City vendors are seeking support from the gender ministry and City of Kigali authorities to regularise their operations. The response to this plea could be the difference between hundreds of city residents falling deep into poverty or becoming progressive business people.
If we are to fight poverty, every Rwandan has to be brought on board for the crusade to succeed. The concerned authorities should also find out the root cause of illegal vending despite putting in place gazzeted areas for vendors.
Can the city authorities carry out more sensistisation of the vendors on why it’s important for them to operate from the gazetted spots? Even customers should be sensitised about the danger of shopping from street vendors.
This could be the reason these vendors have refused to leave the street. Having an orderly city is in the interest of everyone and a crucial indicator of modernisation.
Yes, all of us want an orderly city, but this should not be at the expense of ‘small’ people trying to find a livelihood? When you have over 7,000 street vendors in the city, you work with them so that they are part of the solution. Otherwise, the problem could recur in the future.
And if there are government programmes to support these vendors, why have they (programmes) been ignored? Are the technical and vocational education courses the gender ministry talks about free of charge? Who will foot the bill if they are not? Do the vendors know how they can access the loans or be part of the scheme? All these questions will be answered if more sensitization is undertaken.