By Amadou Jadama
Following the announcement by government bringing back the monthly cleansing exercise set-setal, the Gambia Market Union has demanded the minister of environment to explain whether businesses will close for the duration of the exercise as was the case under former president Yahya Jammeh.
The Union’s spokesman, Sulayman Dampha, who is also a businessman at Serekunda market, said:
“We are appealing to government to state it clearly whether the markets will be closed. It is our opinion that such an idea will not be good for the economy. Closing down the businesses would affect the business sector considering the economic hardship the country is already facing.”
Mr Dampha suggested that government assigns market committees to clean their markets during set-settal, rather than closing down the market.
According to Mr Dampha, since the government made the announcement, many women market vendors approached him, complaining that if the government wants to close down the market from 9am to 1pm, that would affect their businesses.
“Those women depend on their businesses which pay their living and children’s school fees. Again, government should empower the local government authorities in the country, especially Banjul City, Kanifing Municipality, and Brikama Area councils because those councils have already put in place sound programmes for their people in term of cleaning,” he added.
The Union PRO further reminded the Government that Saturday is an important day for others, especially the Muslim schools.
He also called on government to institute price control on the basic commodities as Ramadan is just at the corner.