BULAWAYO Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) has come up with the Market Aggregation COVID-19 Vendors Response- Market Access Project (CVR- MAP) as a direct response to COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively impacted vendors and informal traders. The initiative presents strategies to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 to informal traders as these are the organisation’s target beneficiaries.
This is a five-month project implemented through campaigns which include awareness campaigns, information dissemination on recommended COVID-19 standard measures and provision of Personal Protective Clothing for frontline vendors and informal traders who are providing critical services.
The project envisions change of behaviour, attitude, and reduction in the spread of the corona virus. Strategies of implementation include media awareness campaigns through radio interviews on radio stations targeting vendors and informal traders in marketplaces and residents in Bulawayo.
It also includes development of promotional material for Market Aggregation publicity. The strategy support includes ideation, incubation, design product, communication support materials, provision of protective equipment to informal traders and local authorities which include masks, water dispensers, and sanitizers with COVID-19 awareness messages. The organisation will therefore, select marketplaces jointly with authorities and install 50 hand washing water dispensers branded with COVID-19 messages and purchase 500 hand sanitizers for distribution in market places where defined beneficiaries access commodities and purchase paint for marking physical distancing in marketplaces.
Trained BVTA members termed Market Bailiffs will assist in monitoring and ensuring that vendors and informal traders observe physical and social distancing while using the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard messaging such as wash your hands, keep social distancing, mask-up always and emphasises on smartness in their trading space. The Bailiffs will also conduct capacity building on client vendor relations.
The project also introduces a digital marketing platform which leverages on existing relationships and community networks within targeted communities.
With the platform, improving efficiency of the Market Aggregation project will be achieved. The platform will permit producers to display products, product pricing and product location, ordering online and fleet owners’ consignments and deliver to defined locations.
Through the project, the organisation will facilitate COVID-19 mainstreaming in the market infrastructure including capacity support to local authorities, facilitate licencing and adherence of 100 small and medium enterprises to the local authority regulations on operations post COVID-19.
A petite documentary particularising the impact of COVID-19 to vendors and informal traders will be produced and shared with organisations on social media platforms