You are currently viewing Buseko market needs proper sanitation facilities

Buseko market needs proper sanitation facilities

THE poor sanitation conditions at Lusaka’s Buseko market is a source of concern.
A spot check by the Sunday Mail revealed that with the onset of the rainy season the trading place is a health hazard to the marketers and customers alike.
The heavy down pours experienced in Lusaka in the past few weeks have left the trading area with stagnant water and muddy.
Traders and customers alike have to wade through the water or walk in the mud to conduct their businesses.
What is even more worrying is that this trading area has no proper sanitation facilities. For instance, the only toilet block available has no running water.
While some still use the facility in its deplorable state others relieve themselves in opaque beer (Shake Shake) containers which they dispose of indiscriminately.
Buseko market was specially designed for trading purposes only, but traders from other parts of the country who bring merchandise for sale spend nights at the market, hence putting more pressure on the already inadequate sanitation facilities.
And now with the onset of the rains, all the faecal matter disposed of indiscriminately is being spread to other parts of the market, hence contaminating the environment.
And if no remedial measures are put in place, there’s a high risk of a cholera outbreak.
It is said prevention is better than cure. We urge Lusaka City Council (LCC) to move on site and assess the health situation at Buseko market.
The LCC should proactively source for funding to quickly complete the construction of the ablution block it started and has stalled due to lack of funds. In the meantime, LCC should consider hiring mobile toilets to provide for improved sanitation.
From the spot check done by the Sunday Mail, Buseko market is a health hazard and council should consider closing the market and find an alternative trading place temporarily while looking for a permanent solution. LCC, together with the traders, should put their heads together to find a lasting solution to this problem before it becomes a crisis.
While we appreciate the fact that most traders of Buseko market have established livelihoods through trading at this market, it is better to lose business for a day or two than to lose lives because life is irreplaceable.
Before LCC moves in to close the market, they should first engage the traders and explain to them the risks they are faced with if they continue to trade in the area.
Whatever the case, if the situation is not curbed now, it has the potential to negatively affect our economy through increased expenditure on health service delivery.
For instance, if cholera breaks out, there will be more pressure on health facilities to acquire more drugs and health personnel to attend to an influx of patients.
As we know that cholera is highly contagious, the chances of it spreading to other parts of the city and eventually other parts of the country are very high.
It is, therefore, in the interest of traders at Buseko market and the country as a whole to find a lasting solution to the sanitation problem at Buseko market before it culminates into a crisis.