Uganda has been restricted since mid-June ahead of the new wave of Covid-19 hitting the country. Among the restrictive measures are the transport ban, the closure of worship and schools and the curfew at 7 pm. In the food markets, suppliers must also spend the night in their stalls to prevent the spread of the virus. Difficult conditions while customers are becoming increasingly scarce.
From our correspondent in Kampala,
In her stable, Nafika Madina opens the tarpaulin she has installed to protect herself from the view during the night. “I sleep here, without a mattress, on wood. I have some fabrics that I use as blankets and plastic pillows, she says.
Due to lock-in, very few customers can access the Nakawa market. Sales have largely decreased for retailers. Nafika Madina has lost most of its revenue since mid-June. “The number of customers decreases by three, people no longer come to the market. Because transport is forbidden, they can no longer travel there, Nafika Madina explains.
More difficult conditions than during the previous containment
A little further on, Joseph Wante gets ready to go to bed. Some boxes and bags filled with straw placed on the ground act as a bed. Next to it, on the side of the road, a lot of cassava that he has to throw in the morning. “I can only keep cassava for two days. Afterwards he disappears. Like this pile, arrived yesterday. It has now expired, no one can buy it now. Usually I sell two trucks of cassava a day and even before the end of the morning, at 9 o’clock, I have used all my stock. It is almost impossible to sell the contents of a single truck, he says.
During the first shutdown last year, suppliers were also expected to spend their nights on the market. But for Joseph, the economic situation was not so difficult. “Before the second containment, we recovered only after the first. Some had points. And we had barely paid the school fees for our children. So this confinement is very difficult, concludes Joseph Wante.
“I have to stay, I have no choice”
Every night, Josephine sits in front of the TV in the middle of the market to prepare the plant that she cooks and sells during the day. She worries that she will have to sleep in her booth for several more weeks.
“The next few weeks will be complicated. Most of my clients come to the market for lunch and then go back to work, but this is no longer possible with containment. I have to stay, I have no choice, but it will be very difficult. “
Despite the difficulties, Josephine is determined to stay until the end of the confinement in order to send a minimum of money to her relatives.