Scores of traders at the New Kejetia market are counting their losses as several items have been destroyed as a result of faulty valves within the market forcing water tanks in the facility to overflow, thereby causing flooding in some areas within the market.
Although it has not rained in Kumasi in the past few days, over 20 shops have been affected by the flood caused by faulty valves.
According to the affected traders, the items that have been destroyed are worth millions of Ghana cedis.
“I was home when I received a call around 11 am about the incident. Most of the shops got flooded, thereby destroying our electrical appliances. What I’m holding is a fufu pounding machine, and it has been destroyed. Most of the goods behind me are destroyed,” an affected trader, Akosua Adomaa recounted her loss.
“Our electrical appliances have been destroyed. Almost all the goods in our shops can’t be repaired. I’ve lost about GH¢15,000 worth of items,” another affected trader, Akua Dufie added.
The leadership of the traders laments that this is not the first time such an incident has occurred and has led to the destruction of goods of the traders.
Reuben Ammeh, the Secretary for the Federation of Kumasi traders, explains that the faulty valves in the facility caused the water tanks to overflow which caused the flooding.
“We are very much aware that the managing director had asked them to go and shut the valve. Unfortunately for the market, what happened this morning was that the Ghana water valve is out of operation and the market valve is also not working. All the valves are not working, so when they thought they had shut it down, it wasn’t down at all.
What we realised was that when the Ghana water valve came back on stream and the main tank got full, the pressure had to push one of the joints to give way for the water to be gushing out onto the shops. So as we speak, we’re running to millions of cedis worth of goods that have been destroyed. It’s affecting over 20 shops. This is not the first time this is happening. This is the second time. The first one happened barely about 7 months ago.”
The leadership of the traders wants the management of the facility to put measures in place to compensate the traders accordingly.
“Unfortunately for those who were affected in the first one, no compensation was paid to them, nothing. So what the market leaders have decided this time around is that we’ve asked them to separate the destroyed wares aside and those that they feel l they can still sell. Then we’ll now need to sit down with management to find a way of immediately finding compensation for them. If they cannot do that, then we the market leaders, we traders, will decide how we want the people to be compensated. Because we won’t allow this to go on. It happened the first time and this is the second time. If we do not find a solution to this, it will be like every day this happens, and we just count our losses and that is it,” Secretary for Federation of Kumasi traders, Reuben Ammeh noted.
Meanwhile, the traders are also calling on the management of the facility to properly engage them to resolve all outstanding issues as some 200 shops were closed last week following a misunderstanding over the payment of premiums.