By Mariama Sonnie Koroma
Member of Parliament representing Constituency 111 in the Western Rural Area, Hon. Horace Ekuyemi Vincent has said that he did not abandon the market project at Devil Hole in his constituency. The MP was speaking in relation to allegation that he abandoned the project for some time now.
While speaking, Hon. Vincent said he purchased building materials that have not been touched for several months, adding that he has paid two contractors for the same job but they end up using some of the materials for their personal work. “There are people in the community who are trying to sabotage the project just because of politics, it seems they don’t want the project to be completed so that they a can come to the media make me look bad,” he said.
Some weeks ago, some people in the community raised concerns over the constraints they are faced with to access market, adding that they were excited about the market project when the MP launched it some time ago but it since it started, everything was on hold for a year and a half. In a letter written to the MP the community people said the MP relocated over two hundred women doing business at the market square to the community centre while awaiting the completion of the market project and this has affected business because the centre cannot accommodate all the women doing business.
They further said that the community centre is now in a deplorable condition because people are using it as a store and this has made it difficult to hold community meetings and activities. “Besides that, we are now faced with economic challenges because it’s now two years since we were transferred to the community centre, and sales have dropped compared to previous years when we were at are our usual place, people now prefer to buy their stuff at Waterloo. I am a single parent with four children who depend on me, what I get from selling at the market is used to take care of them,” said Fatmata Sesay a fish monger.
Isatu Bangura the chairlady of the market said the delay of the market has greatly affected them as the place is not conducive for business particularly during the rains. “This is an open place and when it rains we all run for shelter and most time our markets get spoiled after being drenched by the rain,” she said. The women pleaded to the MP to finish the project and forget about those trying to sabotage him. “He should do it for us not for them; we are the ones selling here not them.” Isatu added.
The MP assured them of completing the project within the shortest possible time noting that if it had not been for people who steal the materials and for contractors who just collect money without doing the work, it would have been complete. Devil hole is one of the largest communities in Waterloo and finishing the market project will end the constraints of community people he ended.