High Ways Should Not be turned into Markets

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Markets are designated places where buying and selling takes place. It can be moved either permanently or temporarily to other places as and when the need arises. Market places are normally over crowded with people and goods and that is all the more reason why a place is set aside for its purpose.
High ways are meant for easy movement of people and goods. There are transporters, bicycle riders and those people who walk on foot as road users. It can only be used for such purposes only but not as a market under normal circumstances.
It has become a common practice that in busy Serekunda during feasts like Tobaski and Ramandan feasts the high way cutting the settlement of Dippa Kunda is turned into a market commonly called “Wanterr”.
Over the recent week a number of street vendors were able to convince KMC authorities to restore the use of the street as a temporary market as it used to be in the past by the former management before the intervention of the community of Dippa Kunda and some market vendors.
Turning of the road into a temporary market used to be a source of good revenue for the council even though the chunk of the revenue does not filter down to the council’s coffers. There have been a lot of allegations that certain group of people were the ones benefitting from the revenue accrued from the exercise.
How true that is, the Daily News cannot say but what it can say is that the exercise has more negative effects on the community than its benefits.
Imam Yayha Jaiteh said the blockage of the main road leading from the Serekunda market cutting across their community is a big mayhem for those of them who live with it. The high way market prevents them from having easy access to their homes and in the event they have a sick person at their homes getting such person out for medical treatment almost becomes impossible. Jaiteh said at one time burying a dead person was made very difficult.
The other side of the saga is mainly between the market vendors and the street vendors; the marker vendors are claiming that the occupation of the high way means a drop in their sales and income.
All said and done, the Daily News is of the opinion that the high way should remain a high way for motorists and other users of the road and not for a market which is already in place. Let those who want to sell their items go into the market and do so; and leave the high way free for other users.
As for the council, there are other ways of boosting up their revenue base and one such way of that is to move the “wanterr” to other parks or even at the stadium as the Gambia Chamber of Commerce does during trade fairs which are held regularly. So the same can be done with the kind of sales at Buffer Zone and other parks that are available within the municipality.

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