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COVID 19 Lockdown: A Tale of a Breastfeeding Market Vendor

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Nakalema, who has a seven months-old-child, hasn’t slept in her home since President; Yoweri Museveni restricted movement as part of the measures to control the spread of Covid19.
Busega market

Audio 3

Alice Nakalema sells Silver fish in Busega market in Kampala district.  Nakalema, who has a seven months-old-child, hasn’t slept in her home since President; Yoweri Museveni restricted movement as part of the measures to control the spread of Covid19.

 

She sleeps in a drawer at her stall in the market. Nakalema explains that she had to remove merchandise to create space for her to sleep.  

//Cue in; "Omukulembeze yatugamba...

 

Cue out: ...chuckles"//         

Nakalema says it is safe sleeping at the market as they have enough security provided by the market and police. Her only worry is leaving her two children at home. 

Although she has a house helper who keeps them as a mother she misses every night with her children. More frustrating for Nakalema is leaving her seven months-old baby behind.     

//Cue in; "Bwoberawo ekiseera..."    

   

Cue out: "...nsula wano kumpi"//     

Her child couldn't adjust immediately to start feeding on other than breast milk. Yet she had no means to preserve breast milk and couldn't stop the flowing milk from her breast. 

She now sneaks out of the market once in a day to go breastfeed her baby.         

//Cue in: "Omwana yali ayonka...     

Cue out: ...tukikola mububba"//     

Nakalema says she doesn’t make as much money as she used to. A sack of Silverfish that she previously sold off in two to three days now takes at least 7 days to get finished.     

She, however, has to take the risk and at-least earn as much she can to sustain her family as she is the sole provider. 

The market Chairperson, Disan Kiryowa, says Nakalema is just one of the over 60 people that sleep in the market, majority of whom are women since they dominate the foodstuffs section.    

He says they watch out for each other as the market management also provides security to them and their merchandise. 

He says they also, continue to sensitive them on how to avoid contracting the Corona Virus by washing hands and observing social distancing among other measures.

In Nakasero Market over 60 vendors sleep in the market. Wandegeya market has the least number of vendors operating compared to all these other city markets. 

One of the vendors said there were about six of them sleeping in the market.  Uganda has registered 53 COVID 19 confirmed cases, three of whom government, says have recovered.

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