By Maria Famakinwa
Shasha, a popular market in Akure, Ondo State capital could become an haven for infectious diseases in the State if urgent steps are not taken to address the looming health hazard.
Findings by The Hope during a visit to the market revealed that sellers of consumables such as vegetables, carrots and other fruits were in the habit of washing their goods in a dirty river which passes through the market.
It was gathered that residents around the river and those coming to the market usually defecate in the river.
Traders selling vegetables in the market, very early in the morning before taking them to the market take them to the river to wash.
A resident in the area, Haruna, who revealed that people defecate in the river, condemned in strong term the traders washing their goods in the dirty river and sell to unsuspecting buyers.
He said: “Traders have been warned on many occasions not to wash carrots, vegetables and other fruits in the river full of feaces but they would not listen. As you can see for yourself that the river is smelling because people defecate and wash clothes in it yet, some traders still come to wash consumables there. It is not good for one’s health.”
Also, a woman who came for shopping at the market, Mrs Idiat Adeagbo, lamented why traders could choose to endanger the lives of consumers by washing what people will eat in the river where people defecate.
She called on the State government to take steps against those washing vegetables and fruits in the river to serve as deterrent.
She said: “To be sincere with you, people in charge of the market have warned traders to desist from washing anything in the river when it was discovered that some people are defecating in it.
I heard that some people were positioned in strategic locations around the river to arrest anybody sighted in the river. But some traders still go there to wash their goods very early in the morning to evade arrest,” she said.
One of the Hausa leaders at the market, who did not want his name in print explained that people have been warned against going into the river including those selling carrots, vegetables and fruits but they would not listen.
The man who added that consuming vegetables or fruits washed in the river could cause serious health challenge added, “we have been warning traders against doing anything in the river because it is very dirty and unhygienic but some will still not listen.
I wonder why they are going to the river when we have clean water around the market. We are going to take serious action against anyone caught in the river,” he assured.
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