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Informal traders hail toilet renovations

Vendors and informal traders are applauding the toilet renovations that were done by Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) in partnership with the Women`s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD).
The renovations were borne out of the assessment of the facilities by the Market Bailiffs who took note of the health hazards that were posed by the market toilets that were in a sorry, unpalatable state.
In response, BVTA in partnership with WILD, renovated the public toilets that are located at the corner of Fife Street and Fifth Avenue in Bulawayo.
The renovations were aimed at protecting market women from contracting different diseases and to improve their working conditions at market places. Toilets help reduce the spread of diseases and create a safe trading space for vendors. Having functional toilets in marketplaces also means that the women are able to change their sanitary wear frequently.
The renovations included the changing of the floor from cement to ceramic tiles, the addition of a sanitary chute for the disposing of sanitary pads, the addition of a nappy changing counter for women with children, repainting of the toilets and addition of metal grating to ensure that waste water from the toilets does not flow into the street.
“Before the toilets were renovated, they had an unpleasant stench that attracted a lot of flies, causing a health hazard. This did not augur well for those who were selling fruits and vegetables,” said Thabani Gumede a Market Bailiff.
Margret Phiri, who operates at the marketplace said “Some of us take our children with us to the marketplace and taking them to the toilet was a challenge because of the wet and dirty floors. Furthermore, the flashing system was not working. This put the health of our children at risk,” she said.
Market Bailiffs told Vendors Voice that the market place did not have running water and that the status quo was a recipe for the potential spread of communicable diseases. The Bailiffs also noted that traders had to settle for washing customers’ hands with soap since most of them could not afford to buy sanitizers. Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) funded Sizimele responded by donating sanitizers to different markets in Bulawayo in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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