BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: There is no water at the Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market for more than a month, shopkeepers and workers said. This has forced many of them to fetch water from home in jerrycans for use in toilets and for ablution. In the absence of running water, most toilets at the market have become unusable.
“The toilets are in such a state that you can’t stand there even for a minute,” said a shopkeeper adding, “not only water, there is no electricity at these facilities. There are no doors in some toilets for over the past five years.”
A shopkeeper, requesting anonymity, looked upset with the poor sanitation facilities at the market. “You will rarely get to see such stinky and untidy toilets in any part of the world. At a time when Qatar is investing so heavily in infrastructure, how can the authorities ignore such basic amenities for so long at a place visited by thousands of people every day?”
A worker at one of the shops said : “People like me, who do not own a vehicle, are the biggest sufferers as we can’t go out even when there is a dire need to do so.” Asked if the municipality workers (Baladiya) come for routine cleaning, the shopkeeper said: “We do the cleaning ourselves. They don’t come regularly, so we can’t rely on them. ”
Besides housing retail outlets, the over 30-year-old traditional market is a favourite destination of Qataris and expats for fresh produce from local farms and all over the world.
Ali Hasan Al Khalaf, a prominent Qatari businessman, told this daily that the market was set up when Qatar’s population was a little over 200,000, which is now over two million.
“We are relying on the same facility for a population which has grown 10 times,” Al Khalaf said.