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Garbage Makes It Hard For Us to Break Fast – Mbale Vendors

Fruit vendors in Mbale Central Market have raised complaints about a stench emanating from uncollected garbage near the entrance to the market, with some saying it is hard for them to break their fast.

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Fruit vendors in Mbale Central Market have raised complaints about a stench emanating from uncollected garbage near the entrance to the market, with some saying it is hard for them to break their fast.   

The vendors say the offensive smell affects their daily work, chases away their customers and makes it hard for Muslims among them who may want to break their fast while still at work.  

A pile of decomposing solid waste welcomes whoever enters the fruit section of the market.   Hakim Namugowa, one of the fruit vendors complains that as a Muslim it's unhealthy to break his fast in such an environment. Muslims around the world are currently observing the Holy Month of Ramadhan. 

//Cue in: “Tuli kosebwa... 

Cue out:…etuli bubi nyyo.”//  

Bakar Bukomba, another fruit vendor says that the presence of garbage has affected sales of fruits in the section. He notes that they have always complained about the situation but the answer they get from the Mbale Municipal Council is that the breakdown of trucks at the council has affected garbage collection.

Fazali Wambede, another vendor says the municipal authorities should embark on a daily collection of garbage by putting containers for vendors to dump garbage and trucks to collect it every day. He says that as vendors they pay a fee of ten thousand shillings per truck of fruits that enters the market.

According to Martin Namitati, fruit sales have gone down because customers are turned away by the stench.

Ayub Madoi, the Chairperson Mbale Central Market, says that the management is now using welfare funds to only collect garbage from inside the market to put outside and that council is mandated to carry the solid waste outside using the facility funds that they collect from the market.

Since 2007, Mbale Municipality has been managing a multi-million shillings World Bank-funded waste management plant to address the challenges of waste. The more than 800 million shillings’ plant located in Doko was built to address the challenges of solid waste management.  

Mbale Central Market is a 27-billion-shilling facility built under the government’s Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme. It hosts about 8,338 vendors.

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