– a little rain, a lot of distress
Guyana is known as the “land of many waters”, and this is fully supported by the state of the Bourda Market on rainy days.
Stall-holders and vendors in this facility have often complained to the constables and other officials of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) about the flooding and drainage problems they experience when it rains.
Yesterday, when Kaieteur News visited Bourda, there was a lot to be said by some distraught vendors located at Sections “A” and “B” in the market.
According to Lallbachan Narine, owner of stalls # 35 and 36, he paid approximately $2M for his joint stalls and every month he is required to pay $8,100 to the M&CC as rental fee for the area.
Narine stated that he does not mind making these payments, however it is not fair that he is paying for certain services and not getting them.
He explained that whenever it rains, even if it is just for five minutes, the water rises and floods the walkways in his section and even seep into his stalls.
He went on to say that many mornings when he arrives for business, he has to clean out his stalls and the surrounding areas, especially when it rains the previous evenings – and this has become a nuisance.
Maimoon Khan, of stall # 14, lamented that every time it rains, her stall is flooded inside and customers do not venture around the area since the water is dirty and obviously unhealthy. She said that it is difficult for her to vend under these conditions, especially since she sells food items and fresh meat such as plucked chicken, and when persons pass by and see her selling in an unhealthy environment, this prevents them from purchasing any items from her.
Kaieteur News understands that the flooding occurs mainly because of the inadequate guttering for the market; the water runs down with great force and leads toward the small drain that runs inside the market.
Another stall-holder added that a number of vendors have approached the constables in the market about raising the concrete – to protect their stalls from becoming flooded – but their pleas have been ignored. They indicated that they have indicated a willingness to pay for the works to be done, but the relevant authorities are not responding to their requests.
Other affected vendors explained that on numerous occasions they spoke with the city constabularies as it relates to this flooding problem in the market which has been going on for a number of years, nevertheless, the officials have not provided a solution to their appeals.
While a Kaieteur News reporter was discussing the issue with these vendors, a stall-holder mentioned earlier, Lallbachan Narine, was in conversation with an official of the M&CC who was only known by the vendors as “Mr. Carl”. When Narine was gesturing to “Mr. Carl” to “come and see the water raising”, the official bluntly refused to do so, saying “I’m not going there”.
Another stall-holder approached “Mr. Carl” and told him that he should “speak with the reporter about the issue” but “Mr. Carl” stated “I am not going to speak to any reporter. I don’t have the authority to do so; she needs to talk to someone else”.
Many disgruntled stall-holders expressed their dissatisfaction with the services being offered by the M&CC, especially since they are paying additional fees such as the business rate telephone and light bills.
Some even went on to state that when their stalls are closed for the day, when they return the next day, the area smells of urine and even has fecal matter and garbage visible in the drains which border their stalls.
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