Audrey Kukunda, the Proprietor Velvet Restaurant in Nakawa near Makerere University Business School (MUBS), says before the lockdown she would serve over 100 customers, which isn’t the case. She also reveals that some of the students would for their meals for the entire semester.
Dozens of small businesses around educational institutions have
been hit by the lockdown because of the absence of students, who form the bulk of their customer base.
The government ordered all learning institutions to
close on March 20, 2020, as part of the measures to disrupt the
spread of COVID-19, forcing millions of learners to return to their homes. However, this has taken a huge toll on businesses around the educational
institutions, a number of which are now closing of relocating.
The affected businesses include among others,
eateries, retail shops, salons, boutiques, supermarkets, stationery outlets and
video libraries. Those that have stayed functional are on the edge.
Audrey Kukunda, the proprietor Velvet
Restaurant in Nakawa near Makerere University Business School (MUBS), says
before the lockdown she would serve over 100 customers, which isn’t the case. She
also reveals that some of the students would for their meals for the entire
//Cue in; My main target...
Cue out…are also struggling.”//
Grace Manzi, the acting in charge of Chicken
Tonight branch in Kansanga next to Kampala International University says she
now relies on a few passersby. She, however, says they are no match to the
droves of students that flocked her restaurant before lockdown.
//Cue in; kuba just know…
Cue out…tulabe kyetuzaako.”//
Florence Nakayenga, the proprietor of Mission Beauty
salon in Wandegeya, says she closed in late July because she could not afford to pay
rent and maintain saloon equipment in the absence of customers. Nakayenga now deals in general
Hassan Osama Mubiru, who runs a printing and photocopying business opposite Akamwesi Hostel in Nakawa, says his business took a nosedive since the students left the university. He says that some of his neighbours
relocated to other areas where they can get clients while others closed shop, saying
they couldn’t afford rent and utility bills.
//Cue in; Because... the students…
Cue out…scholastic materials.”//
Elias Akampa, the Acting General Manager “The Grocery” in
Wandegeya, says the absence of students led to uncountable loses of perishable
goods, which saw him drop some staff.
Titus Obina, a retail trader opposite Kyambogo University
main gate, says although he is used to students going for holidays, he can’t
count the losses he has registered in the lockdown.
//Cue in; “We can’t compare…
Cue out…still a challenge.”//
Recently, Hope Katwiine, the Vice-Chairperson Kampala
Traders Association-KACITA warned that several small scale businesses in and
around Kampala may never reopen because of the impact of the lockdown. She
explained that many traders have been spending on water, food, and rent at home
even when they are not earning.