Woman loses only source of income as Meten-Meer-Zorg NDC cracks down on illegal vending
A 56-year-old small businesswoman has lost her only source of income after the Meten-meer-Zorg Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) cracked down on illegal vending in the area.
Bibi Hassan-Ali has been selling food in a make shift stall at the corner of her house at Ocean Gardens, Meten-meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara for the past four years. Before that, her sister sold food on the same spot for 10 years.
But recently, Hassan-Ali was served a notice by the NDC to stop vending at the location which the NDC says is reserve lands.
“Me does sell lil chicken ball, egg ball, fish ball and like plantain chips and sweetie,” the woman told the News Room. She explained that three weeks ago she was making her food to sell and noticed her stand fell over. Upon investigating, she discovered that someone had dumped a load of sand and dismantled her structure.
The next day, she said two more loads of sand were dumped and since then, the sand has remained on the road and she has been unable to ply her trade.
She made a report to the NDC which, in turn, served her notice to cease vending in the area. But Hassan-Ali explained that this is her only source of income since her husband is unable to work due to heart complications.
According to her, in August this year, her husband, who was a carpenter, suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery for the placement of a stent.
“I know it is the reserve, but I have a moving table with an umbrella, 14 years we selling there, and unto now the sand nah move and that is my only daily bread,” a crying Hassan-Ali told the News Room.
She explained that she would only vend for a couple of hours during the day.
When contacted, an official at the NDC told the News Room that the woman’s stall had become a security risk for residents. The official claimed that bandits would use the stall as a hideout to rob persons traversing the area at night.
The NDC also noted that by the end of the week, a notice will also be served on the owner of the sand to have them remove it from the government’s reserve.
The matter is also engaging the attention of the police. Hassan- Ali is claiming damages to her property.
Meanwhile, it is also unclear whether the NDC has served notices to the many other food stalls that have popped up in the community along the public road.