Kantamanto in Pictures

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Pictures were taken by AFAG (Alliance for Accountable Governance)

Calm has been restored after a stand off between the Kantamanto Traders and Ghana Police.  Sunday May 5, 2013 marked the day Kantamanto Market bellowed in smoke. Two days later it is evident that there is a clear distrust between the traders of Kanatamanto Market and Government represented by The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). Traders fervently guard what once was their market stalls in fear of it being redistributed unfairly  to Government officials and their cronies should the AMA’s plan to rebuild a modern market materialise.

Police were forced to shoot rubber bullets and teargas into the crowds on the scene during the past two days as desperate traders tried to guard the remains of their stalls.

Kantamanto as we know it is no more. What remains are the foundations of this once bustling but dangerous market. Dangerous because of the the narrow and uneven walkways , illegal electricity connections, no clear exits and the haphazard way the market was constructed and over 10 000 traders in small confined space. We can all be grateful that no lives were lost during the fire

I overheard a man on his phone discussing the fire which broke out. His friend, he remarked, lost 40 000 GHS cash which he had been hiding in his market stall. He has nothing left,  his goods were all burnt in the fire. I am sure that there are many similar stories of losses by traders.

What I would remind the AMA and our Ghanaian Government is that this is not just about rebuilding a modern Market. Consider the Traders, their fears, loss, desperation and anguish. Treat this matter in  a humane light.  Many of these traders have been in this market for years, through their trade they have put food on the table, educated their children and they have never asked for assistance from Government.  Some would say neither has government provided for them.  Why should they accept their assistance now?

Consensus building, negotiation and comprise will ensure that all stakeholders involved in this matter are adequately represented so an appropriate solution can be drawn.

To the AMA now is the time to show leadership. Make sure your communication to the traders is clear and concise, and from one source, eliminating the chance for rumours and hearsay to develop among the Traders. This will minimise the tensions.

It is too early to talk about the lessons we should walk away with from yet another disaster in Ghana. In time I’ll visit those lesson. for now take a visual look at what remains of  the Kantamanto Market.

Members of AFAG discussing the situation between traders and Accra’s Metropolitan Assembly (AMA)

I had the opportunity to interview Davis Opoku Ansah from AFAG who visited the Market today.  I asked him  about his observations during his visit to the Kantamanto Market.

“The Traders are engaging in a lot of hearsay. There have been talks to modernise the Kantamanto Market by the AMA. Just 24 hours before the Market had burned down the AMA had announced their plans to  modernised Kantamanto.  The traders believe that the burning of the Market was orchestrated by certain individuals. The Traders are blaming the AMA. There are some conspiracy theories making the rounds amongst the traders. Also, the attitude of the police in handling this matter has been deplorable. We should consider that most of these traders have been in the market for over 30 years, throwing teargas at these traders and having them arrested does not put a human face to their losses. It’s good that the President has intervened. It’s a step in the right direction. ” Davis Opoku Ansah (AFAG)

Tensions are high between Ghana’s police and traders at the Kantamanto Market.

A trader, slightly injured as she tried to save her goods during the fire at the Kantamato Market, which broke out on Sunday

A trader from the Kantamanto Market wails because she’s lost everything

Nothing remains but the foundations of the the Kantamanto Market as a Policeman stands guard whilst traders standby

A Bulldozer clearing the debris and rubble from the market

“We will rebuild our market Shout protesting traders! We do not trust our Government to rebuild Kantamanto”

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2 thoughts on “Kantamanto in Pictures

  1. Its a very sad sight as I watched on TV,Its now time to rebuild and really put things at the right place in terms of safety gadgets,educating Traders who have stalls at this place etc,what has happened has happened to all who lost their goods accept my sympathy I know it will take time to get these scene out of your minds but I say if its the work of some individuals judgement day awaits them that is a promise once again accept my sympathy.

    • Ato, I do think that the Traders should bare some of the burden and blame for this fire. I was listening to Joy FM, there were 10 000 traders within that small confined space their stalls were made with highly combustible material

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