Gaba market vendors in Makindye Division are still battling the impact of flooding, a year after the increased volume of waters in lake Victoria. Whenever its rains, water floods the market worsening the already bad situation.
At least 2000 vendors now operate on the roadside or other open places while others. Their situation is even worsened by the recent rains after some of the stalls and lockups in the market submerging following the recent heavy downpour in Kampala.
Local officials say the number of vendors in the market has dropped from 3000 to now less than 500 people because of flooding. They say hundreds of vendors have been forced to close their businesses while some have moved to other places such as Kasenyi. Those operating inside the market only occupy a very small area, the size of a classroom.
Frank Kiguli, one of the area leaders says that hundreds of vendors have totally lost business since the onset of the heavy rains, which flooded their stalls. He says that they sometimes sell their goods through agents or hawkers who move with the goods from place to place.
Sandara Naduli, a banana seller says that they are registering losses as customers don’t buy from them because of the poor sanitation in the area.
“We are currently trying to heap sand around stalls to raise to prevent the stalls from being submerged,” Naduli said.
Vendors now want the government to develop Gaba market saying it’s strategic for the visitors who go to the landing site. Gabriel Musisi is popularly known as Gabuda, the LC 1 Chairperson of Gabba Cell faults the Division authorities and central government of failing to improve the working environment for the vendors yet they pay taxes.
He says that they have been pleading with the government since 2020 to build the market but to date, nothing has happened. He has warned that the problem of flooding at Gabba market won’t cease unless the government constructs a modern market for the vendors.
Peter Ntalo, another vendor has lost hope in government rescuing them from such pathetic conditions.
“Our pleas have met deaf ears. Government is not helpful at all,” Ntalo said.
He also said visitors who are attracted to the market have no parking space and are discouraged from buying from them because of the poor condition of the market.
When Gabba, Luzira and Mulungu areas flooded last year, the government promised to relocate the communities to safer places but to date, nothing has been done. There is also resistance from the community in the area where the government wants to settle the vendors.
Our attempts to get a comment from the Directorate of Gender and Community Development Officer at Kampala Capital City Authority, Dr. Geoffrey Galukande didn’t yield results.
Some restaurants are selling food stuffs from rooms where water has flooded, a sanitation risk.
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