By E.A. Kaine
Foodstuff traders at the King Jimmy Market have expressed dissatisfaction over what they described as poor sanitary condition of the market, thus calling on the Freetown City Council to swiftly intervene.
King Jimmy Market is one of the oldest and popular markets in Freetown, and has for decades contributed greatly to the food supply chain from Port Loko District in north-western province – to the country’s main capital Freetown.
Chairlady of the market, Haji Adama Kamara, said over the years the market has lost all the features that qualify it to be called a market, including structure, storage facility and others.
She further stated that the market has been neglected by mainly the Freetown City Council FCC, the institution that is supposed to be managing and maintaining it status because the council do collect dues from traders on a daily basis.
Madam Kamara said for the past ten years, FCC has been promising to construct the market, but to no avail.
She alluded the market to an ‘abandoned child’ as it lacks all facilities including pipe borne water, canopy, tables to display goods and stores to keep their wares.
“The market is not hygienic at all, and nobody would like to buy foodstuff from a filthy environment. We are paying tax to Freetown City Council every day, and even those coming with the foodstuff from Kafu Bullom, Lungi in the Port Loko District, are paying taxes to the council,” she said.
She stated that King Jimmy Market is significant because it is one of the historic edifices in the country, and the market used to be the final departure point for freed slaves, thus calling on the authorities to maintain the history of the country.
Abubakarr Sesay, Harbor Master at King Jimmy Seaport, said the harbor is not only known to be the cheapest port for sales, but also represents one of the historical monuments that Sierra Leone can use to tell her history about the Slave Trade.
He said as the oldest harbor market is still in use for the exchange of goods and services, and that therefore, King Jimmy shouldn’t be neglected.
He said as Harbor Master, he is disappointed at the FCC, noting that the lack of better marketplaces leads to unsafe businesses, and that whenever it rains, both buyers and sellers suffer while foodstuffs perish.