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Overnighting vendors create messy situation at Ocho Rios Market - Health department threatens to close facilities if toilet access problem continues

Published:Saturday | July 13, 2019 | 12:21 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
A section of the Ocho Rios Market.
A section of the Ocho Rios Market.

Chief public health inspector for St Ann Leroy Scott has said that the closure of the toilet facilities at the Ocho Rios Market at night poses a health risk that could lead to the facility being ordered shut.

Some vendors remain at the market overnight, and with the toilet closed, they are forced to go elsewhere.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation on Thursday, Scott implied that some vendors actually use sections of the market to relieve themselves at nights.

“We are concerned about the night access to toilet facilities in those markets which are in the major townships, and I am referring specifically to Ocho Rios, which is closed at night but where a number of persons continue to operate – whether legally or illegally – but they are there,” Scott told the meeting.

“The toilet facilities are not available to them, and there are conditions that we frequently come across, and in one recent report we had, the conditions were not favourable because of what persons had done overnight,” he said.

Scott, who reminded the meeting that he had spoken on the issue before, said it was time for the matter to be addressed.

“ ... It’s high time that something different takes place so that we can prevent any possible outbreak of any major disease that may arise from those situations,” he said.

Scott also expressed concern over vendors who sell willy-nilly.

“Also of concern is some of the disorganised vending operations. There are many persons who just vend anywhere and under any condition, so there is need for organised and standardised vending,” he said, suggesting that the municipal corporation construct or prepare the standard for the construction of the vending stalls.

St Ann’s Bay Mayor Michael Belnavis, who is also councillor for the Ocho Rios division, said that plans to renovate the car park at the market would include the installation of additional toilet facilities for both males and females.

Scott reminded him that the market may be closed if the situation is allowed to continue.