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Poor sanitation at King Jimmy Market

August 26, 2020

By Elizabeth A. Kaine

Traders and consumers at King Jimmy market

Foodstuff traders at the King Jimmy Market have expressed dissatisfaction over what they described as poor sanitary condition of the market, thus calling on the Freetown City Council to swiftly intervene.

King Jimmy Market is one of the oldest and popular markets in Freetown, and has for decades contributed greatly to the food supply chain from Port Loko District in north-western province – to the country’s main capital Freetown.

Chairlady of the market, Haji Adama Kamara, said over the years the market has lost all the features that qualify it to be called a market, including structure, storage facility and others.

She further stated that the market has been neglected by mainly the Freetown City Council FCC, the institution that is supposed to be managing and maintaining it status because the council do collect dues from traders on a daily basis.

Madam Kamara said for the past ten years, FCC has been promising to construct the market, but to no avail.

She alluded the market to an ‘abandoned child’ as it lacks all facilities including  pipe borne water, canopy, tables to display goods and stores to keep their wares.

‘’The market is not hygienic at all, and nobody would like to buy foodstuff from a filthy environment. We are paying tax to Freetown City Council every day, and even those coming with the foodstuff from Kafu Bullom, Lungi in the Port Loko District, are paying taxes to the council,” she said.

She stated that King Jimmy market is significant because it is one of the historic edifices in the country, and the market used to be the final departure point for freed slaves, thus calling on the authorities to maintain the history of the country.

Abubakarr Sesay, Harbourmaster at King Jimmy Seaport, said the harbour is not only known to be the cheapest point of sales, but also represents one of the historical monuments that Sierra Leone can use to tell her history  about the Slave Trade.

He said as the oldest harbour market still in use for the exchange of goods and services, King Jimmy shouldn’t be neglected.

He said as Harbourmaster, he was disappointed at FCC, noting that the lack of better marketplace leads to unsafe business, and that whenever it rains, both buyers and sellers suffer the most while foodstuffs do perish.

‘’My team lacks communication tools and support to respond or communicate with the right authorities including  FCC, the Sierra Leone Navy, the Sierra Leone Maritime and others in case of accident or disasters,” he said.

Marima kamara, a frequenter at the market said sanitation at the market should be of paramount concern to traders and customers.

Kamara, who looks dejected and frustrated, pointed out that traders do not have to wait on government to clean the market, adding that in as much as there are not enough tables to display their goods, that shouldn’t warrant them to display foodstuff on the floor.

“If King Jimmy market traders continue selling their goods in this manner there is a possibility for them to lose more customers. Although it is the responsibility of the government to take care of this market, but the traders should not solely depend on government at all the times for everything,” she said.

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