Larisa Paremuzyan

Public Toilet Sewage a Sanitary Threat to Alaverdi Market

The public toilets located near the market in the Haypetshin neighbourhood in Alaverdi are creating a public nuisance. Over 50 vendors and passersby use the toilets daily. Unfortunately, neither the town nor the local offices of the RA Ministry of Health have monitored the sanitary conditions of the site for some time. The toilets are a ticking infectious disease time bomb, raw sewage flowing unencumbered and untreated as it does. The site has never been treated with chlorine as a sanitizing agent. To make matters worse, the toilets have no facilities for washing ones hands. Thus, vendors use the toilets and return to sell their produce, hands unwashed. Seda Israyelyan, a vendor at the market says the last time the toilet was cleaned was probably a year ago. "All the women vendors would like to use the toilet but won’t because it’s really a mess, totally unsanitary," says Seda. Maria Baghdasaryan, another market seller, says they are forced to "do their business" practically in the street, given the conditions at the toilets. As in past years, the Alaverdi municipal budget estimates a cost of 30 million AMD for garbage collection and to maintain normal sanitary conditions. The same amount has been apportioned for proper maintenance and cleaning of public toilets. It doesn’t appear, or smell, that the municipality is getting the job done.