The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has indicated its commitment to ensuring that the best sanitary practices are adhered to in the various markets in Accra.
The Deputy Chief Executive of the FDA in charge of the Food Inspectorate Division, Isabella Mansa Agra, said that her outfit will meet with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, and the representatives of the traders in the next few weeks, to find solutions to the sanitation problems in the capital city’s markets.
Her call comes on the back of agitations from some of the traders who bemoaned the absence of proper sanitation facilities at the markets, despite the fact that they are forced to pay hundreds of cedis in market fees each year.
One trader, who spoke to Citi News, lamented that “the authorities don’t address our concerns, we have to deal with them ourselves. However, when it comes to the market tolls, they have no trouble asking us to pay.”
Speaking at a clean-up exercise at the Agbogbloshie Market, as part FDA’s Food Safety Sensitisation programme, Mrs. Agra acknowledged the concerns of the traders, and stated that, the health and safety regulator would liaise with the Metropolitan Assembly to address them.
“These are issues we have to discuss with the Assembly and the Environmental office. We have agreed that we’ll have a roundtable discussion with the market queens, and we will forge a strategy to see how to resolve these things,” she told Citi News.
“We understand that the facilities they have are not being maintained properly. We want to keep the sanitation issues as a priority. That is the problem that we have identified; that most of the problems the market women face have to do with the sanitation facilities, that’s what’s causing the agitation. It’s a matter of concern for us at the FDA and we’ll seek to resolve it.”
Mrs. Agra admitted that solving the problems at the markets would require significant financial commitment, but added that, the recent cleanup exercise proved that, sanitation in the markets was a top priority for the FDA.
“Building and maintaining facilities takes a lot of money, so we need to first of all look at what it would take, and we would have to do an assessment. Within the next week or two, we’ll have a discussion so that we can start the process, that’s the most important thing now. We are using this day as an indication that we want to tackle the sanitation issues in our markets,” she stated.
By: Ann-Shirley Ziwu/citifmonline.com/Ghana