Traders operating in six markets of the capital Bujumbura complain that it is taking too long to return to the newly rehabilitated markets. They say that the temporary ones are not appropriate enough to work in especially during the rainy season.
Since January 2016, Bujumbura city council asked different traders operating in six markets of the capital to temporarily relocate to other markets in order to rehabilitate the former ones. They were promised that the rehabilitation works would take six or nine months if they delay. Almost two years now after the relocation, those traders complain that they still operate in "inappropriate markets".
"The market is very muddy. Most customers prefer to go to well-constructed ones like COTEBU market," says Anne, a trader met in Ngagara market, in the northern part of Bujumbura.
She also says apart from the lack of customers, their goods are exposed to the rain which sometimes spoils them. She asks the government to take them back to the rehabilitated markets as soon as practicable.
Yves, a trader met in Jabe market in the centre of Bujumbura, seems to not understand what is going on. "They told us that the rehabilitation will take six or nine months. It's been almost two years we are operating in this muddy market and no justification so far, still waiting... " he says.
He says Bujumbura city council already knows the occupied markets are not appropriate. He wonders why it is taking a long time to relocate them: "The administration is aware that we are not in inappropriate markets. What is surprising is that the rehabilitation works were completed in July. Why don't they send us back to the newly rehabilitated market?" he wonders.
Traders from Kanyosha, Musaga, Jabe, Ngagara, Kinindo and Kinama markets were relocated to nearby temporary markets for rehabilitation purposes. Those markets were inaugurated on 10 August 2017 and the mayor said they would be occupied before the end of 2017.
Contacted, Bujumbura mayor said that there is a problem of places which are limited due to new infrastructures that were constructed. However, he reassures traders that they will be relocated soon.