By Makutu Manneh
The Kanifing Municipal Council have on Tuesday, 24th September 2019 reacted to the Foroyaa Newspaper publication about the claims of the Serrekunda Market vendors.
The market is Gambia’s biggest and busiest market. The vendors’ claim was that the Council (KMC) has issued warnings that they will be vacated from their places of sale on Monday, 23rd September 2019 even though the Council did not act as promised.
The vendors said the Council knows that the Serrekunda market has no space to accommodate them all, but yet they want to relocate them to the market. The saleswomen expressed their desire to return to the market, but decried that they do not have space there. The sellers told Foroyaa in an exclusive interview that it is not their desire to sell in the streets or on the bare floor but it is the Council that fails to provide them with space in the market. The venders called on Mayor Talib Bensouda to be considerate and not to use security forces to dislodge them from the street.
Isatou Faal, the Council’s Public Relation Officer (PRO) has told Foroyaa that the Serrekunda Vendors were asked to evacuate the market because they are in a progression of renovating the market.
She said the women (vendors) are selling at the wrong places and they cause traffic jams among other problems. She added that the roads that the vendors sell are not meant for selling and they affect the passage of goods and services – thereby causing traffic jam.
The PRO concurred with the assertion by the vendors that the market is full and cannot accommodate all of them.
“Serrekunda market cannot host everyone,” PRO Faal said.
Faal said the Market is full to capacity and they have been advising vendors to relocate to other markets within the municipalities such as Jeshwang, Tallinding, Latrikunda Sabiji, Tabokoto and Abuko. She said they have even used the radio stations to make such announcements.
“All vendors want to sell at the Serrekunda market,” she said.
PRO Faal said KMC has a market committee which is responsible for recommending the revitalization of markets including reconstruction and they are also responsible for providing the Council with the advice as to whether vendors should relocate or vacate.
She said traffic jam from Westfield to Tipper Garage is caused by vendors selling along the highway.