Without toilet and waste facilities, vegetable vendors and shoppers are facing difficulty in maintaining hygiene at Samtse’s temporary vegetable market area. Some even resort to open defecation. The vegetable market was shifted to the current location during the COVID pandemic for security reasons.
Like many other districts, Sunday is a vegetable market day for people residing in Samtse town.
Villagers from the 15 gewogs in the district come here to sell their local produce. From freshly grown vegetables to fruits, one can find almost everything.
But the only thing one cannot find is the toilet and dustbins. As such, people are forced to urinate or defecate in open spaces.
Most people visiting the Sunday market cite the lack of toilet and waste facilities as the reason behind such unhygienic practices.
“The main problem that we are facing here is a lack of toilets and waste facilities. It would be of immense help if Dzongkhag could kindly look into the matter and help make such facilities available here,” said Godhak Singh Ghalley, a vegetable vendor.
“Without a toilet facility here, at times we have to go the public toilet located a little away from here. But most of the time, people are using this area to relieve themselves. This particular area is contaminated with all kinds of waste,” said Dik Bdr Ghalley, another vegetable vendor.
The Samtse district administration said that, for now, they don’t have any plans to install toilets and waste facilities in the area.
The district administration stated the current marketplace is located on private land and only serves as a temporary market area.
The district plans to relocate the market to the old location once the work to construct the stormwater drainage system for Samtse town is complete. The old market has a public toilet nearby.
Passang Dorji, Samtse
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