Traders in Calabar decry refuse heaps in market
Traders at the Marian Market, Calabar, Cross River State have decried the heaps of refuse in the market and expressed fears of possible disease outbreak in the area if uncleared.
The traders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in the market, urged relevant authorities to evacuate the refuse and to ensure regular clearing of the dumps.
A yam seller, Mr. Sunday Daniel, said that the bad odour oozing from the refuse was very inconveniencing for traders and those who came to the market for purchases.
Daniel said the situation was worst for people living around the market because of non-regular clearance of the heaps.He added that the situation was very inconveniencing for him but that he had to endure it since he had no money to rent a shop outside the environment.
“We have been enduring it since we do not have money to rent shops. This is the only available space for us and we have to stay on top of refuse to sell.”
Mrs. Kate Agba, who sells plantain and other food items close to one of the heaps, described the situation as disgusting.
She said: “I have stopped my children from coming here on their way from school. I am afraid that they might contract cholera and the disease is very dangerous.’’
Agba called on the authorities concerned to urgently clear the refuse to avoid health hazards.Mr. Bassey Umoh, who came for shopping, said he could not stand the stench from the heap close to where food items were sold, and had to hurriedly leave the place.
He said: “This is an eyesore. I think the government should do something about this and very urgently too.”An official of Marian Market Traders’ Association, Mr. Asuquo Edet, told NAN that the association had called the attention of the concerned authorities to the heaps of refuse.
Edet said: “We have made several calls to the authorities but nobody has come here. This is too bad; and the refuse heaps have kept growing and spreading all over the market.”
A senior official at the state Ministry of Environment, who spoke on telephone on condition of anonymity, blamed the contractor handling refuse evacuation in the market for the lapse.
The official said: “There is a contractor handling the evacuation of refuse in that market. So, he should be held responsible for the lapse. But I am sure that something would be done very soon.”
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