The implementation of a new trade order in Jinja City has raised concerns about the well-being of low-income earners who rely on street-side kiosks.
These individuals, who have sustained themselves through vending, are facing uncertainty due to the actions of city authorities and law enforcement. A joint effort has been launched to target roadside vendors and unregulated structures in the city.
Over the last few months, authorities in Jinja City, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, have been conducting operations to regulate roadside vending and to prevent the operation of unauthorized structures like informal taxi stages and kiosks.
The consequences of these operations have been deeply felt by many low-income earners who depend on vending as their main source of income.
Nabirye Bitamiisi Nangobi, a resident of Nalufenya A in Jinja City, is among those directly impacted. With eight children, including two with visual impairments, Nangobi’s kiosk on Wilson Road was recently demolished, leaving her in a dire situation. The kiosk was crucial for her family’s livelihood and meeting their needs.
“My situation is very tough now. My children with special needs need specific learning materials like braille. Without a stable income, they might have to quit school,” Nangobi expressed.
Her husband, Asuman Kigoma, shared similar concerns, highlighting the unique difficulties their family faces following the loss of their vending business.
Jinja City Clerk Edward Lwanga acknowledged the repercussions of these operations on the residents. He clarified that the operations’ objective is to bring organization to the city’s trading environment.
Lwanga encouraged those affected by the operations to collaborate with city officials in finding alternative trading locations.
“Our goal is to establish a structured trading system in the city. We understand the challenges some individuals are facing due to these operations, and we are prepared to cooperate with them to identify feasible solutions,” Lwanga stated.
In response to the concerns raised by affected residents, the city’s leadership, along with the area’s Member of Parliament, Dr. Timothy Batuwa, has initiated visits to the homes of those impacted.
This initiative aims to assess the genuine impact of the operations on residents’ livelihoods and explore potential ways to alleviate the difficulties they are experiencing.
Dr. Batuwa affirmed his commitment to addressing the concerns of his constituents, especially those who rely on vending to sustain themselves.
Edward Lwanga, the Town Clerk of Jinja City, reiterated the city’s readiness to engage with affected individuals to find suitable solutions to their challenges.