KAMPALA – Over 2600 street vendors and hawkers have registered to operate at the newly established makeshift market in lower Nsooba near Kalerwe along the Northern bypass – in Kampala.
The market sits on a 4-acre piece of land belonging to Godfrey Mugalu.
Richard Lubega, the chairperson of the Federation of Kampala Street Vendors Association, said traders acquired the land when Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA drove them off streets – the Smart City operations.
He explained that the owner of the land demanded for a lot of money in ground rent, which traders couldn’t afford – prompting the Uganda Microfinance Support Centre as well as KCCA boss, Dorothy Kisaka to intervene – paying rent for six months, which period elapsed before they could take over the space.
He said that traders had launched fresh campaigns – seeking for similar assistance from the Microfinance as well as Gen Salim Saleh to pay the ground rent for the next six months.
According to Lubega, each trader paid Ugx35, 000 for registration to cover expenses for an Identity card in addition to Ugx50, 000 for a stall.
Moses Birungi, the defence secretary of the association, noted that each vendor was allocated a space of up five meters on a raised platform to avoid flooding because the area is swampy and therefore backfilled with murram.
He explained that traders were working on the drainage and building bridges that connect the area from the main road to the market – so that customers could have easy access.
Eva Nantume, one of the vendors said decried low turn-up of customers due to the fact that the market was unknown. Nantume explains that she had secured her stall in November last year but couldn’t occupy her space because the market was undergoing preparations.
Andrew Kasagga, another vendor narrated that he was a shoe hawker on Allen road in Kampala but when he heard that street vendors were getting space to work from he acquired a stall because he was fed up with being hunted by KCCA all the time.
Victoria Bulasa, the chairperson of the area said that the market sits in Kyebando-Nsooba and Lower Nsooba but most of the administrative activities of the market are done at her LC of Lower-Nsooba.
She said that vendors find it hard to cross the Northern bypass to get services at Lower Nsooba LC where they belong. Bulasa said the introduction of a market in her area has helped a number of residents in the area to get jobs.