Yesterday afternoon, Bulawayo was hit by heavy rains which exposed the city’s drainage system leaving informal traders in frenzy as vending sites are “open and unsafe.”
Informal traders who spoke to WILD highlighted the challenges they experience due to lack of proper and safe facilities for conducting their businesses.
Doreen Selimani who sells her wares from within the central business district in Bulawayo, noted that poor drainages and failure by the Bulawayo City Council to set up adequate vending stalls with shades is affecting informal traders’ operations.
“City council should ensure that drainages are unblocked because these drainages are blocked by piles of uncollected garbage. Our vending stalls are not user friendly because we have no shades, they are open and unsafe. All we have are lines drawn on the street and these are what we call vending bays,” she said.
Selimani emphasized that the lack of environmentally friendly vending sites is resulting in significant losses in income for women like her.
When it rains, we have to hide your wares and when they are rained on, they are damaged and we are forced to reduce prices,” she said.
Another vendor Madade Ndlovu who sells clothes in Mpopoma suburb highlighted that the working environment for informal traders requires attention.
“It is very difficult for us especially when it rains because there are no vending bays and shades. When it starts raining our businesses suffer significant losses as we are forced to pack our wares prematurely yet if the shades were to be installed, we would still be able to sell our products,” she said.
The heavy downpour pounded the city for a few minutes yesterday and left roads waterlogged.
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