By Amadou Manjang
Modou Cham, manager of Bakoteh Fish market has said that the inconsistent electricity and water supply by National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has disrupted the business of Bakoteh Fish Market in the past four months.
“Without electricity and water supply we cannot produce ice and the women also will not be able to buy ice to preserve their fish,” he said.
He stated that the pandemic has also greatly affected their business causing huge revenue loss for the market management.
Cham made these statements during an interview with Foroyaa on Wednesday at his office in Bakoteh.
Cham said that the generator they have cannot provide sufficient electricity supply for their two ice plants. Therefore they entirely depend on NAWEC power supply.
Cham added that the market always has insufficient water and electricity supply despite these being crucial part of their business.
He further stated that the unavailability of fish and other goods that required the use of ice blocks to preserve them also affected their revenue collections.
Fatou Jarju, a fish vendor at the market said that she only buys ice when she has fish, adding that the scarcity of fish recently resulted to her not buying ice.
“I cannot buy ice when I don’t have any fish to preserve,” he said.
On the congestion of the Market
The manager further stated that they are on the process of expanding the markets so that it can accommodate many people.
“We know that the market is congested and everyone is coming here to search for a living. We feel sorry for them; we feel sorry for them when the police chase them from the roadside where they sell,” he said.
Most of the vendors that do not have canteens inside the market sit on the roadside to sell whilst blocking the footpath.
“We have to sell our goods in order to earn money and feed our families, so if we don’t have a place inside the market we will be forced to sit on the roadside and sell,” Kaddy Saho said.
Kaddy further said that if the market is expanded and they have places to sit, they will not sit the roadside to sell their goods.
Daily duty collection
Mr. Cham said that they face challenges in collecting daily duties from the vendors, adding that some of the vendors dodge from paying duty.
“This also affects our performance in revenue collection,” he added.
“It is not that we don’t want to pay duty, sometimes we don’t make any sales and the duty collectors will be on our necks; that is why we run from them,” Awa Bojang, a vegetable vendor said.
Awa added that it is unfair for those vendors who sell outside the market on the roadside to pay duties because they are not using the market spaces.