By Bahle Gama | 2020-05-24
Vendors at Mbabane market have appealed for assistance with masks and sanitisers.
The vendors said during a meeting to the market that they were facing challenges with getting this equipment which is a necessity in this COVID-19 era.
Some of the vendors disclosed that they only received masks once as a donation when the pandemic first hit the country but stated they could not remember the company, as they were not present since they work in shifts.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of them who sells breakfast said she owned only one mask, which was worrying as it is essential to always wear a clean one. She said washing the mask would mean taking a risk, as it might not dry as soon as she hoped.She mentioned that most of them had to buy their own sanitizers, which she said was expensive, especially because they make very little income.
“We were taught that we should wear the same mask for a long time but due to the situation, we find ourselves wearing it the entire day
Some of us have been able to make enough sales and purchase these things. We bought our own sanitisers because we value the safety of our customers and ourselves,” she said.Another vendor shared the same sentiments disclosing that she used water and soap for her stall and customers.
“I heard that soap and water also works so I decided to use it because I cannot afford the sanitisers that we are urged to have,” she said.
All of the interviewed vendors pleaded with government and other organisations to help donate more masks and sanitizers to them so they would exercise the proper precautionary measures.
“We need to be safe and healthy in order to continue with our businesses despite that we are generating less or no income lately.
Once this pandemic has passed, we pray we will be alive and healthy to start over if need be, hence we appeal for assistance. Municipal Council of Mbabane Communication Officer Lucky Tsabedze said the municipal’s main responsibility was to provide a platform for vendors to trade. Vendors on the other hand had to ensure that they took the precautionary measures advised by government and the ministry of health to protect themselves and customers during the pandemic. He further stated that in the event that they would find themselves in possession of masks they would give the vendors.
“There is not much that the municipal can do other than ensuring that vendors have a trading area. The issue of masks and sanitisers is actually a responsibility for each vendor as a precautionary measure,” he said. Tsabedze further urged large companies to ensure that they contributed and donated to small businesses like the vendors to ensure their safety and that proper were precautionary measures practice during the pandemic.
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