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Lira Roadside Vendors Protest Eviction

Jackie Akello argued that evicting them from the street will not only disrupt their livelihood but also poses a greater risk of contracting the Coronavirus since the markets are more crowded than the streets.

Audio 5



Vendors in Lira City are protesting the move to evict them from the streets.

On Monday, authorities of Lira city resolved to suspend street vending since it attracts large numbers of people thus facilitating spread of COVID-19.

The vendors have been asked to secure stalls inside the many markets within the city or find other places from where they can operate their businesses without attracting a large number of people.

Patrick Ogweng, the Lira Deputy City Clerk explained that the suspension is in compliance with the president's directives against overcrowding.

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“The president made it very clear that you wash and sanitize before entering the market. now what happens to somebody shopping or vending by the roadside which is not agazettedmarket?" he asked. "I think by us allowing street vending to continue, we shall be acting in defiance of the presidential directive.”

However, most of the street vendors are not willing to leave the street not just on the ground that it is their only source of income, but also because it is safer.

Chris Ongom, the chairperson Lira Street Vendors Association suggested a relocation of the vendors to the veranda of the main market instead of completely suspending their operation saying it is unfair.

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Mercy Akello who sells avocado along Noteber road, says the city authority have no justification to chase them away from the street since they were never allocated a place from where they should operate their small businesses.

According to her, the city authority should provide them alternative location lucrative for business before asking them to live their current position. 

 

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Similarly, Jackie Akello argued that evicting them from the street will not only disrupt their livelihood but also poses a greater risk of contracting the Coronavirus since the markets are more crowded than the streets.

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Erick Ongom, a shoe vendor along Obote Avenue argues that stopping them from operating along the street is not a solution to Covid-19 because they follow the COVID-19 SOPs.

Luo byte:

//Cue in: “City council tye… 

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Meanwhile another vendor who identified herself as Apio argues that instead of evicting them from the streets, the city authority should focus their energy on getting rid of street children whom she says are a danger to the whole community of the city.

Luo byte:

//Cue in: “Otin corridor ni…

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The City authorities have gone ahead to form the Lira main market COVID-19 task force headed by the chairperson Lira main market vendor’s association.  

The task force is entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that every person entering the market is masked up and washes their hands before entering the market.END.

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