The move by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to rid the Kwame Nkrumah interchange of hawkers and traders is very commendable, though we might add that is it long overdue. The large number of traders and hawkers pitched under the interchange presented a hazard to both hawkers and pedestrians, in and around the interchange, as both were scuttling for space.
Secondly, the large numbers naturally contributed to insanitary conditions at the place, and has the potential to thwart efforts at making the capital city one of the neatest in Africa.
In only a few months after its completion, the risk of causing damage to parts of the interchange, is also ever present.
The interchange, even before the recent construction, has long been used as a marketplace, with hundreds of traders and hawkers pressing for space to catch the attention of commuters.
The A.M.A created the Hawkers Market near the interchange in a bid to free the interchange of too many human feet and allow an easier flow of traffic. But for many years, the hawkers refused to move, complaining that buyers did not like visiting the market.
Thus, even throughout the period of the construction, hawkers defied the obvious dangers that the moving of heavy equipment and machinery posed, and went about their business as usual.
It made the whole interchange a spectacle akin to a marketplace under concrete columns.
Thankfully, the A.M.A has moved in to remove the hawkers from the place, and normalcy appears to have been restored there. The question, however, is: how long will this last?
This question arises because this is not the first time the A.M.A has embarked on such an action. We have seen several of its kind in the past, which ended up being only a nine-day wonder.
Pictures making the rounds on social media after the exercise was undertaken almost a fortnight ago, show how beautiful the place can become once its greenery is saved from the slog of human feet and activity.
We ask the A.M.A not to rest on its oars, or relent it its effort ot maintain the interchange and indeed all such public infrastructure.
Anytime the traders make an attempt to return, the A.M.A should resist it with all the force it can muster, without fear or favour. That way, we will guarantee a longer lifespan for the interchange and maintain its beauty. Such a stand will also go a long way to allow the free flow of traffic at the interchange at all times.