Black River vendors get new market
Launtia Cuff, Gleaner Writer
BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth:VENDORS IN Black River, St Elizabeth, have received a new, state-of-the-art market for Christmas, built at a cost of $93.9 million.
For years, there have been talks of removing vendors from the streets of Black River. However, because of an agreement between the St Elizabeth Parish Council and the police, vendors were allowed to operate along the street pending the completion of the facility.
After a number of missed deadlines, the market was finally opened on Wednesday.
Chairman of the St Elizabeth Parish Council Everton Fisher is adamant that vendors must use the new facilities and will not be allowed to stay on the streets for Christmas.
"Now that we have a place to accommodate you, I don't care whichever political persuasion you are from, you will have to use the facility given to you," Fisher told vendors during the opening ceremony.
The mayor said this is just one of the steps being taken to ensure that order and decency are restored in Black River.
"Let us do what is right for the community. Let us take the right decision and educate our people that you can't have anarchy in the society. You can't have people building all over the drains and people putting up shops everywhere. Order must be restored to the town of Black River," he said.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Noel Arscott said the work that has been done is part of a major development programme which will involve 25 critical markets across the island. He said, when completed, they will have proper waste-management systems, solar panels and sustainable rainwater-harvesting facilities.
"This is not just a market upgrade, but a transformation of public space and a vehicle for academic activity. St Elizabeth has in excess of 30,000 farmers, and I would like this market to look at what happens in Coronation Market, and there is no reason why you can't be just as good.
"We want people now, just like how they think of going to Coronation Market, having the experience, it's not just for shopping, but it's a whole experience and persons religiously every Saturday go to Coronation Market to purchase the best produce in Jamaica. This market should become one of the best, if not the best market in Jamaica, in terms of the quality of produce," Arscott said.