By PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) has started providing COVID-19 protective equipment to its members to ensure their safety and that of their customers.
Government last week announced it had lifted the suspension of informal trading, but indicated operations must be conducted in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) stipulations.
This follows repeated pleas to the government from informal traders to allow them to resume operations to cushion them from the vagaries of COVID-19-induced socio-economic shocks.
In an interview, BVTA director Michael Ndiweni said the association decided to equip informal traders with COVID-19 protective equipment to ensure that their operations are not suspended on grounds of failing to meet WHO guidelines.
“We are moving to marketplaces all over the City of Bulawayo, distributing materials to fight COVID-19 and support vendors and informal traders to conform to COVID-19 protocols,” he said.
“We are distributing sanitisers, masks, thermometers, handwashing basins and water buckets. Our market officers are in full swing to monitor if vendors are following COVID-19 protocols.”
Ndiweni said BVTA received material and financial support from a local donor agency to enable the association to meet the needs of its members.
“We will be closely monitoring the behaviour of traders and try to make sure that we all put our hands on the deck in this fight against COVID-19,” he said.
“This support is coming from the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund through the Sizimele Consortium.”
Recently, government relaxed lockdown which has seen vendors
being allowed on the streets although they are pleading for opening of borders.
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