By: Fatima Sonko
Despite several pleas for a solution to the intruding water from the Brikama market, many vendors in that periphery of the market have had to put up with foul stench and an unkempt environment. Staff of various institutions and vendors around parts of the Brikama market said they severally brought to the attention of the relevant authorities the fetid water, invading their part of the market but to no avail.
A Deputy Supervisor at the Gambia Transport Services, Jenu Sonko, told The Progress that the foul water from the market has remained a long-time nightmare. “We complained to the authorities, and we’re really tired now. The Brikama Area Council have seen how the water and waste(are)in this place, but they didn’t do anything,” he told The Progress.
“They always come here to collect duties every day but didn’t do anything about it,” he added.
Sonko further explained that the water, said to have been oozing from a fish processing plant at the Brikama market, has been a nuisance to GTS passengers for a long time now. He also expressed fear over its public health risks as, according to him, many vendors use wooden materials on the marauding water to display their wares.
He also expressed pity over the situation of the women vendors in the area, facing the bleak outlook of not finding space to vend during the rainy season. “We are all Gambians, and we all want something that’ll take Gambia forward,” he pointed out.
He once again called on the relevant authorities to rise up to the challenge posed by the water.
“This is where we earn money to feed our families. So, we’ll bear the consequences,” stated Ndey Fatou Gaye.
She ruled that some people stay away from that part of the market because of the ‘unpleasant environment we’re in.’ According to her, the water could have gone had the area council done its utmost. The Brikama Market Committee Chairman, Foday Manjang, told The Progress that the ejection of the water from the market has been bankrolled by his committee at D3,500 every three days.
“This has made us bankrupt,” he explained. Manjang said the project (fish plant) is being run by the Japanese. “There is no river in which to dispose all this water, hence our current predicament,” he lamented. He reported that both the Vice President and Health Minister once visited the market but that nothing spectacular had emerged from their visits. He posited that the ministry of health has also yet to make good on its promise of giving them a waste vehicle.
“More than 300 times I’ve been there, and they didn’t. Many people caught sicknesses from this water because the smell is very bad, especially if you have to be around it for the entire day,” he explained. The Brikama market committee chairman finally called for a robust collaboration between health and environment ministries in order to dig a grave for the problem.
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