The shortage of aluminum cans has pushed the price of aluminum pots upwards in the Ashanti region.
Traders are not only benefitting from the price increase but the shortage is affecting the production of utensils made from aluminum cans.
The situation if not addressed immediately will escalate the prices of products made from aluminium.
Under the hot canopy at Dagomba Line, a suburb of Asawase is 42-year-old Ibrahim Husein, a fashion designer. He had to switch businesses due to low patronage.
“…I shuffle between businesses due to low sales. The can recycling business is quite lucrative”.
After buying the aluminum cans, he melts the cans into blocks and sells them to the craftsmen who mold the aluminium into cooking utensils.
“We get some of the cans for free or we buy them from our customers. We then melt the cans and sell them to the craftsmen. Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of cans this year”, he noted.
A day without work for craftsman Kamil Seidu is a day wasted.
“You have to sprinkle some water on black soil, and then you pound the soil and put it in the pattern”, Seidu explain as he takes me through the process of molding a pot, “You then make a hole in the soil and pour the aluminium”.
After removing the pattern, Seidu then shapes the pot into the desired size and shape.
According to the 28 year old man, the aluminum pot business usually booms during the lean season.
He observes that the demand for aluminum pot is very high but seasonal. Sales are high during the lean season as is currently is the case.
Despite the high sales of aluminum utensils, the industry is challenged by the activities of the Chinese exporting the aluminum blocks.
Abdul Sani, a craftsman who has garnered a good number of experiences in the industry observes the aluminum blocks bought from the recycling yard are now expensive due to the high demand for aluminum blocks by the Chinese.
“The can recyclers have declined to sell the aluminum blocks to us because the Chinese buy it at a high price”, he added.
Cans that sold at 1.50 pesewas are now selling at 3 pesewas on the market.
A worried can recycler, Abubakari Umak, hints that these astronomical prices because the aluminium ingot is in high demand.
“We’re appealing to the government to crack down on the exportation of the aluminum blocks”.
The exportation of the aluminum blocks has affected traders who sell aluminum pots.
In this part of the Kumasi Central Market, trading of aluminium pots is rife.
Here, the prices of the big aluminium pots have increased from 400 to 500 cedis. The medium size pot now sells at 400 cedis instead of 300 cedis whiles the small size pots have moved from 200 to 300 cedis.
Aunty Afia, an aluminum pot vendor in the market explained that the current situation is affecting their businesses.
“Patronage has been good but we can hardly buy the pots from the craftsmen due to the price increase”.
For craftsman Seidu Kamil, the can recycle business in Dagombaline requires more investors to grow.
“All we need is a good investor to inject money into the aluminum business. With the right investors this business can create employment to the youth here at Dagombaline”.
With the required investment these petty businesses through their work will address the can nuisance on the environment.
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