12/08/2008 (Gambia New Community) - Aja Ara Jatta, the president of the Serrekunda Market Committee, has vowed to clear the Serrekunda Market of vendors who trade in palm oil that are mixed with coloured powder and other unhealthy substances.
Mrs Jatta made this statement during an interview with the Daily Observer at the Serrekunda Market. She warned that anybody found selling such “bad palm oil” in the market would be dealt with accordingly, noting that they are embarking on a campaign to weed out unhealthy practices in the market.
“This is dangerous to the health of the public. There are serious health implications because the kind of substances used to mix the palm oil are not consumable,” she told the Daily Observer while urging the vendors to desist from unhealthy businesses.
On other commodities, the market committee president informed the Daily Observer that it has been brought to their attention that some foreign businessmen and Gambians are bent on hiking the retail price of a bag of bitter tomatoes from D1,500 to D2,400. According to her, the same attitude has been detected in the pricing of a bag of onions and sweet potatoes, which are usually supplied by trucks. She urged the people to desist from artificial inflation of the prices of commodities and urged those involved to put an end to it.
Mrs Jatta called on the relevant departments and security services to look into these concerns, as such practices pose a threat to the average Gambian household.
She then used the opportunity to thank President Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh and his government for creating a conducive environment as well as the KMC for their support.
Nyima Ceesay, the vice-president of the committee and Fatou Sonko, the inspector general of the committee, expressed similar sentiments.
Meanwhile, Buba Sarr, the chairman of the Community Assistance Group, told the Daily Observer that his group works side-by-side with the market committee to discourage such malpractices. He further urged the authorities to look into the currency issue during Wednesday Lumos (market days) in Burreng, Jarra East, as some businessmen reject the Dalasi notes as the legal tender for the CFA.
“This should not be accepted because Burreng is in The Gambia and something has to be done about it,” he urged.