Karen Sudu, Gleaner Writer
LINSTEAD, St Catherine:WHILE FOOD vendors who sell their goods in the Linstead market in St Catherine are happy that the facility is being renovated, they are dissatisfied with the condition of their temporary home.
They were relocated to a marled area on King Street on Tuesday where the Linstead transportation centre is being built to facilitate phase two of the renovation project initially scheduled to start November 23 last year.
"We no have no problem to sell here, but the place need to fix properly, dem can't take wi out a one hog pen and put wi in a another," remarked a female vendor in her 40s.
The restoration of the facility - made famous by the old Jamaican folk song, 'Carry mi ackee go a Linstead market not a quatty wut sell' - is being spearheaded by the Urban Development Corporation as part of the country's 50th anniversary of Independence.
But some vendors argued that more time should have been spent making the temporary facility more market-friendly.
"Mi no pleased fi see where dem put wi, because mi have sinusitis and look where dem carry come put, pure dust from morning, it come in like say wi a hog and goat, wi a nuh normal human being," another female vendor who wished to remain anonymous bemoaned.
Another seller in her early 30s who has been peddling her wares for 10 years told The Gleaner that she was asthmatic and feared that the dust would impact her condition. At the same time, the dust nuisance wasn't their only concern.
"We need better lighting, only one and two lights round di place, we need more and we need security, up here nuh secure, so I am asking the authorities to look into the matter," pleaded a male vendor.
But Herbert Garriques, councillor for the Linstead division who was instrumental in the restoration of the market, told The Gleaner that efforts were being made to address the vendors' concerns.
"I am working on getting the area oiled and sanded so that the marl issue will be solved," he told The Gleaner.
In the meantime, while the food vendors were relocated, the dry goods vendors still occupy the original facility.
"When the market is complete, all the clothing vendors will have to go upstairs, every single one of them, and the food vendors will occupy downstairs," he warned.
In addition, he said a zero-tolerance approach will be taken to vendors who continue to ply their wares on the streets.