SOARING temperatures are hitting the fruit and vegetable vendors and customers alike at the Manama Central Market.
The market felt like a “hot furnace” even with the air-conditioners running, they told the GDN, after fans stopped functioning yesterday.
Capital Board of Trustees chairman Mohammed Al Khozaie said the problem, which comes amidst a major revamp of the market, was a temporary glitch and would be resolved soon.
“The fruits and vegetable sections are fully air-conditioned as part of the revamp,” he told the GDN.
“The issue, we understand, is in the wholesale area where some fans malfunctioned.
“This is a temporary issue and we are trying to rectify it.
“The air-conditioners inside the market are functioning, though the cooling could have been affected due to the high temperatures these days.”
According to the met, a drop in winds caused a rise in humidity which reached 90 per cent in some areas of Bahrain yesterday.
Temperatures hit 43C at midday with an apparent temperature – how hot it feels to humans – of 53C.
Humidity is forecast to drop to 80pc on Sunday with a maximum temperature of 43C as the wind picks up reaching up to 20 knots during the day.
A five-day forecast issued by the meteorological directorate yesterday also warned of rising sand in places during the day on Monday.
“The revamp is in the third and final phase, which includes air-conditioning the wholesale area and car park,” added Mr Al Khozaie.
“The fish and meat markets will also be revamped in phases in the coming months.
“The first two phases included the air-conditioning of the fruits and vegetables market which was completed in June.
“We also refurnished two warehouses with air-conditioners and fans, and water proofing of all these buildings.
“The toilets were upgraded and part of the maintenance of the parking area was done with the floor tiling.’
The entire project is expected to be completed by the year-end.
The GDN reported in July 2016 that a project to revamp the market at a cost of BD200 million had been suspended pending a major government review, while the board was awaiting approval of an approximately BD1.2m budget allocated to patch up the 41-year-old market until the redevelopment scheme is given the green light.
“The problem now is the weather; it is hotter than before,” said Bahraini customer Abdunabi Kadhem.
“Maybe it is the problem with the air-conditioners. Today is very hot, unlike yesterday or day before.”
An Indian salesman said the plastic curtains at the entrance were also a reason.
“There are no doors, but only plastic curtains at the doors, which is something that is affecting the air-conditioners,” he said.
“We cannot have doors; it is not practical as we have trolleys coming in and going out.
“This year is hotter than previous years and the fans were a big relief, but most of these are malfunctioning.
“I wish the officials do a periodic inspection, as the heat is also affecting the produce on sale.”