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Victoria Falls Municipality sets up roster for vegetable vendors

by Staff reporter
29 Apr 2020 at 07:46hrs | Views
THE Victoria Falls Municipality (VFM) has introduced a roster for vegetable vendors operating at designated markets to ensure social distancing and decongest public areas to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Specific vendors will now be using the market on given days as determined by the local authority.

The arrangement which was introduced last week, is in line with a Government call on local authorities to take advantage of the lockdown to clean up and renovate small and medium enterprises and informal trading workplaces. The Government order dated April 8 is aimed at ensuring that vending areas are conducive to operate from when business reopens after the lockdown.

"During the 9th Cabinet meeting, it was resolved that local authorities should take advantage of the national lockdown to clean up and renovate small and medium enterprises and informal trading workplaces. Please make every effort to comply with the resolution," read a circular sent to all local authorities by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

VFM Housing and Community Services director Mr Brian Nyamande said the local authority does not have illegal vending stalls that need to be demolished.

"Unlike other towns we don't have illegal markets and what we are simply doing is managing issues of crowding at the designated markets. We are also trying to step up cleanliness and hygiene under lockdown and we have been saying they can't all come at once.

"They have split into groups and we have rosters where they take turns to go to the market so they are not crowded," said Mr Nyamande. Some go to the market once or twice a week.

He said the council is using the ongoing lockdown to spruce up the vending stalls and around markets with the help of some vendors who have offered to provide labour to clean alongside municipal workers. "Some buildings needed thorough cleaning, which was not possible when there was a high volume of people. In short, all we are doing is cleaning and decongesting our markets as we implement lockdown rules but we have no illegal structures to demolish," said Mr Nyamande.

Vendors returned to the vending areas in the second week of the lockdown after Government allowed them to resume operations as essential service providers. Government implored local authorities to ensure that vendors are provided with necessary protective equipment such as sanitisers and face masks. The private sector in conjunction with the council set up some tippy taps at markets entrances to make sure all those who enter the vending areas sanitise by washing hands.

In the stalls, vendors display their wares about two metres apart unlike previously when they would be within a metre apart.

There are three main vegetable markets in Victoria Falls in Mkhosana and Chinotimba suburbs. Chairperson of Chinotimba Tavern Market Mr Lizwe Sibanda said less than 30 vendors now occupy the market on each day unlike before when there would be around 70.

"We are taking turns to go to the market as we go on different days but a majority of people have since stopped coming waiting for the lockdown to end. Some have given up because it's not easy these days to travel to Bulawayo to stock up vegetables but generally the market is now smart. Everyone has face masks and sanitisers which were distributed by council," he said.

Matabeleland North Environmental Management Agency provincial manager Mrs Chipo Mpofu-Zuze urged all local authorities to implement the Government call in urban areas as well as along highways to keep the environment clean.

Source - chroncile