Rat infestation at Manama Central Market put traders in deep dilemma | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Rat infestation at Manama Central Market put traders in deep dilemma

TDT | Manama                  

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Hundreds of rats consistently breeding their newer generations are raising hell at the Kingdom’s largest fruits and vegetables market. The rodent battalion claims ownership over everything, from almonds to melons and tomatoes to apples, say sources.

Traders at the fruits and vegetables selling area of the Manama Central Market say they were forced to rent storerooms outside the market to keep the vegetables and fruits safe out of fears of rodent attack.

“The market is closed everyday at 4 pm and opens at around 2 am in the morning next day. And during these ten hours, I can say it is under the rule of rodents, hundreds of them digging holes into sacks of fruits and vegetables.

I really wonder from where these hundreds of them come from?” a vegetable trader at the market told The Daily Tribune. “The authorities should immediately carry out an operation here to clear the market of rodent pests, which should be followed by regular checks by pest control contractors.

“Our frequent appeals have fallen on deaf ears. The rodent infestation is a big issue since this is the largest vegetable and fruits market, from where fruits and vegetables are carried to small retail shops across the Kingdom.” He added that the rodent headache has become the biggest crisis he has faced since he started his vegetable and fruits sales at the market in the year 1997.

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“Anyone would find it hard to believe! I am losing at least BD20 daily to rodent attacks and every vegetable or fruit seller at this market is a similar victim. Just calculate the thousands of dinars we are together losing every month, and that also immediately after the two-tough pandemic-hit years.”

“They reproduce quickly, as far as I understand, and if remained unsolved an infestation crisis of huge intensity is set to affect the market. We will have to close this down for many days, possibly incurring huge losses.”

He said the market is a place where food items are sold. “We need to have 100 per cent hygiene here. And as one knows, rodents and hygiene are continents apart.” According to health experts, the accumulation of rodent feces can spread bacteria, contaminate food sources and trigger allergic reactions in humans.

Once the fecal matter becomes dry, it can be hazardous to those who breathe it in. Moreover, rodent droppings can spread diseases and viruses, including Hantavirus, Bubonic Plague, Salmonellosis and rat-bite fever.

Lack of cleanliness

Another trader said the lack of cleanliness at the market must be viewed as the major reason behind the rodent attack. “Earlier, regular cleaning activities were carried out twice a week at the market. Now they are only doing it once a week and most often, they do it for the sake of doing it.

“I am sure even pest control teams will require days to devise strategies to tackle the situation, which has really gone out of control. We are maintaining our own storerooms with additional staff. I don’t know whether anyone would want to address the ordeal we are going through.”