The demand for ginger and lemon has doubled within the different
markets in Gulu City and Kampala.
With the belief by residents that lemons boost their immunity against the
coronavirus (COVID-19), more people are now including lemons on their groceries
Unlike before, in the past one week, dozens of people have been
flocking Gulu Main Market, Cereleno, Olailong and Layibi markets within Gulu
City demanding ginger and lemons.
Lakot Santa, a bitter lemon vendor at Cereleno market says that she is reaping
big after her customers’ turn-up tripled since last week.
Lakot says that previously she would earn only between 4,000 and 5,000 Shillings a day
but now it has drastically increased to at least 20,000 Shillings.
//Cue in: ‘’biacara gire nongo…
Cue out: …be tye kawot.’’//
‘’Business, lemon is selling
good but if the lockdown persists it will go down because we receive our items
from other districts. However, it is still good even tamarinds.’’
Lakot currently sells four pieces of small lemons at 1,000 shillings and four
big ones at 2,000 shillings as opposed to 500 and 1,000 shillings respectively
before the COVID-19 upsurge.
Janet Piloya, another vendor in Cereleno market, says that she currently
receives more than ten customers who buy her lemons in bulk.
Her earnings have equally risen to more than 20,000 Shillings daily as opposed
to 3,000 shillings previously. However, Piloya says that current
lucrative business is threatened by the ban on inter-district travels since
most of her goods were brought from the Lango Sub Region.
//Cue in: ‘’atye kawinyo ma…
Cue out: …wel matek adada.’’//
Proscovia Akello, of Cereleno market, is also registering high lemon sale but
also fears that the ban on inter-district travels will ground her business.
//Cue in: ‘’peko wat ye…
Cue out: …gonye be peke.’’//.
The other items which have tremendously gained sales during this period include
ginger, onions and tamarinds.
Jackie Adure, who sells ginger at Gulu Main Market, says that she can raise at
least 100,000 Shillings daily and more than 50 kilograms in only three days due
to high demands from her customers.
Like other items, Adure has also been hit hard by the ban on inter-district
travels and ban on public transport which has hiked prices of her commodities
from Shillings 110,000 to 220,000 from her purchase point in Mbale City.
In several markets in Kampala, one lemon costs 1,000 shillings yet
three months ago, the same amount could purchase ten to fifteen lemons. Four
pieces of ginger cost 1,500 Shillings, and one bulb of garlic that used to cost
1,000 Shillings now costs 2,000 shillings.
Ronald Lubwama, a vendor at Kajjubi market in Kalerwe, says that he has
abandoned selling passion fruits that are not on demand and selling lemons and
//Cue in “ntunda ginger ntunda ne lemon…”
Cue out “…. bulilunaku yeyongelamu.”
Steven Sejjuke, a ginger trader and vendor at Kalerwe market says that
he has been able to sell his ginger due to the demand. He however adds that
ginger is in scarcity on the market and that a kilogram goes for 3,000
shillings yet in the last month, it was sold at 2,000 shillings.
//Cue in “mukatale wano ebbeyi weli…”
Cue out “…. babagambye lye ddagala.”
Hajji Ismail who sells lemons in Nakawa Market attributes the high
prices of lemon to the ban of inter-district travel. A large basket of lemons
that were costing 80,000 Shillings in February has doubled to 160,000
He also says before the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, only a
handful of vendors were selling lemons because of low demand. He, however, says
this has suddenly changed because of the increased demand for lemons.
//Cue in “tebasala…
Cue out “…. Zo ennimu akatale.”
A buyer identified as Musilaamu, at Kalerwe market says that he
would rather keep his body fit by engaging in physical exercises but not buy expensive lemon and ginger.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc