By Edwin M. Fayia III
Gobachop Market, a major section of the Red Light market in Paynesville, has been engulfed by foul smelling and rodent-infested garbage uncollected for the past five weeks.
During a visit to the market, massive swarms of flies were seen congregating on the rotten garbage piles, while petty traders conducted business nearby.
A space constructed by the Ministry of Public Works to host most of the petty traders is now being used as a garbage dumpsite by the traders.
Many of the petty traders at the crowded marketplace who spoke to the Daily Observer expressed grave concern about the health and sanitation hazards posed by the trash, which they said has not been collected for the past five weeks.
Most of them sell plantains, pineapples, eddoes, peppers, bitter balls, greens and other fruits and vegetables.
In spite of the huge garbage at the market, producers from rural Liberia with an assortment of produce continue to bring in their wares.
In interviews with rural and urban petty traders, they appealed to the Paynesville City Corporation to ensure that the garbage is collected.
Rural plantain producer Joe Stewart of Bong County told the Daily Observer that he was frustrated about the huge rotten uncollected piles of garbage.
“Each time I bring my plantains for sale to the Gobachop Market, I encounter some kind of sickness due to the bad smell from the rotten garbage,” Mr. Stewart said.
Urban marketer Suzanna B. Clinton, 48, appealed to the municipal government of Paynesville under the leadership of Mayor Cyvette Gibson to design new strategies to work with the marketers for the daily disposal of garbage at the market.
“I think the old system of dirt collection and disposal has not worked at our business district in Paynesville,” Madam Clinton said.
Pineapple dealer Blama M. Kolliewala, 55, said the Gobachop Market is a sanitation nightmare.
Meanwhile, a Paynesville City Corporation (PCC) staff, who spoke off the record, told the Daily Observer that plans are underway to increase the collection of the garbage from once a week to three times a week.
The anonymous PCC official, however, stressed the need for the traders to work with the PCC Sanitation Department to ensure that garbage bins at the market are used for their intended purpose, although he did not say when the rotten garbage would be removed.