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Opinions of Monday, 27 April 2020

Columnist: Kweku Bee Abrantie

Coronavirus: Prez applauds Taadi market women, facts others can learn from

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo on Sunday, 26th April 2020 in his COVID-19 address to Ghanaians applauded market women of Takoradi for practicing social distancing in the market when lots of markets in Ghana are struggling to create distancing which has led to the closure of lots of markets in Ghana.

In this article, I have decided to share with the world what measures were put in place in the various markets in Takoradi and how they were implemented which has earned them an accolade from the president of Ghana.

After authorities of Sekondi -Takoradi realized measures put in place to ensure social distancing were flouted every day, authorities diagnosed the problem and realized that Market Circle which is the center of all market activities in Takoradi was smaller to contain all the market women and also enforce social distancing.

After a broader consultation, authorities decided to divide the sellers into two groups and bring onboard another temporal which shouldn't be too far from the original market. Authorities settled on keeping the original Market Circle traders with shops at the Market Circle and move all hawkers and wayside traders to a new venue, the Takoradi Jubilee Park. This was not done hastily, authorities before moving them, demarcated spaces of 1 meter which is equal to 3 feet with painting and also educated them to stay in their demarcation or the market would be closed down just like other places.

Market queens were given the task of ensuring sellers abide by the social distancing rules and report recalcitrant ones who fail to observe the protocols.

Authorities further visited the market and distributed free locally made nose masks, hand sanitizers etc. Hand washing stands were placed at vantage points to encourage the market women to wash hands frequently. Authorities continued to visit the market frequently, sometimes unannounced to educate them to observe social distancing and ensure they became each other's keeper in the market.

I visited the market this Sunday Afternoon to abreast myself with the current situation on grounds and I saw they are doing good although they can do better but certainly if all markets in Ghana can go this way then the community infection can be reduced.

Let's note that, the effort by Takoradi market women to practice social distancing which has caught the eye of the president didn't come on a silver platter but by constant enforcement and education from Takoradi authorities. Let's all say Ayekoo to Takoradi Authorities for this milestone chalked when lots of authorities chose the option of closing down markets you taught out of the box. We still want to see more.