It has been 17 difficult days for the traders of Kigali City Market and their neighbors who closed business on August 17 following a spike of COVID-19 cases which was blamed on loosening in observing measures among the occupants.
On Thursday morning, Kigali City reopened the shop which is allegedly the biggest of the country with several items and services ranging from groceries to utensils of several kinds, pharmacy warehouses, banks, exchange bureaux, apparel, and footwear, restaurants. to mention quite a few.
They have been 17 busy days which included disinfection of the building, putting in place signs that enforce social distance, construction of more water taps and dispatch of hand sanitizers, deciding the entries and exits and committing more Youth Volunteers to the building.
The trained youth volunteers that are facilitated by the City of Kigali were put in place to help enforce COVID-19 measures in different public places including markets and taxi parks.
James Rudasingwa, one of the co-shareholders of Kigali City Market told Kigali Today, our sister website that after the latest experience which cost them closure, they have now been compelled to reduce the number of occupants.
The most affected in this market of 2600 tenants are mostly traders in the groceries.
“We have 270 clients in this section but we shall have shifts of 70 traders. It was a puzzle to obtain the shifts, but we have no choice given the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic,” Rudasingwa said adding that it was the most congested section in the entire building.
Traders themselves said that they cannot agree more and they resigned to the new measures.
“We made a mistake. For every stand, we brought in more tenants and we ended up congested. We are not doing that anymore,” said Angelique Uwamwezi, one of the traders.
Umutoni Gatsinzi Nadine, the vice mayor of City of Kigali in charge of economic development and social affairs, said that “the country is undergoing a difficult situation due to COVID-19 and thus, it takes everyone’s sacrifice if we are to win the pandemic.”