Women vendors in Gulu City and Nwoya district are struggling to repay
loans due to low business.
Hundreds of vendors in different markets in Gulu City and Nwoya district
borrowed loans to start up or boost their business with the hopes of repaying
within agreed periods.
The loans which are given out by institutions including FINCA, BRAC, Allied,
Acen and commercial banks among others charge between 12 to 30% interest rate
and are payable by installments within a space ranging between one week and one
However, the women vendors say that they are currently struggling to repay
their loans due to low business caused by the lockdown.
Ventorina Akech, a dry fish vendor at New Cereleno Market in Gulu City says that
she borrowed five hundred thousand shillings from BRAC last year and was
required to repay installments of 28,000 shillings each week for one year.
However, Akech now has over 800,000 Shillings that has accrued since last year
after she defaulted to meet her obligations due to the slow business arising
from the COVID-19 lockdown.
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Akech who is a widow with five children and residing in a rental at
Bardege-Layibi division disclosed that she would initially earn more than
200,000 Shillings from her daily sales but this has drastically reduced to less
than thirty thousand shillings per day.
Another vendor, Beatrice Aryemo, 44 who deals in tomatoes, Irish potatoes and
onions at Cereleno Market has also borrowed two million shillings’ loan from
FINCA and was required to make monthly payments of Shillings 305,000 but she
says she cannot afford it currently.
Aryemo, says she is struggling to repay her loans because she can
hardly raise 10,000 from her daily sale as opposed to over 50,000 Shillings initially.
Margaret Lanyero, the Councilor Four for Tegwana West in
Pece-Laroo division who also deals in onions and Irish potatoes noted that the
COVID-19 restrictions have extremely caused low sales and hit hard on the women
vendors especially widows, single mothers and those who borrowed loans.
//Cue in: ‘’we beg the…
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She asked the government to design modalities such as UWEP to
support the people financially through its different programs.
//Cue in: ‘’secondly the government…
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Tonny Awany, the Member of Parliament for Nwoya County in Nwoya
district also disclosed that hundreds of women market vendors are also flocking
her office seeking a bailout from loan arrears that have accumulated during the
An employee for one of the quick loan institutions in Gulu City who preferred anonymity
says that many women market vendors have been flocking their offices to borrow
loans to repay loans, something he said is extremely dangerous.
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