THE Lae main market was forced to close at 2pm on Monday because of water shortage.
The low water supply from the PNG Waterboard reservoir at Taraka was caused by power outages.
Without water to flush away wastes that had been piling up since last Thursday when the power interruptions began, the ablution blocks were blocked and the stench was nauseating, forcing city council officials to close the market for the day.
The market’s coordinator, Loggy Quosing, said: “I fear the spread of cholera and dysentery because they are still around and I do not want to risk people’s life.
“We had taken precautionary measures but could not control the crowds that come from many parts of Papua New Guinea to sell their goods.
“With such situation, it’s easy for the flies to transmit bacteria.”
Mr Quosing assured vendors from the five Highlands provinces, Madang, East and West Sepik, Oro, East and West New Britain provinces that their bags of taro, kaukau, broccoli, peanuts, carrots, and potatoes would be covered and guarded by 24-hour security.
He said the ward markets at Bumayong, Hunter, Taraka, and the Miles would still operate.