A cloud of mystery appears to be hanging over the
future of the proposed redevelopment of the Fairchild
Street Public Market and its food court, amidst fears
by Government officials that the area poses a threat to
Both Manager of Markets Henderson Greaves and
Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Transport and
Works Frank Thornhill remained mum when pressed
by Barbados TODAY to explain why the project for
the construction of a new public market, and relocation
of all the vendors continued to be in limbo –– even
though some $1/2million had been allocated since last
year to complete the removal process to Probyn Street.
A reliable ministry source informed Barbados TODAY
that up to this day the money had not been disbursed. The
project, he noted, was scheduled to be finished since last year.
He said 15 of the 42 vendors were still to be relocated,
“but they continue to sell food and operate in unsanitary
conditions”, our source exclaimed. The upset official lamented
that while all the vendors and shop owners who operated
from within the old public market had gone over to the
existing one at Golden Square, those left in the external
food court continued to ply their trade with rats running
around them –– conditions unsuited for the food business.
He also pointed out that the Probyn Street facility was not
altogether ready either to take those vendors.
Although two of the key officials involved in the project
are declining to talk, Chief Environmental Health Officer
Tyrone Applewhaite told BarbadosTODAY that the
Fairchild Street area was one of the top priority sections of
Bridgetown, as far as his department’s anti-rodent campaign
Asked if the old market area where vendors
operated was seen as a public health threat,
Applewhaite replied: “That is why we have embarked
on our . . . rodent programme in Bridgetown. We have
listed Fairchild Street as a high priority area, and we
continue to constantly monitor it for rodents.”
The Chief Environmental Health Officer noted that
there was a large rodent population in Bridgetown
and that Fairchild Street was high on his department’s
agenda. Around the middle of last year, the asbestos
roof of the old public market was stripped. This was all
part of the process leading to the clearing of the site,
along with relocation of the vendors, which would make
way for the start of reconstruction.
During the time the asbestos was being removed,
the vendors in the immediate precincts were placed
in a “safe zone” away from the vicinity until work
Around July/August last year, those small business
persons resumed operations from their original spots,
after being given the all-clear by Government officials.
The building of a new public market is only one aspect of
the overall Fairchild Street Redevelopment Project.
A new integrated bus terminal complex that would include
modern accommodation for the state-run Transport Board
buses and private service vehicles, is also planned. That, too,
has been in the works for several years now.