Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall today dispatched a team from the Ministry to meet with stallholders affected by the recent springtide deluge at the Stabroek Market.
The team, comprising Principal Regional Development Officer, Surendra Khayyam, Public Relations Officer, Whitney Ethard and Municipal Services Officer, Ronald Beckles met with the vendors to listen to their concerns and proffer solutions to the frequent flooding of the market during the high and spring tides.
Clerk of Markets, Sherlock Lovell and Deputy Clerk of Markets (ag), Melroy Gordon who updated the team on the situation, disclosed that the market was closed for business during the morning hours owing to the overtopping.
The vendors complained that they have been facing this situation for years now without an end in sight and without any intervention from the authorities.
One vendor, Ryan Boodhoo, explained that after the water recedes, stallholders are left to mop-up the heavy sludge left behind with some assistance from the Georgetown Mayor and City Council.
He noted that despite paying their rental fees, the Council has failed to repair or replace a broken valve on one of the pipelines that has been out of service for the past six months making access to water to aid in the clean-up efforts severely restricted.
Another vendor disclosed that several attempts have been made to secure assistance from the Guyana Fire Service so that a thorough flushing of the market can be done to ensure it is properly sanitised.
However, these efforts have so far been without success.
It was observed that the internal drains of the market were clogged and efforts were being made to have this situation remedied.
One vendor suggested that simply cleaning and widening the drains could lead to easier and speedier draining off of the excess water after a high tide.
The team also met with member of the Market Committee, Seeru Deo who represented the interest of the vendors and several recommendations were put forward, including a review of the internal drainage and the elevation of the market floor by as much as three feet.
City Council’s Sanitation Manager, Walter Narine has since undertaken to have both Stabroek and Bourda Markets pressured washed and fumigated on Tuesday and Sunday respectively.