Markets in Kalerwe have adopted strict measures to be able to resume work few days after the Minister for Kampala Affair Betty Amongi ordered for their closure.
On Friday Amongi ordered for the closure of the over 10 markets at Kaleerwe which include Bivamuntuuyo, Akwata Empola, Farmers’ Market, Freedom, Muluya and Kajubi among others.
Amongi said the markets had failed to abide by the presidential directive like people in the market keeping four meters away from each other in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID -19). The market leaders had been warned earlier by Kampala Capital City Authority after the Authority closed one of the markets Kisanja.
While ordering for their closure, Amongi said they would re-open on Monday 6th if they manage to reorganize themselves as required.
Now following a joint meeting on Saturday afternoon, market owners and leaders at Kalerwe adopted strict measures to ensure they comply with government guidelines. The vendors and market leaders spent the day decongesting the market as they removed boxes and cleaned the markets.
Badru Kateregga, the Chairman Muluya Market says they have agreed that vehicles offloading food item do so using the side of the Northern bypass at the abattoir where there is bigger space. They also agreed that people operate strictly at their stalls and that road reserves be left clear.
Kateregga also says they resolved to reduce the number of vendors in the market and tasked leaders to draft rotas for vendors to start working in shifts.
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The chairman of Farmers' Market, Charles Mpalaganyi said they have rearranged the market to create more space between stalls where strings have also been used to mark operating areas and some stalls have been closed to avoid crowding.
Out of over 150 vendors, Mpalaganyi says they will keep between 50 and 70 vendors who will also operate in shifts. He says each group will be allowed to work for three days before the other comes in.
Mpalaganyi, however, says that since the number would have reduced, vendors will be required to pay a daily rental fee of 2,000 Shillings up from 1500 Shillings. He says the stalls will be allocated according to vendor's payment history among other factors.
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Saidi Waiswa, the Chairman Freedom Market says they have already started working out a rota for vendors to start work in shifts. Waiswa adds that they will also closely monitor the numbers of customers that access the market such that they can avoid crowds.
He called upon customers to come with a clear Picture to make shopping faster. He further asked KCCA to deal with bodaboda riders who cause crowds outside the market as they wait for customers seeking delivery services.
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One of the vendors Alice Namuleme says that she had stocked about 20 bags of cabbages and she is now afraid they might get damaged. She decided to join the team cleaning and rearranging the market with the hope that the Minister will be pleased with the adjustments and let them resume operations on Monday.
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KCCA Spokesperson Peter Kaujju says the Authority's health team is working with the market leadership to see that they come up with mechanisms to operate in compliance with the directives.