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Social Distancing Still Tall Order for Luweero Markets

Three of the roadside markets have already been closed on the directive of the task force after they failed to implement the Standard Operating Procedures aimed at combating the spread of the virus. The affected markets are Balikyejusa, Balikyewunya and Wobulenzi roadside market.
Vendors at Balikyewunya roadside chasing for buyers at the bus on Thursday

Audio 4

Vendors in Luweero town are struggling to implement guidelines issued by the District Task Force on COVID-19 to guide the operations of markets.

Three of the roadside markets have already been closed on the directive of the task force after they failed to implement the Standard Operating Procedures aimed at combating the spread of the virus. The affected markets are Balikyejusa, Balikyewunya and Wobulenzi roadside market.

Vincent Kavuma, the Chairman of Balikyejusa Kasaala Roadside Market explains that they have erected a fence to encourage physical distancing between vendors and passengers. He adds that they have acquired masks, set up handwashing facilities, and made arrangements to decongest the market.

Kavuma and vendors have now appealed to the task force to re-open the market saying they have incurred huge losses in the closure of the markers, which are a source of livelihood for more than 1,000 traders, dealing in fruits, banana's, plantain and roasted meat, among other items.

//Cue in; “Obulimi bwetutussemu…

Cue out…nga tukola.”// 

Daniel Kakeeto, the Chairperson of Balikyewunya roadside market in Luweero Town council says although they implemented the procedures, they are still challenged by congestion over the influx of passengers from the taxi park and vendors from other markets who turn up on Mondays.  

Kakeeto appealed to the town council to regulate the influx of vendors from other markets who make it hard to implement social distancing.

//Cue in; “Luli congestion… 

Cue out…abatwegattamu.”//

Paul Mukungu, the LCIII Chairperson of Luweero town council says that some vendors will be asked to relocate to Luweero Central market to decongest those on the roadside if they are to reopen them.

Although markets remain closed, vendors at Balikyewunya Market had defied the directive and on Thursday, many were seen selling plantain and roasted meat to passengers in buses without considering the guidelines. But authorities fear that crowding buses and trucks may expose vendors to COVID-19 pandemic.

Phoebe Namulindwa, the Chairperson of Luweero District Task Force on COVID-19 says she intends to visit the markets together with town and district leadership to assess the vendors’ preparedness to implement the SOPs before they are re-opened.

//Cue in; “They have told…

Cue out…site visit.”//

Luganda//Cue in; “Naye Kyendaba…

Cue out…mukole bwemuti.”//

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