At the night market, items such as second hand clothing and shoes, cooking utensils, fruits and vegetables, tubers of yam and cassava, travelling bags are among a host of other items displayed from 4pm to 4am to attract buyers.
On the Lapaz stretch of the George Walker Bush Highway is a night market which keeps expanding by the day. Petty traders and hawkers mostly women have virtually taken over the pedestrian walkways. They display their wares of all kinds between the hours of 4pm untill after midnight.
It has become popular among residents in the area in that if you forgot to buy something during the day, the Lapaz night market is an alternative.
Items such as second hand clothing and shoes, cooking utensils, fruits and vegetables, tubers of yam and cassava, travelling bags are among a host of other items displayed every evening to attract buyers.
This is done regardless of the danger posed to pedestrians, the traders and drivers.
This nuisance caused by these hawkers and petty traders starts from Fraga Oil a filling station on the left side of the George Walker Bush highway of Lapaz through to the front view of the Las Palmas restaurant thus when one is driving from Dzorwulu to Kasoa.
“I know that selling by the shoulder of the road is dangerous and unlawful but I must earn a living to support my family besides there’s no ‘abaye’( a popular term for city guards) to disrupt our activities” Pat told Pulse.com.gh.
“ To me this is the appropriate time for me to come and sell my wares. This is what I do to cater for my children. I have been selling here for the past 5 years.” Another trader said.
Though the traders have the right to earn a living , their illigal activities causes huge discomfort to pedestrians who have every right to use the sidewalks.
Joe is a frequent user of this route. To get home everyday he has to pick a bus from Lapaz to Malam. There is no avoiding of the discomfort here. He recounts how he was yelled at and almost manhandled by a trader after accidentally knocking down her wares. “My body unintentionally hit a woman’s deodorants and toothpaste,” he recounted, “she rained insults on me and made me pay for the broken ones so now I walk on the pavement with caution to avoid another occurrence”.
As worrying as the situation is no one seems to be on the lookout for the safety of these traders or pedestrians.
Master Agyei, a driver who has to endure the traffic caused as a result of the activities of these hawkers blames the Accra Metropolitan Assembly. He said “there is nothing we can do as drivers because the AMA has allowed it.”
When the Public Relations Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly was contacted he blamed the Assembly’s inefficiencies on human rights activists and the Ghana Police Service
“Anytime you want to do anything you get these human rights people coming to talk so much English and meanwhile they don’t even care about the safety and the health of the people.
“The police too have a law which they also need to enforce to compliment our work but it’s like nothing is happening so everything has been left on the AMA.”
He however said the assembly has charged some officers to assess the intensity of the activity “so that we know what to do because normally they come in the night and that is a challenge.”