The largest market in River Gee County, the Kanweaken Market, located in the commercial city of Kanweaken, is on the brink of collapse and closure because of its dilapidated condition as well as lack of loans to enable marketers to get capitalize their businesses, sell and repay. Kanweaken market was erected in 2000 and became the hub of the county’s economy, with traders buying and selling. However, the market has outgrown its capacity from less than 50 sellers, considering the current 600 members of the River Gee branch of the Liberia Marketing Association (LiMA).
The general secretary of the Kanweaken Market, Teta Younge, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that the market has outlived its usefulness and cannot contain the current membership of businessmen and women in the county. “The market is small, and the roofs are leaking,” Younge said. To compound the situation, she said, “Less than half of the memberships of the LiMA are not selling, because of the lack of loans to marketers.” She indicated that they are planing a peaceful demonstration to call for loans to marketers and for the expansion of the market. “We want to continuously remain the commercial city of the county, which has about 135,000 persons, ” she added.
During a town hall meeting with the standard bearer of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, the marketers said “the expansion of the market and loans are our main problems. We the marketers feed River Gee; Kanweaken feeds the county. But since the Ebola crisis, most of the marketers are out of business and the market is empty; besides, the market is small.”
The marketers said that they have been overlooked since 2005, adding “We were promised and the promises were never fulfilled. But, don’t overlook us, we can make you win. We are able to campaign. If we are for you, whenever we serve our customers, we will speak our vernacular and ask the person, ‘who are you for?’ Then we can convince the person and give him or her extra of what he or she is buying.” Other groups, including the women, youth, elders, disabled, and motorbike riders, also presented their projects and requests to Mr. Cummings, including the construction of homes, meeting halls, vocational schools, hospitals, roads, and scholarship opportunities among others.
The ANC standard bearer promised to help with some of their problems as an individual, and assured them that when they elect him as president, he will start from the southeast. He told them that on October 10, they should vote him, Amb. Sulunteh and the ANC’s legislative candidates to give them the Liberia they deserve. The following day, Thursday, in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh, the women of the county gowned Mr. Cummings. They also gowned his wife, Teresa Cummings, vice standard bearer Jeremiah Sulunteh and his wife in abstentia. On behalf of the women, Madam Victoria Garlo said Mr. Cummings is the right choice, and named him “Nyonbeyor,” which means, “Somebody get there.”