Displaced Mon Repos vendors welcome commitment to complete stalls next month
Despite the long wait for the Mon Repos market to be completed, the displaced vendors welcome a new agreement with the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development to build the market stalls by the end of April and in accordance with their requests.
One year after the construction of the East Coast Demerara market started, the vendors who sell on the tarmac just outside the construction site are still awaiting the construction of stalls.
Their return to the market was slated for last December but this did not happen. Vendors on Friday told the News Room that officials from the Ministry of Local Government met with them last Saturday.
“They said they will start build next week and it will done for April month end and we hope it finishes for April month end,” Pearlie, a vendor at the market told the News Room on Friday.
She explained that at this meeting, the vendors and the ministry agreed that the stalls inside of the market will be built according to the vendors’ request. During a previous meeting between the two parties, the vendors shared their dismay with the sizes of the stalls. Though the size has not changed from 4×5 feet in dimension, the vendors welcome the ministry’s effort to consult before construction.
With this new agreement, the vendors hope they can soon return to selling in the comfort of their stalls.
The vendors moved out of the market in February 2022 and were told this would only be for seven months. Now, they are faced with challenges such as rain and customers not being able to find them at their temporary location.
On Friday, the vendors went to the Lusignan market for the weekly ‘market day’ sales. Nanjanie Meusa said she is still frustrated with the long wait but hopeful that she can soon return to the market.
“It really, really hard on us because they promised that they will finish the market in a short time and we still out here punishing,” she complained. The woman said she has to pay $1,200 to travel to the market every day and when it rains they are very uncomfortable.
Another vendor, Annie Samsir said she prefers to wait for a solid structure than to rush and be uncomfortable.
“We want the market done but we have to wait. We can’t hurry because they have to take their time and make it because we want everything to be okay when we go in. not when we go in we can’t be properly,” she said.
While the displaced vendors await the construction of their stalls, the western side of the market will soon be under construction. Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall has said that the construction of the third phase will be completed in about three or four months.
Contracting firm – Mohamed Rahim and Sons – undertook the $63 million project. The contract to rehabilitate the market was awarded in November 2021.