Local Gov't Election 2016 : Vendors complain of leakage in May Pen Market

November 04, 2016
The May Pen Market in Clarendon.

When Hurricane Matthew bypassed Jamaica in early October, no one was happier than the higglers in the dry goods section of the May Pen Market in Clarendon.

For Carma Ingram and Elvie Hibbert, it was God's sure mercies as at present, they can't manage minor rainfall. When THE WEEKEND STAR visited the market recently, many other higglers were eager to share their issues with the facility.

"When rain fall, you can set a drum, and inna no time, it woulda full," said Ingram. She said vendors are forced to make a mad rush to secure goods whenever there is the slightest downpour or else they could get soaked. Hibbert said there are times when she is not swift enough in securing her goods and she has paid dearly by having to discard some of them.

"We have been having this problem for about eight years now, and wi tiyad fi complain to the agents dem, who always on time to collect the $150 a day," she said. The higglers' issue with the market has been compounded in the last two years as Hibbert said now they have no electricity.

"We have no lights in the place. At it touch 5:30 p.m., we have to be gathering our stuff to get out of here," she said. "It unfair fi we a pay the daily fees and yet we caan get nuh justice. We complain til we tiyad about the facility here, and yet nothing is done about it."

 

WORK EXPECTED TO COMMENCE

 

Rowhan Blake, secretary manager of the Clarendon Parish Council, said the council is aware of the problem with the leaking roof. He said work is expected to commence on the facility shortly. Blake said in the past, attempts have been made to remedy the problem. Addressing the lack of electricity, he said that will be taken into consideration in the upcoming work.

"What we had in the past is that a lot of persons were coming over and stealing the bulbs and taking away some of the electrical wiring," he said. The parish council is responsible for the market and the shops they have erected, and as such, Blake said vendors who build their own stalls are responsible for their maintenance. The council, he said, only collects rental for the space.

Market fees range from $150 to $200 per day. Blake said there is a 50 per cent compliance rate.

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