Major upgrades in pipeline for Stabroek market – Min. Dharamlall announces

Efforts will bring significant relief to vendors, shoppers

A massive clean up exercise is slated for Sunday, March 26 at Stabroek Market, Georgetown, to kick start the government’s efforts in positioning the popular vending hub into an area conducive to conducting business.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall visited the market Wednesday, where he conducted a thorough inspection and engaged several vendors.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, speaking with vendors on Wednesday

Following the two-hour-long exercise, Minister Dharamlall was forced to initiate a plan to bring immediate relief to vendors, most of whom publicly criticised the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) for neglecting the market and only showing up to collect revenues. 

Enhancement works in the pipeline include repairs to the roof of the fish bay area and to the restroom facilities, desilting of the drains in the market, and excavating outlets currently clogged with garbage, among other undertakings.

Owner of Richard and Sharon Fashion Fabric, Richard Basdeo, 52, expressed grievances regarding the sanitation of the market.

“The biggest issue is the flooding of the market, when the water is coming up and nobody comes to check it out. The gutters need to clean. City Hall not doing anything, they not cleaning the water, they’re not washing the market,” he lamented.

Stall owner, Richard Basdeo

Another stall owner, Omesh Dhanram, highlighted that only a few officers of the city constabulary are stationed outside the market, some distance away, despite the market is a potential hotspot for petty crimes.

“Security is a main thing. A lot of people are scared to come to Stabroek Market…. We all (vendors) pay rent… If we had to come together independently and pay for security, we wouldn’t mind that. But we are not getting cooperation from the city council on anything else,” he stated.

Stall owner, Sandra Downer

Minister Dharamlall disclosed that immediate efforts will be made to address the poor garbage disposal at the market.   

“Very shortly, I will speak to the city engineer and the solid waste management team, to see how best we can remove the garbage that is blocking quite a few of the areas, especially the hydrant points in the market.

“We have to provide better conditions. As part of the grant the government gives to the city council, I am going to speak to the council to ensure that some of those resources are placed within Stabroek Market,” he committed.

Heavy focus will also be placed on the improvement of the facilities at the fisheries, since raw fish is a highly perishable product.

Similarly, the security of the market will also remain a paramount focus of the local government ministry as more solutions will be discussed.

“So, there are many things that we need to work on, and over the next few weeks I want to assure the vendors, as well as the shoppers in Stabroek Market that central government will do part of the heavy lifting, and also, we will have to impose some of our work ethic onto the city council, so that they can come and also be part of this enhancement that we have to do in Stabroek Market,” Minister Dharamlall said.

He also committed to seeking the redeployment of more constabulary officers to bolster the five-man team that is currently placed at the market.

Moreover, the minister is looking to re-establish the vendors’ committee to improve representation, as well as implement daily garbage removal, and policies to strengthen facility management.