BCC Clears Hawkers off Food Market Street

Circulation is always blocked by roadside sellers

Circulation is always blocked by roadside sellers

Petit traders and roadside hawkers in front of the Bamenda Food Market were forcefully evicted and their makeshift stands destroyed this morning by municipal police and workers of the Bamenda City council (BCC).

The BCC officials descended on the field early this morning with firm instructions to clear all obstacles along the overcrowded street, one of them confided to us. They destroyed every bench, chair, desk and wheelbarrows that were stationed in front of the lockup section of the market.

They place soon became befuddled with traders scrambling to take whatever they could savage from the callous council staff who came bent to clear the area.

The Bamenda Food Market street is the most congested in Bamenda with roadside traders using every available space along the 600 metre road, selling every item from fresh foot stuff to cooked and processed food. The phenomenon has become so common that they even use up parking lots and the area reserve for taxis to pick and drop passengers along the street, leaving only enough space for vehicles to pass through, leading to very long queues.

The authorities of BCC have tried severally to clear this street but this has always been meet by stiff resistance from the traders-most of them students and children.

Some of the traders say they will take to the streets to protest because they have nowhere else to go. “They are pushing us into prostitution” one woman shouted.  This is our life, our future and our destiny there is nothing else left for us in town except to steal or go back to the village another said.

BCC officials have been contemplating different ways to clear this street for years

The Food market street is the most difficult to drive or walk through in Bamenda

The Food market street is the most difficult to drive or walk through in Bamenda

The Food market street is the most difficult to drive or walk through in Bamenda

But some of the traders in the lockup stores welcomed the development saying the traders were worst then parasites. “You can't image they block every path, customers and even space to sit and are very noisy and disorganized” One Mr Chi, owner of a shed in front of the market said.

Many taxi drivers have welcome they move even though they sympathise with the traders. Authorities of the BCC remained tight lips as to what would become of the displaced traders referring us to hierarchy for an answer.

The BCC has constructed several stores around the BECIC Bank Commercial Avenue while there are still several unoccupied stores on similar structures around the Bamenda Municipal Stadium which are all begging for tenants.

By Abongwa Fozo

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