater Accra Region, but the CMB market has the worse insanitary conditions.

According to her, the public and other traders who sell in bulk continue to patronise the market because prices there, as well as those at Agbogbloshie, are reasonable.

“ As you can see, the conditions here are very bad and we need the AMA to do something about them. We are suffering," Madam Hesse stated.

A tomato seller told the Daily Graphic that the traders were not happy with the prevailing insanitary situation in the market but were compelled to sell there because it was the only place available to them.

Interestingly, many of the traders have moved from their places inside the market and have come to display their wares on the walkways, and on the shoulders of the road, a situation that has resulted in congestion, right from the fencing around Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) all the way to the offices of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) nearby.

Motorists complain that they spend a lot of time, sometimes hours, just to manoeuvre through the confusion and disorder from Accra Brewery to the traffic lights near the MMTD, a distance of about a kilometre.

“This morning, I spent close to one hour just to move from this junction (pointing to the ABL fence) to the traffic light," a taxi driver who had picked a passenger from Adabraka to Makola stated.

Mr Frank Adusei, the driver, expressed regret for agreeing to go on the journey as it looked short, but had taken a lot of the fuel from his car just that morning.

Aside the filth and congestion, motorists driving on the road that leads to the CMB from the ABL also have to contend with the bad nature of the road. Drivers have to avoid round huge gullies that have obviously been widened by the recent rains as they approach the traffic lights near the MTTD.