Some major issues have been identified at the Mackenzie Market in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), which, according to vendors and officials, require urgent attention. Issues such as the reported sinking of the Market’s wharf and several illegal activities were recently unearthed during consultations by members of the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC).
Mayor Waneka Arrindell said the Council was working along with the Linden Fire Department, Police and Linden Electricity Company Inc (LECI) to ascertain what were some of the major issues affecting vendors.
“The wharf at this time is the most serious of it all, because it seems to be sinking at some point…,” the Mayor said.
She added that there was no washroom facility there and that was one of the greater needs of persons working in that section of the Market.
“(The) Fire (Department) issue is the accessibility to the place in and out, and if there is any issue as it relates to fire, there is no way they can take a vehicle in there. (There is also) the difficulty as it relates to changing those poles that are rotted in the area. And so, their issue is that the vendors would have encroached on the spaces that were created by the Market for easy access and they’re hoping that can be regularised,” she noted, as she explained other issues.
“LECI issue is that we’re seeing some illegal connections. While there are general connections given, some persons, maybe in order to not be able to pay would have made some illegal connections in there. That is a hazard … those places have been identified and those persons would be targeted in order to make sure that they change that standard,” the Mayor related.
Arrindell stated that the Police also wanted to ensure that the Market area was properly lit, noting that there may be some unhealthy practices which have been occurring. It was also noted that there was an excess of illegal vendors on the roadways in close proximity to the Market area. In this regard, Arrindell said the Council would have established that it was time for such vendors to remove from the main thoroughfares and ply their trade the legal way.“When we illegally vend, we deface the beauty of our community … we want to move towards an eco-tourist community and so what people see when they come in is what will pull them,” she stated.The Mayor further noted that the Council has met with the Central Housing and Planning Authority and the Lands and Surveys Commission in relation to illegal vending at Lover’s Lane, Amelia’s Ward and the two sides were in talks to have a suitable place identified to accommodate these vendors.
Arrindell noted that the Council was unable to cover all the issues now or fulfil all the work needed; however, she said it was preparing a Strategic Plan on all issues identified, in an effort to decide how they would be tackled. Further, she said the Council would try to access funding from Government and/or organisations.
“With the current financial situation of the municipality, we are unable to deal with these things. So, it would be our hope that the Government comes on board. While we are going to become sustainable, we would need the assistance of Government and finances of our national body to help us with these major projects, that gives us the initial overflow to help us to make the initial repairs needed and then we’re able to move into sustainability,” she said. At this point, Arrindell said she was hopeful that there was funding set aside in the National Budget that the Council can tap into.