Women vendors at the neighbourhood market called ‘Marche Tayal’ in Tallinding Sicap are again complaining about the poor hygienic and sanitary conditions caused by an overflowing soak away or septic tank, abandoned toilets and uncollected garbage which threaten both their health and that of customers.
Many of the vendors, who are mostly women, expressed their outrage on the situation which, they said, has become unbearable because of the potential health risks and the stench that pollutes the whole environment.
According to Mai Colley, head of the women vendors group, they have been suffering from these problems for a very long time now without any solution, despite the numerous appeals they have made to the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) to intervene and address them.
Mrs. Colley said the waste water leaking from the soak away has made the place so filthy and unhygienic for people to sell food near it and is a breeding ground for flies, worms, mosquitoes and other insects. “This has even forced some vendors to relocate to areas where the filthy water does not flow and stagnate,” she revealed.
Fatou Jallow, the secretary of the group, for her part, said in addition to the soak away, the uncollected garbage is also a problem they are grappling with no permanent solution at sight.
“What is the duty we pay for daily meant for? Is it not meant for be taking care of market and the facilities inside it such as the toilets, waste collection services,” she asked.
She called on the KMC to make the place safe for them to stay and do their normal business of selling food daily in order to earn income to sustain their families.
“We should not be coming here to contract illness or sell food that can infect our customers because of the poor sanitary conditions in the market,” said Mrs. Jallow.
As for Mustapha Kujabi, who sells fish, the unhygienic and deplorable condition of the market should be treated as a matter of concern by the municipal authorities and addressed urgently.
“The present condition of the toilets which are full to the brim is a source for illness and are all exposed to it,” he lamented.
Mr. Kujabi joined the rest of the vendors in calling for the urgent intervention of the municipality to fix the soak away, empty the toilets and remove the garbage dump from there once and for all.
When this reporter visited the KMC head office to enquire from the PRO whether they are aware of the poor sanitary condition at Marche Tayal and what is being done to address the problem, he was told that the official was on a meeting.
Efforts to talk to the PRO on the issue will continue and that the readers will be informed about any outcome.