For Ghanaians with no homes to go to in the capital city, the Madina new market is one of their abodes even though it offers them very little comfort.
This market hosts a huge population of head porters and truck pushers amongst others and it is growing by the day.
At night it is common to find the frontage of shops with lots of homeless people covered with cloth trying to catch some sleep before returning to the following day’s hustle.
The homeless in Accra face a daily battle against pollution, hunger, traffic and diseases.
The threat of Coronavirus is one more thing that the homeless community will have to cope with.
GhanaWeb visited the homeless community in Madina, and they said they have received no advice on how to protect themselves from the pandemic.
Americanah is one of the homeless persons whose final resting place for the day is the Madina market, he told GhanaWeb that “I been living here for years no one has told me about the coronavirus. I suffer from breathlessness”.
The Africa Research Institute say Ghana has an urban population of 14 million, 5.5 million of which live in slums and makeshift shelters whilst others sleep in front of shops, and uncompleted buildings with their children.
This situation is mainly because of austerity measures and high rents.
As Ghana keeps recording more cases of COVID-19, President Akufo-Addo on Friday, 27th March 2020, announced the lockdown of the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.
Citizens have been advised to stay home and stay inside. But this is not be an option for the homeless communities.
Some homeless persons in Madina told Ghanaweb that when the ‘homeless shelters’ are your only option, you will struggle to survive this coronavirus crisis.
The idea of society shutting down, to them, is unthinkable but that is the reality facing the most vulnerable.