By Nelson Manneh
Women at the Latrikunda Sabaji Market on Monday January 3rd 2020, complained that their stalls situated near the new market building were demolished and that they have no hope of returning after the construction of new structures.
The women, who spoke to this medium said they were initially told that the roof of the stalls were old and needs to be changed; but that the demolition of their stalls was never part of what they were told.
This reporter visited the market and found that all the stalls located around the newly built market building were demolished.
Tabara Jallow, a vendor who has been selling at the market for more than ten years, said their stalls were demolished without their knowledge.
“Initially we were just told that the roof there is old, they want to change it and they will allow us to go back to our various places after the maintenance, but when they decided to demolish the Stalls they don’t tell us anything,” he said. Tabara continued that there is the rumor that if the stalls are ready, they will be allocated to anyone who can afford it.
“I have a son who was accepted to start his program at the University of The Gambia but because I have no money to pay for his bills, he has deferred his program to next year,” she said. Mrs. Jallow said she has no other source of income apart from the market; that she is a single parent and cannot afford to do anything if her business runs aground.
Ndey Saine another vendor said she lives from what she gets from the market; that since they were asked to move from where they used to be at the market, her business is not working well; that she hopes the authorities will listen to them and give them back their stalls.
Momodou Lamin Colley, former Chairperson of the Latrikunda Sabiji Market said the stalls belong to the women and it should be given back to them when they are ready.
“The Latrikunda Sabaji Market belongs to the community and all the responsibilities of the market should be given back to the community for them to run it,” he noted. Colley called on the Authorities to consider the women who have been selling at the market for years.
This reporter visited the Councilor of Latrikunda Sabaji Ward Ansumana Bayo to get his side of the story, but he declined to comment.
Foroyaa will engage the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) Market Committee to get their side of the story.