Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Vendors in Mbale central market are yet to receive the mosquito nets promised by the government.
Last month, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni asked market vendors to sleep in the markets to reduce contact with family members, as a measure to control the spread of COVID-19.
Museveni then directed the Ministry of Health to provide the vendors with mosquito nets to protect their health from malaria. However, the vendors are yet to receive the nets and have vowed not to sleep in the market until they are provided with the nets.
Last week, the Mbale city task force threatened to close the market should the vendors fail to adhere to the presidential directive.
Muhammad Wedala, a dealer in produces says that they were promised nets which they are yet to receive.
Janet Kasakya, another vendor says that they have no problem sleeping in the market as long as they are protected from malaria. Kasakya adds that the sanitation at the market is appalling and should be improved.
The central market public relations officer Abubakar Nabende says that the vendors will sleep in the market only when they receive the nets.
Mbale City Mayor Kassim Namugali said that it is unfortunate that the nets have not yet been delivered. He however said that it should not be an excuse by vendors to flout the Covid-19 guidelines.
He said that if the vendors don’t comply with the guidelines, the market will be closed.
Last month, the Ministry of Health started distributing mosquito nets to vendors sleeping in markets around Kampala. A total of 5,000 nets were distributed in the different markets in Kampala including Nakasero, Owino, Nakawa and Kalerwe markets among others.