Tom Waisswa, the Najjembe Sub County Male Councilor for Elderly people, says about 200 other elderly people who were selling produce to the vendors are also stuck at home. He says the current working situation isn’t unfavorable for them.
About 100 elderly women
who were stopped from working at Najjembe market along Kampala-Jinja district
in Buikwe district because of the Covid19 pandemic are struggling to survive.
part of the Covid19 preventive measures, Buikwe District Covid19 task force resolved
to slash the number of vendors from 800 to 200 so as to ensure the required physical
The task force also came
up with a program allowing the vendors to operate in shifts of 50 people to
avoid congestion. Management also decided to reduce the number of charcoal
stoves used to roast chicken, beef and sweet plantain from 150 to only 20.
The stoves were relocated
from the stalls and placed infront of the market leaving a space of 4 meters
from each stove. The authorities used strings to avoid direct contact between
the vendors and customers who are now required to get out of their vehicles to
buy the snacks.
The changes largely
affected elderly women who were involved in roasting and selling sweet
plantains alias Gonja and sweet bananas. 78-year-old
Abisag Nabayego, a widow taking care of nine
grandchildren in Nsakya A Village council is one of those affected.
Nabayego, she couldn’t risk sitting under sunshine the entire day to roast sweet
plantains because of the new changes.
//Cue in: “Kubanga luli nali…
Cue out: …emyezi ena”//
Specioza Nababiro, 64, a single mother of four children at
Nsakya B is also stuck at home nursing a wound on her leg she sustained in
Mabira forest while collecting firewood for sale to feed her children.
to Nababiro, she resorted to collecting firewood to fend for her family when
she was stopped from working at Najembe market.
//Cue in: “Ekiti kyanfumita…
Cue out: …oba kinaba kiteredde”//
She however, says life is hard for and
her family as she is no longer working. Sarah
Nagudi, 72, also takes care of five grandchildren. She is worried of failing to
service a loan of Shillings 900, 000 she acquired to buy a new stall at
Najjembe market and boast her business before the lockdown was declared.
Tom Waisswa, the Najjembe
Sub County Male Councilor for Elderly people, says about 200 other elderly
people who were selling produce to the vendors are also stuck at home. He says
the current working situation isn’t unfavorable for them.
//Cue in: “Kubanga mbadde mulwadde…
Cue out: …nokomawo bwerere”//
The Buikwe Resident District Commissioner-RDC, Jane Francis
Kagayi says they are still observing the situation at the market to ensure that
residents are protected from contracting the virus.
“As we all know the Ministry identified three people who
tested positive for Covid-19, since then we are much more concerned about that
community especially when it comes to our elders who we are still appealing to,
to stay home for their own safety,” Kagayi says.
Usman Lukwago, the Chairperson Najjembe Meat and Chicken
Vendors’ Association appeals to government to support the vendors with simple
loans, saying working in shifts has forced most of the vendors to eat their