By Edward D.Stemn/ Harper Maryland County
As the country has entered the rainy season, there has come another confronting situation for market sellers in the Harper General Market in Maryland County -- a threat from flooding as the Hoffman River overflows its bank in the rainy season.
The Harper general market is situated along the bank of the Hoffman River, at the intersection of Green and Mechlin streets in Harper City.
Speaking to the press on Monday, July 12 at her office, the General Superintendent of the market, Ms. Tetee Lewis, described the current situation faced by marketers at the market as worrisome and embarrassing.
Superintendent Lewis informed journalists that the Hoffman River is an embarrassment for them whenever the tide of the river rises. It overflows the market and forces the market sellers to relocate their merchandise.
At the same time, Superintendent Lewis noted that the overflowing of the river at the market is an age-old situation and it has reached to a point that it can't be controlled.
The leadership of the market has informed the county authority and Liberia Marketing Association about the situation faced by market sellers at the Harper General Market, “and they both promised to help in providing a solution,” Ms. Lewis disclosed.
Meanwhile the market Superintendent further said the market hosts all market sellers in Harper City and the surrounding areas, but has no toilet facilities, which adds to the current deplorable condition of the market.
Despite informing the county authority earlier, we are also using this time to call on the national government and NGOs to come to our aid in providing a lasting solution to the market's problem.
Moreover, the situation is causing market sellers to leave the market and go to pleebo and other places to continue their selling, Market Superintendent Lewis explained.
We find it difficult to really adhere to the health protocol outlined by the Ministry of Health as it relates to COVID19 due to the existing problem that is resulting in congestion of sellers. But we are doing all we can to prevent ourselves from contracting the virus, despite strenuous situations.
Also speaking on the current situation at the Harper General Market, the county superintendent, George Andrew Prowd, has acknowledged the situation faced by the sellers at the market.
“The county is aware of the situation,” Superintendent Prowd said, “and we are doing all we can to provide a solution to the problem. We have appointed a committee that is made of the public works and Maryland county engineers to start working on the problem, the Superintendent explained.
“The total amount needed to do backfilling of the deplorable areas and to build a defensive wall to stop the river from overflowing is US$138,000 and we have informed relevant stakeholders of the county, both locally and in the Diaspora.
At the same time, Superintendent Prowd presented the amount of US$1,500 to the committee to help the committee start its work, effective this month.
Superintendent Prowd is also urging the Fula business community, the Fanti community and all other business communities operating in the county to make their contributions toward the estimated amount needed to carry on the work.