Makola “Kayayei” cry for shelter
Some female head porters at the Makola Market in Accra have called on city authorities and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to put up a building for them to prevent attacks by unscrupulous males in the night.
In an interview with CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE over the weekend in Accra, the head porters, popularly known as “Kayayei” noted that “there is no place for us to sleep. We sleep at the Tema Station and when it rains, we have to wait for the rains to stop before we mop the floors and pavements of the station to catch some sleep. Some of our colleagues even sleep in the “trotro” buses.”
Barikisu Adamu, aged 17, said she was advised by her sister, now aged 23, to venture into the trade.
“My sister visited us at home in the Northern Region about five years ago and I needed money at the time to buy school uniform. I was preparing to go to JSS 1. When I narrated my ordeal, she told me I could easily make profit as a head porter in Accra and return to our hometown and continue my school. But ever since I came to Accra, life has not been easy. All she told me were lies.”
On average, Barikisu earns GH¢8.00 daily. Out of this she spends GH¢2.00 on food and saves the remainder with a “susu” savings man who comes daily to collect them.
Explaining further, she said, “I want to go back to school someday.”
Two nursing mothers, Aishetu and Adiza, who are both aged 20 said, “We came to Accra with a friend who was already in the business and convinced us that we could make more money to help our families back at home at Tamale.
“We were into farming and things were not working right for us but since we came to Accra, life has become unbearable but at least we are able to make some money and remit some to our relatives back home. “We are able to make GH¢15 a day but since we taking care of our children, we spend about GH¢5 a day and save the rest.
“We endure pain at night due to the heavy load. We spend some money on buying pain killers so we can wake up refreshed to go about our work the next day.”
“Nobody asked us to come to Accra and undergo suffering but if you are born into a poor family, these are some of the calamities that befall you. We are appealing to city authorities and the Ministry to consider the plight of our little ones and come to our aid even if for a token fee. We beg you Mr. President,” they said.