Several vendors were evicted from Clarke Street in Vieux Fort this morning by the police, it has been reported.
The President of the Vendors Association, Peter Isaac, told the Times that he had been present at a meeting organized by the Mayor of Vieux Fort, the Police and vendors, where the authorities explained that vending on Clarke Street was posing a hazard and creating a nuisance.
He disclosed that a March 1, 2016 deadline had been issued to the vendors to move.
Isaac explained that at issue was the fact that vendors were taking up space on the sidewalks, forcing pedestrians onto the street with the possibility of coming into contact with moving vehicles.
He said business places had also complained that vendors were occupying their steps, while sellers of fish sellers were leaving fish entrails to rot and create a foul stench in the area.
According to Isaac, the organizers of the meeting with the vendors wanted him to encourage the vendors in attendance to organize themselves into an association to see how best the situation could be addressed, as it was illegal to vend on the sidewalks in Vieux Fort.
“They were also saying that the sidewalks in Vieux Fort are very narrow and people actually have to walk on the streets which the police said was a disaster waiting to happen,” he noted.
Isaac said the authorities had pointed out to the vendors that there is a market in the town of Vieux Fort.
However vendors have complained that the area where the market is situated has no kind of activity, with the result that if they go there to sell their goods they end up returning home with insufficient or no sales.
They have also said that the bus stand is not near the market to which they have been directed.
According to them, people are hesitant to buy from vendors who operate in the market because the buyers have a distance to walk with their load to get a bus.
Isaac said he does not represent the vendors because they do not belong to his association.
However he recalled advising them that after forming an association or some kind of committee, they should write to the MP for their area outlining their concerns and the reason why they are reluctant to use the market.
One vendor told the Times that she and some one hundred of her colleagues have been affected by the decision to evict them.