Vendors demand improvement to Kellits MarketThursday, December 02, 2021
BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
Inside the Kellits Market in Clarendon on a week day is much different from the scene during the weekends when loud calls from sellers seeking buyers and packed stalls of produce, clothes or household items are the standard.
Instead, it's extremely quiet with scores of shabby stalls without vendors in the market that appears almost deserted.
Only a handful of vendors operating from containers were seen at the market when the Jamaica Observer visited on a Thursday, but those sellers indicated that the place was guaranteed to be packed with people on Saturdays.
The vendors, however, bemoaned the lack of security, filthy selling conditions and limited access to restrooms at the facility.
Thirty-seven-year-old clothes vendor Venesha Beason, who has been at the market since January, expressed her discomfort vending near the skip which was overflowing with garbage.
“It is just so awful when you just step out and see the garbage. I was saying it is a lucky thing I'm not selling food,” Beason told the Observer.
According to Beason, the garbage would be cleared weekly but that has not been the case since lately.
“The garbage need to be collected more often. Sometimes it's collected on Fridays when the market is mostly busy. They need to do better,” she added.
Along with that problem, Beason said she has to deal with the unbearable stench of urine outside the restrooms. That's because the restroom is closed during the week and people would use outdoors as their substitute tiolets.
“Bathrooms only open on weekends. People come right through want bathroom so when they come now [in the week] they just pee anywhere. So the whole place have a smell. No matter if time slow, the bathroom should be open daily,” said Beason.
Selling household items and produce next to Beason was 23-year-old Jerome Orbsy who said he is particularly pleased with the tranquillity at the market.
But like his colleague, Orbsy is bothered by the sight of the unkempt skip.
“Sometimes the rubbish truck would come every week but now is every two weeks or three weeks it take to come and people from all bout carry the rubbish to throw it all over,” he said.
Another vendor, 58-year-old Cristina Lindsay, said she feared for her safety as there was no security at the market.
“The market nuh ina no proper condition. No security we nuh have, we just lock up the place on our own. Sometimes you will have to sleep and fret say you will come and see your shop door open. We want a proper market here in Kellits man,” said Lindsay.
Selling outside the market was fruits vendor Ricardo Russell who said being on the roadside gives him an advantage of getting support especially from motorists.
“We don't make anything [money] on the inside so we would come out here. If the market was upgraded, I think more vendors would want to go in there and we would get more buyers. Nobody nu clean it up,” said Russell.
In a recent interview, chief executive officer at Clarendon Municipal Corporation (CMC) Rowhan Blake told the Observer that plans have been implemented to improve the standard of all designated selling areas in the parish which would include Kellits Market.