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Roadside Market Vendors Close Businesses Over Sweet Plantain Shortage

According to the vendors, they are unable to import sweet plantains from the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC because of the border closure due to the corona pandemic.
Women preparing gonja at Namawojjolo roadside market in Mukono district.

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Vendors of sweet plantains alias Gonja at Namawojjolo roadside market along Kampala-Jinja highway in Mukono district have started closing stalls due to lack of supply.    

According to the vendors, they are unable to import sweet plantains from the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC because of the border closure due to the corona pandemic.    

Vendors in Najjembe and Lukaya markets in Buikwe and Lukaya districts respectively are equally affected. 

Annet Namuyomba, one of the vendors at Namawojjolo roadside market is worried of how she will take care of her family now that she is out of business.  

  She also says the absence of sweet plantains affects all vendors including those selling roasted beef, chicken and juice.    

//Cue in: “Era bwetuba tetukoze…    

Cue out: …tetukyalimu abagonja”//   

Mary Kyolaba, another vendor notes that they sustain their businesses through loans, which they have failed to pay off.  

//Cue in: “Abamu twewola sente…  

Cue out: …tetulina wetulima”//  

Badru Mwesezi, the representative of sweet plantain dealers at Najjembe reveals that majority of the vendors have closed.

“We have remained with few vendors who had bought produce in plenty but once they also run out, this business will completely close,” Mwesezi said.  

John Bosco Matovu, the Chairperson Lukaya Roadside market says the situation isn’t any different at his market. 

“The shortage of sweet plantains is already enough to force vendors to stay in their homes the only challenge is that from these little businesses they have been able get daily bread,” Matovu said. 

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