King Jimmy Market is a historical edifice in the country, as it used to be the last place of departure for freed slaves.
Hawa Conteh, Vice Chairlady of the market, when speaking to journalists on Monday stated that the rains are seriously disturbing them due to the fact that the market is unroofed in several places. She added that though Freetown City Council has been collecting market dues from traders, they have refused to roof the market and this is causing much discomfort to the traders using the building.
“We are neighbors with the FCC and over the years they have been coming here to collect dues from us without doing what is expected of them. This is a serious concern and I’m really disappointed in the FCC,” she maintained.
She went on to claim that the past ten to twelve years, the FCC has just been promising to construct/rehabilitate the market to no avail, adding that the market also lacks pipe-borne water, adequate WASH facilities and stores.
She went on to inform journalists that most traders are forced to return home with their goods after the usual trade fair ends every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
She lamented that, “even though the country’s Mayor, Yvonne Aki Sawyer, has come to our rescue this time around by providing us with sticks, tarpaulin sheets and other items to roof the market, this is just not sustainable. The heavy winds have taken off the tarpaulin from the rickety structure constructed by some youth. This market needs to be taken care of much more seriously.
She recalled that during political campaign, politicians make all sorts of promises that they would refurbish facilities, and do this and that but that once they attain what they want, they renege on their promise.
She used the opportunity to appeal to the government through the FCC to come to their aid and appealed to the Mayor to construct their market as they are paying dues to the Freetown City Council.
She further complained that even all the slabs at the market have been broken and the goods are placed on the bare floor.
“If we keep selling our goods in this manner there is a possibility for us to lose customers because the manner in which we display especially foodstuffs is unhygienic and has the potential of spreading sickness and disease,” she said.