The Kireka Farmers’ Market is one of the largest food markets in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District. What strikes a new comer here first, however, is not the food but the poor sanitation – and the situation is worse during the rainy season.
Uncollected garbage, blocked trenches and thick mud define the environment in which people here work.
Robert Magumba, a market vendor thinks they are in this state due to the legal status of the market.
“Part of the land we occupy is a road reserve, and the other part is a railroad reserve. Government may not consider making this place better for us an option,” Magumba says.
“The other thing is that most of our leaders are of the opposition. I think that also makes it hard for us to receive any services from the government,” he adds.
The whole municipality has one truck for garbage collection – this implies that for several days this area and others may have their garbage uncollected. Rita Namuswe, who runs a small restaurant in the market says sometime the rubbish is too much and on seeing it their customers just run away.
Margret Nakanwagi, another vendors, says when it rains, water runs through their merchandise, leading to big losses.
Faridah Namakula, who sells tomatoes, thinks it is the responsibility of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to make the market safe to work in.
“UNRA has neglected us. Those water trenches are always blocked with plastic bottles. When those trenches are blocked we are the ones who suffer because all the water and the rubbish end up in our market,” Namakula says.
The vendors are aware that their market is in a wrong place, and would want to relocate, but finances are their biggest challenge.
We opened a savings and credit scheme here. But we can’t save enough to buy land. We need some help, maybe from government, Magumba says.