Liberia: Waterside Market Takes New Shape Less than A Week After Demolition of Stalls

Many stores at the Waterside Market being painted by red, white and blue

Monrovia – Stores owners at the Waterside Market have begun painting their buildings after the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) demolished market stalls that were placed on sidewalks in front of these stores.

Waterside Market, the biggest commercial area in Central Monrovia, is known for its overcrowdedness. But began deserted after Sunday, March 29 demolition exercise.

MCC demolished marketers’ stalls that were placed in front of stores at the Waterside Market.

After the demolition, MCC mandated every store owner to paint the doors of their stores red, white, and blue – the country’s national colors.

Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee, following the demolition exercise, said his decision was to give the city of Monrovia a facelift and ensure the safety of every vendor especially at a time when health authorities are calling for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“Giving the city a facelift is something that is in our city ordinance. And I can say to you that there are consequences for that and I do not think any citizen will not want to abide by the law,” Mayor Koijee said at a press conference at City Hall Monday, March 30.

He added: “Interestingly, people need to understand that those structures that have been removed do not mean that you cannot sell. The action of demolishing marketers’ tables were done in two forms: one is to observe the social distancing and to enforce the city ordinance.”

The demolition exercise has not gone down well with some vendors as several agitated petty traders protested, recently demanded that their tables be restored.

But this is not the case with the store owners. A FrontPageAfrica reporter who toured the market on Thursday, April 2, found that many stores were already painted.

Despite showing the sense of solidarity, store owners who spoke to FPA praised the city governmnet for making their stores visible to customers.

Before the demolition, there were market tables in front of stores, making it difficult for shoppers to access these stores.

Victor V. Augustus is the Business Manager of Sports Palace Business Center. He was seen ordering some armature painters he had hired to paint the gates of his store.

“The action from MCC for store owners to paint their stores is actually good but it shoud not be at the Waterside Markets alone. Let MCC order every store owner in Monrovia to paint their stores red, white and blue,” Mr. Augustus suggested.

Grace Toe, a Businesswoman, added: “Development comes with pains let the people understand. People can now come in their cars and do their shopping.”

Many cars were seen parked  at the Mechlin Street side between Water Street toward the King Zolu Doma bridge while other motorists were seeing using the same route.