With the frequent rate at which cholera outbreaks occur in urban Ghana, one would have thought that those in charge of markets like the Kanashie market complex, would make ensuring a clean environment, their number one priority.
Yet, listening to the company that runs the market's deputy managing director's mealy-mouthed excuses and buck-passing, during an interview with a GBC TV news reporter (telecast yesterday!), who had sought an explanation from him, for the unacceptable conditions created by the pile of rubbish near the Kanashie market complex, and what was being done about it, it was clear that as far as he was concerned, that was the purview of the city authorities: not his company's responsibility. Incredible.
If ever there was a TV news report that could pass for a ready-made audio-visual case-study of one of the worst examples of poor leadership in Corporate Ghana ever, for business management schools across the African continent, that GTV interview would be a classic example.
Clearly, a clean environment to trade in, is implicit in the contract between the market women and all the other traders, who rent premises and stalls at the Kaneshie market complex, and its owners and operators, the Accra Markets Limited.
The company has a responsibility to ensure that conditions in all its facilities do not endanger public health in any way, at all material times.
And in that regard, it certainly has a statutory duty to ensure that those responsible for collecting rubbish in the markets it runs, strictly meet the terms of their waste management contracts with them, and fulfil them to the letter.
Above all, surely, there must be measures in place by the Accra Markets Limited, to ensure that immediate alternative arrangements are in place, to ensure a clean environment is maintained in all their markets, in the event their waste-management contractors fail to meet the terms of their contracts: so that the appalling and completely unacceptable health-endangering mountain of rubbish that has been allowed to pile up over a period, and so close to the Kaneshie market complex, never occurs in the first place, at all?
For the sake of the residents of Accra, the relevant Parliamentary oversight committees for local government and health, must work together to speedily investigate this outrageous example of the dereliction of duty, by the top brass of an entity that is more or less publicly-owned - judging by its shareholding structure.
The company's board of directors must fire the manager in charge of the Kanashie market complex as well as the managing director of Accra Markets Limited, and his deputy - for superintending that monstrosity.
Furthermore, if any of the readers of this blog, who want Ghana to become a society in which when those in charge of public institutions fail, they are fired immediately, want to call or email the company directly, to complain about the totally unacceptable situation at the Kanashie market complex - as a form of direct-action protest. The contact details are:
Kaneshie Market Ltd.
P. O. Box KN 244
Tel.: 03022260, 0302223701
￼For those who might find it useful, the information below about the history, mission and vision of the Accra Markets Limited, was copied from the company's website:
" CORPORATE PROFILE
ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT
The Accra Markets Limited was incorporated in 1972 under the Companies Code 1963 (Act 179) as a Private Limited Liability Company operating under Legislative Instrument 1043 of 1975. The Company manages the Kaneshie Market Complex which was commissioned in 1979 and the Kaneshie Car Park.
In 1972, at the initiative of the Government of Ghana acting through the Ministry of Local Government, charged the National Investment Bank and some financial institutions to finance the construction of a modern planned Market with essential facilities to replace the existing sprawling single-storey buildings.
Ghana Commercial Bank and State Insurance Company Limited and National Savings and Credit Bank were invited to participate in the venture as lenders and also agreed to join as Shareholders with the exception of N.S.C.B. which did not subscribe to the equity.
Accra Metropolitan Assembly being the traditional administrator of Markets in Accra agreed to join the remaining three as a member. The four shareholders namely National Investment Bank, Ghana Commercial Bank, State Insurance Company Ltd. and Accra Metropolitan Assembly agreed to divide the equity among them equally.
To establish and manage efficiently modern facilities where the general public can conveniently trade in goods and services. At all times strive to ensure pleasant and safe environs for our clientele, contribute meaningfully to the development of the community in which we operate while seeking the welfare of our employees and adequate returns for our Shareholders.
To strive to be a pace-setter in the provision of modern Markets, offering quality goods and excellent services thereby attracting large patronage and high reputation beyond the expectation of our clientele and stakeholders.
Loyalty, Innovation, Commitment, Hard work, Recognition and Professionalism."
End of quotation from the Accra Markets Limited Website.
Clearly, dear reader, the management of Accra Markets Limited have failed to fulfill all the above, judging by the unacceptable filth in virtually all the markets they run - and the shareholders and the board of directors ought to set up s committee to investigate the affairs of the company and how it allowed such a danger to the public's health to develop at the Kanashie market complex.
Finally, dear reader, the dynamic minister in charge of the sector ministry, the Hon. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, must take a keen interest in this matter - as there definitely are political ramifications in it, in store for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime, of which he is such a prominent member, at election time: if this outrage is allowed to continue for any further length of time.
For, as sure as day follows night, it will be raised by their political opponents, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at election time.
Perhaps it will feature in a documentary film about broken NDC promises, and count as an example of yet another failed promise, by a regime that when in opposition vying for power, said it would cleanse Ghana of filth, if given the mandate to manage the nation's affairs in December 2008.
Naturally, this being Ghana, one cannot rule out political sabotage, as a possible reason for the monstrosity at the Kanashie market complex.
Consequently, one certainly hopes that unlike many of his hard-of-hearing ministerial colleagues (who never need good advice until it is way too late), the dynamic and proactive Hon. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo will listen - and make sure that the mountain of rubbish at Kanashie market is removed: and that in addition, the top management of Accra Markets Limited are all fired immediately!
The outrage they have allowed to occur, and to persist, and which has endangered the health of their tenants, residents of houses in the environs of the market, and the general public who have to work or come to the area to access public transport on a daily basis, is unacceptable - and will never be allowed to occur in any civilised nation: and we are a civilised people too, are we not, I ask? They must be fired immediately! A word to the wise...
Tel ( powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.