By: Modou Touray
Vendors of Giboro-Kuta market in the Kombo East District, West Coast Region have told this medium that their market has become very tight and unaccommodating for them and buyers. They are calling on authorities to expand or relocate the market as they and other women who have expressed interest in starting small businesses in the market cannot fit in.
The Fatu Network engaged some vendors of the Giboro-Kuta market to know the challenges the face in earning a living and also catering for the market demands of people in the locality.
Maimuna Nyassi, who sells porridge in the morning, dilated on how she struggles to sell on the bare ground. “I sell food and by safety standards, I should not place it on the ground and sell to customers. Preferably, I need a canteen to sell such food. That is more hygienic,” She said.
Saku Mbye and Faye Manka both called on government’s intervention to provide a better market that can accommodate a lot of vendors and buyers. They noted that the rapid increase of vendors in the small market space has made life and business very challenging for them.
Adama Njie, a vendor dealing in vegetables, narrated his ordeal. “As you can see, I am sitting on the ground. I endure this hard condition daily.”
With the hope of making more profit to cater for her family’s daily upkeep, Adama bears the current conditions with the hope that things will improve someday.
Awa Njie, a fish vendor, complained of lack of refrigerator to preserve her fish.
“I preserve my fish at home and carry it to the market because there is no facility for that at the market. My house is far from the market; therefore, I often face difficulties especially whenever customers demand large quantity of fish.”
She said it will be easier for her to supply the market with abundant fish if she gets a shop in the market that can house her refrigerator. “In that way, my fish will not spoil easily,” she noted.
Another vendor, Tako Kebbeh, shared similar challenges, while pleading for urgent solutions; saying that more women intend doing small business at the market but are however being challenged by the small size of the market.
Because of the small space and other poor conditions of the market, vendors at Giboro-Kuta market are sometimes compelled by situations to carry their wares to the regional administrative capital, Brikama and sell fast at the Brikama market. They have to cover some distance to access the Brikama market.
Binta Jallow said: “Some customers feel angry because most of the basic ingredients for cooking are not available here. We definitely want to sell what they need but there is no enough space to place the demanded items.”
In her reaction, the deputy chairperson of the Giboro-Kuta market committee, Kumba Jallow, confirmed that the committee is fully aware of the limited market space, reiterating that they need a bigger space.
“The current market space can only accommodate between 30-50 vendors. Two vendors share a table, making it difficult for vendors with huge items. The committee is always in consultation with the village authorities to expand the market,” he explained.
Mr Jallow called on vendors to be patient as the situation will be tackled.
The Alkalo of Giboro-Kuta, Sheriffo Jatta, was quick to reveal plans to relocate the market to a spacious area on the main highway that befits modem market status.
Giboro-Kuta settlement is growing rapidly in population which is largely due to people moving from the densely populated urban settlements to the area. Bigger market space, adequate water supply, among other continue to be challenging.