The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, together with members of the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC), has paid a working visit to inspect ongoing works on the Phase Two of the Kejetia Central Market Project, which would contribute to curbing chronic problems of congestion and flooding within the Central Business District (CBD).
Traders and drivers had poured onto the streets of the CBD, following the redevelopment of the Central Market, which had caused uneasy congestion and flooding.
The €248 million project, when completed, would have 6,500 leasable commercial spaces; 5,400 closed stores; 800 kiosks; 50 restaurants; 210 fishmonger and butcher stores; 40 livestock stores; and 1,800sqm of community facilities.
Moreover, the project would provide other essential facilities such as a waste treatment plant, a police station, a fire station, post offices, an amphi-theatre and first-class roads in the central business district of Kumasi.
The Kumasi Central Market is a €248 million project being financed by the Deutsche Bank of Germany, with an export credit guarantee from the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF), and is being constructed by Contracta Construction Limited, UK.
Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, however, disclosed that these problems would largely be curbed upon the completion of Phase Two of the project.
Engaging the media after an inspection with the REGSEC, the Mr. Osei-Mensah noted that most concerns that the Phase One was bedeviled with had been incorporated into the Phase Two, as such, problems such as congestion and flooding would be averted.
According to the Ashanti Regional Minister, the Phase One did not have enough parking space for vehicles, as such, most had to park within the CBD, thereby creating congestion.
However, the Phase Two was designed in such a way that the whole of the ground floor would be used as a ‘lorry terminal’, therefore, upon completion, drivers would not have any excuse for parking within the CBD.
“The current situation is such that, even when drivers are sacked from the CBD, they would not have any other place to park, thus [the] authorities are constrained,” he added.
In a revelation which could address the perennial flooding of the CBD owing to smaller drains which are uncovered, Osei-Mensah disclosed that there would be a drain constructed around the Phase Two project in order to prevent flooding whenever it rained.
Again, the Ashanti Regional Minister disclosed that, the Phase One did not provide adequately for traders who operate on ‘table-top’.
“Out of the about 8,000 shops, just about 400 were ‘table-top’, as such, most ‘table-top’ business operators resorted to selling on [the] pavements.”
He noted that the Phase Two project had demarcated the “whole of the first floor as traditional market,” which would accommodate all ‘table-top’ traders.