Namibia: Frustrated Vendors Braai in Public Road

LAW-ENFORCEMENT agencies on Tuesday had to resolve chaos between road users and disgruntled kapana vendors of the Tukondjeni open market in the Okuryangava residential area who resorted to operate in the middle of the road due to filthy water flooding the market.

The market, where about 200 vendors sell a variety of food products, is filled with dirty running water due to a burst water pipe of the City of Windhoek.

This has forced the kapana sellers to have barbeques in the road, while vendors who sell other products such as vegetables, moved outside the market to operate from the pavement and in the parking area.

Speaking to Nampa here, vendor Nambinga Abner claimed that they have reported the burst pipe, which has been running for about three weeks, to the municipality, but nothing has been done to date.

He said vendors pay N$200 per month, but yet are operating in a dirty and filthy environment, which has resulted in them losing out on customers.

"We are expecting diseases such as hepatitis E from this dirty running water. Our customers do not even want to come inside the market anymore, that's why we decided to braai our meat in the road, where it is clean," he stated.

Another vendor, Victoria Kanaela, fumed that vendors are tired of operating in a dirty area, adding that the municipality does not respect vendors as they are hesitant to fix the pipe and unblock toilets at the market.

"We have families to feed. However, we are sitting here the whole day in a stinky area without any customers because they rather buy from those who are operating outside the market," she stressed.

In an interview with Nampa, sergeant Steven Hailonga of the City Police said the vendors occupying the road has resulted in drivers being blocked from passing that road.

The vendors were eventually removed by both the City Police and the Namibian Police.

Upon enquiry, city manager of corporate communications and marketing Harold Akwenye said he was not aware of the problem, but would inform the department that deals with burst pipes to attend to the problem immediately.

- Nampa

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