#National News

Brikama market vendors raise concern over poor waste management

Mar 9, 2022, 1:50 PM | Article By: Makutu Manneh

Market vendors at the Brikama main market have raised concern over what they say are some of the difficulties they have faced these past years especially with flooding and presence of stagnant water; something that is posing health hazard to the people.

They thus called on government to help them overcome some of these difficulties.

Jenu Sonko, deputy supervisor for Gambia Transport Service Company in Brikama, said the dirty water which originates from the nearby fish plant situated inside the market, is really making live unbearable for many due to the ‘bad odour’.

“We have complained it to the authorities and we’re really tired now. The Brikama Area Council has seen how the water and waste in this place is, but they didn’t do anything about it. They always come here to collect duties everyday but didn’t do anything about it.”

The dirty water from the fish market, she added, has impacted negatively on their costumers as the water comes up to where their customers sit and wait for normal bus.

“Our costumers lay complaint because they always think that it’s from our toilets when actually the water comes from the market. The water affects us here at the GTSC but we have no choice since the authorities are not doing anything about it. The vendors place woods in order to avoid the unpleasant water so as to display their products for sale and it can cause sickness.

Ndey Fatou Gaye, another vendor at the Brikama market, laments similar challenges. “This is where we earn money to feed our families so we’ll bear the consequences. Currently I’m having a common cold and I can’t smell anything.  Some of our customers don’t buy from us anymore because of the unpleasant environment we’re in. If officials Brikama Area Council did their best, this water can be removed because they are the ones in charge of the market.”

Foday Manjang, chairman of the Brikama Market Committee (BMC), said the fish market management are the ones who pay for the disposal of the waste and this he added, has forced them into bankruptcy considering the sum of money they pay each time they have to dispose the waste. “Every three days we pay a sum of D3,500.”

He revealed that  the Japanese are the ones  in control of the project, saying there is no river where the water can be disposed of . “So that is also the reason why we’re facing all this.”

He revealed that they have called up the Ministry of Fisheries several times to solicit help in the form of a tank, but all went in vain.  “Since then they’ve been promising to give us a vehicle but more than 300 times I’ve been there and they didn’t.”