Opinion: COVID 19; Jubilee Market physical distancing a failed experiment?

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It was just an excitement, and a relief for most of the traders that ply their trade at the perimeter of the Takoradi ‘Market Circle’, when city authorities offered to create space- [an alternative one] at the Jubilee Grounds for persons who might be affected by a decongestion exercise, so they could ‘sufficiently’ observe physical distancing.

The approach which was well intended, sought to limited the communal spread of the novel coronavirus through bodily and other close contacts at the market centers.

City Authorities championed the initiative to demarcate a two meter square space for each trader, and a meter buffer that lined through the spaces, all in a bid to direct the behaviours of the traders and other users at the market.

A staff of the assembly demarcating the space

It was a beautiful scene at first day and a few weeks afterwards, until the much touted innovation became a mockery on the lips of some critics and observers.

The area [Jubilee Grounds] is now densely populated, and its expected to get even worse as business booms. The comfort that early settlers” enjoyed is gradually being defiled.

A week after the relocation to Jubilee Grounds

This is readily observable from the entrance [at the Cape Coast-Takoradi highway] to the center of the trade area.

As the number keep rising, city authorities [Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis] will have to find ways of salvaging the situation, lest lose the ‘title’ of being an adherent of President Nana Addo’s Social Distancing Protocol.

The Sekondi market also witnessed the same exercise. Traders at the peripheral were relocated to the Ekuase park. This, as observed, has been impressive…but only because it is only used on their Tuesday markets.


The Ekuase (Sekondi) market

Other ‘failed’ decongestion exercise in STMA

The Jubilee Ground trade area, though, relative to other markets in the country, allows for some degree of physical distancing, need to be worked on.

The Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly attempted to replicate this exercise in Kojokrom. Unfortunately the traders have had some difficulty moving to the space provided at the Methodist School Park.

Traders complain the space is without a decent toilet facility [in this case, a mobile toilet], no sheds, electricity, and the floors are dusty too.

For close to a month, the assembly have failed to understand the dynamics, to better resolved these issues or concerns raised by the traders.


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