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Regional News Fri, 29 May 2009

AMA members unanimously approve decongestion exercise

Accra, May 29, GNA - The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has drawn a three-month Action Plan to guide the implementation of activities to decongest the Central Business District, Ceremonial Roads, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Kaneshie Market Area and Tema Station. Sodom and Gomorrah and other areas of public concern would also be dealt with.

In addition members of the assembly have unanimously resolved to decongest the city of traders and unauthorized structures, to allow free flow of traffic.

A release issued in Accra on Friday and signed by Mr Frank Asante, Head of Public Affairs said the 89-member assembly reached the consensus after the Mayor of Accra, Mr Alfred O. Vanderpuije presented the state of the city address at an emergency meeting.

He said "The City of Accra is growing in leaps and bounds, so also is the generation of waste," adding that the city had an estimated population of over four million people with a floating population of over 500,000 a day.

Mr Vanderpuije regretted that some sections of the ceremonial roads and lorry parks had become active sales points, stressing that; "this huge mass of people include those who sell on pavements, streets and roads intersections" while they did not have places of residence and end up sleeping on pavements, markets and lorry parks.

He said some of them operate in unauthorized structures, which they had erected and end up sleeping in them, generating a lot of waste, both liquid and solid, disposing them indiscriminately in drains and other unapproved areas.

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Mr Vanderpuije expressed concern about the unprecedented vehicular traffic and human congestion in the city due to the influx of a large number of traders who occupied every available space. He said the result had been an increase in crime wave, long travel time to and from the city, increase in turn around time for commercial and sanitation vehicles a host of other inconveniences. "The congestion and filth have so much been degenerated that they have attracted public outcry and concern," he added.

The Mayor reiterated that the city authorities had a responsibility to apply the bye-laws, especially with regard to poor sanitation and unauthorized structures to stem the spate of lawlessness and indiscipline in the city and make life as comfortable as possible to the average resident.

Mr Vanderpuije stated that in enforcing the bye-laws to ensure sanity in Accra, it was important that all traders and hawkers who sell on road pavements, streets and roads intersections relocate to the hawkers market at Odawna and other traditional markets established by the AMA.

The release said all traders who have erected unauthorized structures on pavements and along the ceremonial roads were compelled to remove them, while squatters sleeping on pavements, lorry parks and in the markets, and abuse the environment, were stopped from such practices.

It asked all those who throw plastic waste and other forms of garbage into drains and other unapproved areas should desist from such unhealthy practices and vehicles which park wrongly and create traffic congestion would be sanctioned. 29 May 09

Source: GNA
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