Vendors still plying trade on dilapidated Stabroek Market Wharf

first_imgA vendor operating at her stall on the deteriorating WharfAlthough vendors at the Stabroek Market Wharf were told to remove from the area since September last, some delinquent sellers chose to remain at the facility although the structure is on the verge of collapse.As such, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown has taken a decision to have the Wharf completely cordoned off by month end to prevent ongoing operations from happening at the facility due to its deteriorating state.At a recent statutory meeting held by the Council, it was revealed that persons are still plying their trade on the wharf despite its condition.More alarming, however, the Council said it understands that persons are even living on the wharf although they were advised to move.Acting Town Clerk, Sharon Harry-Munroe in responding to a question at the meeting said “Persons, though they would have built their stalls, they continue to operate from the wharf so what we would have indicated is that when the last set of persons sign their Memorandum of Understanding, the six weeks thereafter as they completed building the stalls we will close off those stalls [on the wharf] because what you find, like I said, a number of persons are there sleeping, they’re living, they’re doing all sorts of things”.She added that the area was previously blocked off and one entrance was left open so that vendors could store and access their stocks, however, months would have elapsed and persons are abusing this liberty. As a consequence, she told this newspaper in a later interview, the persons will be prohibited from entering the area after this month-end.City Constables will be placed to ensure this is enforced. This move was recommended by the Mayor.He said, “Town Clerk, you [should] issue a notice and put a timeline and if they bypass the timeline, the City Police will go and shut the stalls down at the wharf. The reason for that, I believe that if anything happens there we can be in serious trouble so you have to, as the Chief Administrator of this City, you ought to put these systems in place”.When Guyana Times visited the wharf on Saturday afternoon, several persons were seen vending plantains, vegetables, salted fish and peanuts among other things below a roof that looked as though it would collapse at any time.In fact, several zinc sheets had already been blown off by heavy winds, leaving behind the mere frames. The lasting roof, according to vendors, is incapable of keeping the rainfall from affecting them.Along with the horrific roofing, several boards were missing from the structure’s floor. The remaining woodwork was rotted and covered in garbage at a number of different sections.Moving along, this publication observed a man showering in one of the abandoned stalls.Two vendors, who did not want to state their names, told this newspaper that their stands have been completed and they intend to move over soon to the new location at the former Route 42 bus park.A male vendor, however, complained that City Hall expects them to remove from the area, although they were forced to stand the expense of building new stalls at the park.To make matters worse at the already crumbling structure, the wharf was partially blazed in November. It is suspected that the fire may have been started by a female, who had an argument with another vendor.Prior to this, on September 13, the wharf was cordoned off with the intent of barring vendors from utilising the unsafe area.This move was highly criticised by vendors although they were given the notice to vacate the area. Back then, the former Town Clerk, Royston King, had called a press conference where he said the vendors will be accommodated at minibus parks for at least two years, until the wharf is rehabilitated.Vendors who ply their trade in the Stabroek Wharf area were brought to tears that morning when they were confronted by City Hall staffers cordoning off the entrances to their vending area.This move came approximately two weeks after the M&CC had issued a notice informing the vendors of their plans to remove them from the deteriorated area in order to facilitate rehabilitation works there.Business ongoing at a Stabroek Market Wharf stallA section of the remaining ceiling at the Wharflast_img read more