Tema satellite markets to relocate from school parks before re-opening
Tema, Jan. 06, GNA – Satellite markets created on school parks by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) to decongest existing markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic are to relocate before the re-opening of schools.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 21st COVID-19 address to the nation on Sunday, January 3, 2021, announced the re-opening of schools on January 15, 2021 after 11 months of closure as a measure against the spread of the pandemic.
In preparation for the re-opening, the TMA says such satellite markets located on school parks such as the Oninku Drive Basic Schools, Twedaase JHS, Community Seven School park, Manhean Anglican A & B Primary at Tema Manhean would duly be relocated to make way for the return of pupils and teachers.
Mr Frank Asante, Tema Metropolitan Public Relations Officer, told the Ghana News Agency that management of the Assembly and key stakeholders were considering a comprehensive exit plan for the traders.
Mr Asante added that a similar comprehensive plan was also being considered for the return of pupils, adding that the needed series of fumigations would also be carried out at all schools in the Metropolis before reopening to ensure the safety of all.
Meanwhile, some of the traders at Oninku satellite market which houses hundreds of traders said they wanted the Assembly to put in measures to allow them to sell alongside school session.
According to them, even though they were aware the parks were not originally markets, they found them conducive for selling as they were spacious and patrons could easily drive in to buy without any difficulties.
They indicated that the Tema Community One market was too congested, a situation they described would not help in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 as they stressed that it was possible for them to co-exist with pupils and teachers upon re-opening.
Mr Akwesi Agyeman, Chairman of the Tema Central Market, appealed to the traders to get ready to move out of the parks, explaining that the satellite markets were created as a temporal measure, not a permanent one.
Mr Agyeman added that even though the main market was congested they must return and continue to wear their masks, wash their hands and make use of hand sanitizers while going about their business.
According to him, while some traders were operating both at the market and the parks, some who were also not traders at the market took advantage of the satellite market and joined the traders, therefore, their request for the Assembly to allow them to operate there even though schools were about to be re-opened.
Meanwhile, the Ghana News Agency had learnt that some of the schools would need more than fumigation due to the invasion of rats which had destroyed a lot of things in the school due to the relocation of the markets on the school compound.
The rats were said to be attracted into the various classrooms in their search for food at the satellite markets as some traders displayed their wares made up of fruits, vegetables, among others in front of the various classrooms.
Such schools the GNA gathered would be unable to reopen on January 15, as directed by the President as they were in need repair and other measures to ensure the safety of both staff and pupils.