Copperbelt’s largest trading site Chisokone Market has been shut to allow for cleaning as one of the measures to avert a major cholera outbreak in Kitwe.
Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu and Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang’ombe have taken charge of the cleaning exercise with the help of the Zambia Army, Zambia National Service, Kitwe City Council and Market and Street Vendor Association.
However, the situation has left marketeers stranded with no hope of continuing their business activities for the next few days.
Many complained that the move has turned majority of them into destitutes and will have a negative impact on the country’s economy.
They said authorities should have restricted areas that are a risk as opposed to shutting down the entire market.
“We all support the efforts being made by our leaders but this one will not only affect us as marketeers but the economy as well. How many people are turning away after finding that the market is closed? That is all money, I also don’t know how they expect us to survive with this situation,” Astridah Zulu, a marketeer at Chisokone, said.
She has appealed to authorities to speed up the cleaning exercise and allow business to continue.
“The longer this cleaning process goes, the more we are affected as marketeers. So, they should also consider how we will survive as marketeers, just one day of not trading you have no idea how much has been lost,” She added.
And Street Vendors Foundation Representative Paul Mambwe said the exercise will help prevent an outbreak of the disease in the market.
“We are lucky that not even a case has been recorded here but obviously we must sustain that otherwise we would end up losing lives. All of us should be concerned because this is for our own good,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu has disclosed that the cases of cholera reported in Kitwe still stand at three and efforts are still being made to avoid further outbreaks.