By Varney Scott, Margibi Co.
Reports from Harbel, Margibi County speak of unhygienic heaping of compost in the Harbel general market in a way that poses serious health hazards to community dwellers, even to the extent that it is being compared to the same conditions at the Redlight general market which has become a place of “hold-your-noise-and-pass.”
Most of Monrovia’s markets including Redlight are infested with unprecedented huge heap of garbage summoned by the very marketers as well as residents of the community, without any consideration for hygiene and health safety.
The condition of the Harbel Market, our reporter said, is causing uneasiness amongst marketers who are now complaining of the poor sanitary condition of the general market.
In separate interview with our correspondent over the weekend, marketers expressed dismay and dissatisfaction over the manner in which the sanitary situation at the Harbel general market is being handled.
A stock pile of garbage at the market has spilled over the garbage beam which according to marketers is posing serious health hazard to sellers and consumers at the market.
When the garbage is collected by the marketing association garbage collectors, it is not properly disposed of, so much so that flies are taking over cook shops along with unbearable odor spreading across the entire atmosphere, Augustine P. Saywala stated.
A motorcyclist, who runs his bike from the market to parts of the Harbel community, frowned on the poor condition of the market.
“The LMA people here do not want to employ strong men to do the work, they prefer to employ older people who are no longer strong to do the work effectively which is delaying the collection of the garbage, flies have now taken over several cook shops that are close to the garbage site the garbage beams are constructed very close within the market which is not good for us.”
The Superintendent of the Harbel general market, Madam Esther Kasua could not deny the claims but said they were making efforts aimed at addressing the problem, adding “the market association does not have its own earth moving machines to remove the garbage; instead firestone management has decided to help in said direction which sometimes cause the delay in disposing the garbage properly.”
The marketers’ also claimed that money collected during the week by the association has not been used to facilitate the cleaning of the market.
Ma Hawa Kollie, a potatoes grain seller also decried the unhealthy condition of the market, saying “We pay our money from Monday to Friday and nothing is being done to clean the market good, grass is overtaking the stores from the back of it which is other market people selling area.”
Superintendent Kasua added that young and able-bodied men are refusing to be employed with the entity which she said has left the association with no option but to hire the services of elderly men to do the job, something many believed is causing the delay in disposing of the garbage properly.