The Cape Coast Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCRCCI) has recommended that the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) undertakes further works on the Mempeasem garages site before relocating artisans from the Siwdu garages to the place.
The chamber said while the artisans were in support of the relocation, problems with the topography of the Mempeasem site should be addressed and adequate facilities provided before the relocation. The chamber noted, for instance, that there was the need for facilities such as roads and drainage systems for the effective functioning of the site and these should be provided before the relocation.
According the CCRCCI, a second access road to the new garages sites should be constructed as demanded by the artisans and a police post provided at the site.
Briefing Graphic Online on a research conducted on the relocation, the Regional Executive Secretary of the chamber, Mrs Benedicta Anita Mensah, said the research found that though the members of the Siwdu garages were not opposed to the relocation, there was the need for more engagement and the provision of the basic amenities to allay the anxiety of the artisans before the exercise.
The Siwdu garages has been earmarked to be relocated to Mempeasem since 2009 to reduce the noise pollution and the pollutants from the garage into the Fosu lagoon and to allow for the redesign of the area around the Fosu lagoon into a tourism enclave.
The research conducted by the chamber with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the European Union (EU) was to ascertain the reaction of the members of the garages and other stakeholders on the relocation of the Siwdu garages to Mempeasem.
It was also to assess the effect of the relocation on the beautification of the Cape Coast metropolis and evaluate the potential of the Fosu Lagoon to boost tourism in Cape Coast.
The research was also to explore how the development of the Fosu Lagoon into a tourist enclave would contribute to tourism growth, income generation and employment in the metropolis.
Taking a population from the garages and the CCMA, the researchers used convenience sampling to select respondents based on availability and willingness to take part.
Mrs Mensah said a majority of the respondents agreed that the relocation exercise would actually beautify Siwdu and create a conducive environment for the species in the lagoon to thrive.
Mrs Mensah said the research also concluded that the plans for the development of the Fosu Lagoon should be implemented as soon as garages were moved from the site to ensure that such possible future relocations would have the support of stakeholders in the community.
She said the research further recommended that there should be proper education, advocacy and consultation between the garage operators and the assembly on the relocation, plans and the commitment for the development of the lagoon without diversions.
She said it also recommended the proper documentation on land ownership, leasing options and the legal implications of the relocation.
Customer service training
She pointed out that the research recommended that customer training be offered to the operators of the garages to help them maintain patronage even after relocation and also offer them access to proper credit to enable them to revamp their businesses.
She said she was hopeful that relocation to the new site would be conducted in a way that would be beneficial for all stakeholders.