"I am calling on the government to adequately implement the laws with regards market women so that sanity will prevail in all market places all around the country,” said Marie Bob Kandeh, President of the Market Women Association.
“There are a lot of laws for market women with regards restricted areas, hygiene, distorted food stuffs, among others, but such laws are not being implemented”.
She made this call during a three day National Health and Nutrition Fair 2016 at the Miatta Conference Hall.
According to Madam Kandeh, a market is a place where buyers and sellers convene for the sale of goods, adding that a woman is an adult female human being.
According to the definition, she said market women are key players in all facets of life, stating that they should not take that for granted.
She said without them society will be incomplete, stating that one cannot talk about nutrition, diet, nourished food, wellbeing, among others, without mentioning market women due to the fact that they are the ones that are selling food stuff that aid a healthy nation.
Madam Bob Kandeh said for the fact that market women can sell food stuff that can impact positively, “they can as well sell those that are poisonous”.
“We have some food stuffs that are being distorted; traders are mixing pepper with cola, tolla with flour, among others,” she noted, stating that such practice is not healthy for the nation.
“Good food will prevent sickness and it will help the economy to grow because it will be less burden on government especially on health but bad food will deteriorate a nation and will always keep the citizens unwell”.
The President of the Market Women Association also made mention of hygiene in the market places, stating that some people are in the habit of selling food without covering it and allowing flies on those food, stating that most of those food items would not be washed or cooked before eating, stressing that those are all poison to human beings.
Questioned on what they have done to salvage the situation, Madam Kandeh said they are engaged in civic education, recalling that since she became president, herself and team have been educating people to sell real food stuff, to see the market place as their office, to avoid using children to sell during school hours, etc. She stated that “they have seen some improvement but more needed to be done”.
She said they have also been advising them to sell within the agreed market place but some are still disobeying the rules “and we are not an executive that condone lawlessness. We work with people that obey authorities”.
She said they are not charged with the responsibility to arrest people that flout the rules but they are only there to compliment government’s effort, stating that because they have their limit, “we are calling on the Freetown City Council to implement the laws”.
She said government must put a law that restrict people not to harvest raw food, adding that they should not only implement those laws but must also monitor the market places.
By Emmanuella Kallon: Kombra Media Network