by;brightwebtv/nana asare barimah
Head potters, popularly called ‘kayaayei’, have increased their charges for the services they offer.
According to the lady porters, the increase has become necessary due to recent increment in fares and utility tariffs in the country.
They explained that though they did not have specific charges, they had agreed not to take an amount less than GH¢2.00 for the lightest weight of goods they would ever carry.
Asana Iddrisu, a potter at Madina Market, told the Daily Heritage that living conditions in Accra has become high for them, especially single mothers who have migrated from the rural areas in search of greener pastures.
She said “as a single mother of five children, I have to make sure that I feed, clothe and provide shelter for all of them and I have to do this by carrying people’s goods for money and that too has become difficult because the job has become very competitive due to the high increase in charges by our colleagues.”
She added that the increment was very important because sometimes they had severe pains in their spinal cord and chest for which they had to pay extra charges that come after the use of the National Health Insurance card.
Abiba Ussif, another potter, said the increment was good for them because most of them, for instance, patronised public bathrooms to bath and places of convenience to ease themselves at charges which the owners had increased, meaning the old charges would not help them to acquire basic necessities and also save some of the money.
She explained that “at first when we carried light goods we charged GH¢1.00 but now we have increased it to GH¢2.00 depending on the distance and once the distance is farther than expected, we add more.”
She added that with heavy goods, they will not take anything less than GH¢5.00 because sometimes the customers will say the distance is not far and so will pay GH¢3.00 and when they agree before they get to the destination they may have crossed more than 2 kilometres.
“Some of the customers are very wicked; they know that the distance is far but will say ‘just here’ and the annoying part is where they will roam with you in the market to shop and at the end tell you ‘we did not keep long’ and end up giving you only ¢5.00,” she said.
In a related case, Abass, aka Iron man, a cart puller (truck pusher) at Okaishie Market in Accra, told the paper he had stopped charging GH¢10.00 for a trip and that the least of his charges was GH¢15.00 and that would even be the case when the person is a good customer to him.
He said “people do not respect our job and always want to cheat and also make mockery of us, which makes me angry. Everything they come to me so I always give them the price based on their goods and if we negotiate and I am not happy with it, I decline and move away.
“We have an association so we have decided to get a fixed rate for the goods we carry so when you move to a different truck pusher you will meet the same charge. Our new decision will help us to make profit and also earn respect from the public.”