There have been 18 market fires across the island from 2022 to present, and the Government has spent more than J$150 million to facilitate repairs.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie made the disclosure today (June 14) during a press briefing.
He further condemned the actions being taken by some to destroy the markets that are a source of income for many Jamaicans. McKenzie shared that over the past five years nine market fires were acts of arson.
“For hundreds of Jamaicans, their parents provided their education by selling in markets across the market. I want to condemn those persons who believe that this is a new form of vulgarity that is being unleashed on the country,” said the Minister.
He noted that the Government will not take lightly the act of deliberately setting the markets on fire and will take action to hold perpetrators accountable.
McKenzie also urged vendors who use the areas to ensure that they do so in an orderly fashion and are not negligent.
There are 37 markets across the island that house thousands of vendors.