By John Ekongo
Tenants at the Eliazer Tuhadeleni Informal Market, situated at the corner of Shangai and Hans Dietrich Gentser streets in Katutura, feel neglected by the City of Windhoek.
The unhappiness stems from apparent pleas, requests and demands for the municipality to provide services such as a water point, electricity and security at their place of trading. The requests have apparently gone unheeded.
Since the establishment of the market some eight years ago, the tenants have been operating without a water point. They have to make use of water from adjacent houses or from the ablution facilities at the market, a situation they describe as unhealthy.
Despite housing a clean and well-maintained infrastructure, the 50-traders capacity informal market, in addition to five lockable stalls, currently lacks security with only one guard on night duty, unlike its much more popular and larger sibling the Single Quarters informal market, which has 24-hour security, ample parking space and electricity.
A committee of tenants at the market complains that their plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears despite numerous calls to the city fathers.
Liz Sibindi, of the City of Windhoek Public Relations Department, responded: “The upgrade of markets has caught Council’s attention and N$500 000 has been availed in the 2008/9 budget for this purpose. Various markets have several needs and will benefit from this project now that the funds have been availed.”
Sibindi assured the residents that the security issue will be addressed and the City is considering fencing off the market to protect the trading area from vandalism, as well as the traders and their goods.
Initially, this was impossible because of budget constraints, Sibindi explained.
“The security issue would eventually be improved by the fencing of the market, with an option of looking at the possibility of providing an additional guard during the day, which had not been possible due to budget constraints.”
She added that the market should be viewed as a joint responsibility of the tenants, the community and the City, commenting that a market committee was established and trained by the City to overlook this important aspect.
“The day-to-day administration and maintenance of the market should be seen as the joint responsibility of the City of Windhoek and the traders, who have appointed a market committee, who received training conducted by the City, for that purpose.”