Vendors and informal traders have highlighted the need for infrastructural development in medium and bulk markets in locations as well as proper shades and storage rooms in marketplaces. This was revealed by Market Bailiffs who monitor COVID-19 in food and agricultural markets in Bulawayo under the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) Sizimele Consortium.
Vendors and informal traders have been operating in spaces devoid of proper shades. This exposes them to the vagaries of different weather conditions such as rainfall, heat and wind. These weather conditions affect their products, causing them to go bad and subsequently leading to loss of earnings and income.
Traders have also been failing to store their products and has resulted in theft and the decay of perishables.
“We do not have storage rooms for storing our products. Inevitably, we lose our products as they go bad,” said Sehliselo Maphosa.
Traders are also calling for the establishment of bulk markets in locations to enable local restocking. This will decongest the CBD while falling in line with the Bulawayo City Council’s attempts to decentralize the markets as a way of curbing the spread of COVID-19.
“Our wish is to have bulk markets in our locations so that the burden of travelling into the CBD is reduced. During lockdown we were restricted from travelling and we failed to get wares for selling,” said Doreen Selimani, an informal trader.
Over the years, vendors and informal traders have been forced to operate under makeshift infrastructure which exposed them to adverse weather conditions. The informal traders are still pleading for assistance and improvement of infrastructure so that they are able to run their businesses without any inconveniences.