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Business picks up on Martyrs day eve

An aerial view of Namugongo.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Business has picked up this morning at Namugongo Martyrs shrine according to traders. The most sought-after items include jerry cans, scarfs, rosaries, and other religious items.

By 9:00am in the morning, a number of pilgrims were seen buying jerrycans costing between 1,000 and 3,000 Shillings for carrying water from the Martyrs lake at the shrine.

Dickson Kalyango, one of the traders said it being the eve of martyrs day, pilgrims from places such as Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda among others want to stock holy water early enough.

Asman Ahabwe, another vendor of jerrycans said that his business was booming compared to the past days. He had sold 20 jerrycans by 9:00am.

Emmanuel Byaruhanga, another vendor also selling jerrycans said that he had already started realizing some profit by morning and hoped that it would get better by evening.

The traders noted that while some pilgrims from nearby places carry jerrycans with them, a number of first-time pilgrims form the bulk of their target customers.

On the other hand, vendors selling scarfs had more customers in contrast to those selling other items such as clothes, shoes, and mats among others during the morning hours.

Bashir Kato, an excited vendor said that he had already made 70,000 Shillings as profit from his scarfs by 8:00am while others grappled with their stock.

Halima Namubiru, who is also selling scarfs explained that although she had noticed reluctance among customers the whole of Wednesday, there was an improved response this morning.

Many pilgrims can be seen with scarfs wrapped around their heads walking or lying down in gardens at the Catholic shrine.

Maria Kwesiima, who was selling rosaries said that with the arrival of more pilgrims this morning, a number stopped by to buy.

She noted that even those that had come around days earlier are now buying items to carry back to their homes since traffic is likely to be heavy during martyrs’ celebrations.

The other thriving business is food as people lined up at food points for breakfast.

However, most of the traders have reported a low turn up of pilgrims compared to their expectations.

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