By JV (Opinion Piece)
Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI) should take effective steps to improve the cleanliness of Buntong Market along Jalan Guntong, Guntong, Ipoh.
The market’s condition is always dirty and smelly. One of the main causes is the unsatisfactory and ineffective cleaning operations by MBI workers. These operations are too infrequent, inconsistent and only cover the first part of the market. Another main cause is the placement of a waste container (tong RORO) beside one of the market’s entrances (near the Jalan Guntong-Jalan Sekolah junction), which emits a really bad smell around that area and also inside the market, especially when the rubbish collection lorry comes to collect the rubbish.
The poor cleanliness of Buntong Market not only negatively affects the experiences of the customers visiting as well as the vendors selling their products at the market, but it also exposes them to the risk of infections. The hygiene and freshness of the products sold by the market vendors are also affected as a result of the highly dirty conditions, which in turn attract pests.
Apart from the cleanliness issue, other issues affecting Buntong Market are:
- It becomes too hot due to its zinc roof and the lack of ceiling fans.
- The water supply system within the market for the vendors to use is quite poor; only one water pipe is functioning, that is the one located near the vegetable vendors.
- There are several irresponsible individuals who simply leave their pets which they no longer want at the market. These animals then roam around inside the food court section of the market, thus affecting its hygiene level, especially for customers visiting the food court.
Also, there are pieces of rubbish along the roadsides surrounding Buntong Market that are thrown by certain irresponsible members of the public.
Some of the steps which the local government needs to take through the relevant departments in order to effectively solve these pressing issues include:
- Relocate the waste container to another location away from Buntong Market, where people seldom pass by and there’s no nearby houses. This move can drastically reduce the bad smell problem. If no suitable location can be found, MBI must at the very least ensure that the container is frequently and consistently cleaned.
- Strict, effective, frequent and consistent enforcement of cleaning operations in the market in order to achieve a good level of cleanliness in the long term. Cleaning operations should in fact be conducted every day.
- Several ceiling fans should be installed in the market to create more comfortable conditions for the vendors as well as the customers.
- The water supply system in the market should be improved by installing more water pipes for the vendors to use.
- Several sign boards should be erected at strategic locations around the market which ban the abandonment of pets by members of the public. The existing animals at the market should be rounded up by the relevant authorities and sent to animal shelters, such as the ISPCA, Ipoh.
- MBI rubbish bins should be provided at certain locations around the market in order to encourage the public to throw their rubbish into those bins and not randomly everywhere.
With these efforts, Buntong Market will achieve good cleanliness status. This will not only attract more customers to the market which will result in more income for the vendors, but it will also help establish a good name and image for Buntong in general. Members of the public will definitely feel more comfortable and safe to visit Buntong Market with these changes.