Traders begin to relocate from Agbogbloshie

Onion bulk breakers at Agbogbloshie in Accra have begun removing their structures to meet the deadline for relocation to Adjen Kotoku in the Ga West Municipality in the Greater Accra Region.
The traders who were given up to Thursday, July 1, to relocate from Agbogbloshie were seen packing their wares on Tuesday in apparent preparation towards leaving the trading enclave.
The Daily Graphic witnessed various artisans, including carpenters and electricians, dismantling structures and salvaging what was possible, while others herded their cattle from the location.
Eventually, personal effects such as television sets, fridges, deep freezers, carpets, beds and clothing were seen being packed onto waiting trucks for the relocation journey.
Some traders told the Daily Graphic that they did not have any option but to relocate to the new site that had been allocated to them.
“As you can see, we are packing our belongings to leave this place. They say we should leave so we do not have an option,” the General Secretary of the Onion Sellers Association, Mr. Osmanu Sidi, said.
The Assistant Secretary of the Onion Sellers Importers Co-operative Society, Ms. Mary Namaana, said their over 5,000 members were also adhering to the directive to leave Agbogbloshie.
Ms. Namaana added: “We would have to manage with the situation at Adjen Kotoku since the place is small. This place does not belong to us; it belongs to the government, and once it says it wants its land back, we have to leave to the place it has given us”.
She said the traders had wanted the government to extend the deadline to December 31, this year, adding that they had sought the intervention of the Jubilee House, Parliament and the Chief Imam for the extension, but all did not work.
Two other traders, Alico Mohammed and Abdulai Abubakari, said it was a painful decision relocating, having traded at Agbogbloshie for about two decades with a very good customer base.
“I have been in the onion business since 1993 when I was a kid. After completing junior high school, I decided to do the business fully,” Mohammed said, adding that “our movement from here will affect us badly”.
A petty trader, Ama Owusuaa, said she was wondering how she would be able to trade since the bulk traders had been moved.
“We move to the people on the ground and along the streets, but with the situation now, I wonder how that would happen because bearing the transportation cost to Adjen Kokotu would be a problem,” she lamented.
A taxi driver, Yaw Owusu, bemoaned the movement of the traders, saying “it is going to affect our business as well. We help transport the onions to the various communities and smaller markets, but now that the traders are not going to be here, it means no business for us”.


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