Karonga vendors bemoan poor market infrastructure

Vendors at Karonga Market have complained of the market’s poor infrastructures such as the drainage system which cannot collect water away from the market.

One of the draines in Karonga – Photo by Leonard Masauli, Mana

Friday last week, the vendors were forced to close their shops after the market was flooded with water which diverted from the blocked drainage system.

Karonga Market Chairperson, Godwin Ghambi, blamed Karonga District Council Secretariat saying the issue of poor drainage system which affects business in the market has been outstanding for too long.

“Just imagine, on Friday, we were forced to close our shops as water flooded all over the market. Some merchandize were damaged as the water went above knee high.

“This has been a long outstanding issue but the council is doing nothing to address the situation. The drainage system is blocked and during rain seasons, water diverts into the market,” said Ghambi.

Ghambi wondered why the council has remained mute on the issue despite the complaints being raised and forwarded to the secretariat time and again.

One of the vendors, Samson Mbewe concurred with Ghambi calling on the council to prioritize rectifying the drainage system saying the flooding water carries waste and loads them into shops.

“The market can be a breeding hub for cholera outbreak if left unattended to,” said Mbewe.

Mbewe said people are scared away from buying fresh foods which are sold in the market due to poor sanitation fueled by the dirty flooding water.

“We are in total danger, waste is everywhere. If this is the kind of hygiene the council is pleased of, then cholera will be a long standing problem to overcome,” said Mbewe.

However, Karonga District Council Chairperson, Harry Mwanyembe accused the vendors of poor waste management.

Councilor Mwanyembe said the vendors litter waste including bottles anyhow and such waste sometimes gets accumulated into the drainage thereby blocking the system.

“The vendors are also to blame. They sometimes throw used water and juice plastic bottles into the drains.

“However, currently we are building 20 wall bins around the market so that we control the littering before the council sources funds to repair and expand the drainage system to ensure that the water passes through easily,” said Mwanyembe.

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