Kyebando: Nsooba market’s temporary structures are on the verge of falling as downpours drench it 

(Last Updated On: 20 May 2023)

Related problem: Poor roads and drainage systems are also some of the challenges the vendors and hawkers face as their customers fail to easily access the market.

By Margaret Olore  

Kampala, May 20, 2023: Heavy windstorms and unusually strong downpours have drenched the Nsooba market in Kyebando, Kawempe Division, seriously damaging hundreds of temporary shelters and leaving hundreds of vendors and hawkers without adequate cover in the rainy season.

Nsooba market under the umbrella of the Federation of Hawkers and Vendors Association (FHVA) is gripped by heavy downpours that tore apart the tents used to cover the roofs of the reeds. The market accommodates over 26,000 vendors.

The worst followed last week as high winds drove off tents to the roughcast ground leaving the reeds naked for the heavy rains to parch the area. The heavy rains were also too strong for the corrugated iron roofs and supporting beams in many homes. In the market, more than 100 shelters get damaged.

The rise of globalization, mass urbanization, and developing rates of labour markets means migration is burgeoning at a seemingly uncontrollable figure.

Globally, affairs such as climate change, domestic violence, and the emergence of modernity have pushed the need for emigration to a new level: not only for those seeking to migrate but for countries and their economic statuses.

The number of vendors and hawkers, for example, has increased, though the rational solution to this is scarce with vendors often being the unquestioned answer. Whilst on the surface appears conventional, and perhaps more logical, the voiceless suffering, which occurs within them makes one question if the solution of vendors is justifiable.

The temporary facilities built by FHVA to provide immediate shelter for hawkers and vendors started by the government policy of having a “Smart City” are now varying.

On July 14, 2022, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka promised equality for all to over 26,000 street vendors under the umbrella of the Federation of Kampala Hawkers and Vendors Association in SMART City policy.

Nine months down the road, the vendors have returned to the streets, as the Smart City model failed to harbour them. The market is in a varying state, and the government is not responding.

“There is nothing the government can do for us, we have tried to engage the government to give us money to put up a better structure for the hawkers/vendors, but there is no response. We are doing it our way,” said Katerega Dalvinhe, the administrator of the Federation of Kampala Hawkers and Vendors Association at Nsooba market.

According to him, the major purpose of the market was to enhance income for vendors/hawkers. However, this has become fertile as customers prefer buying commodities on the streets to those in the market due to the high prices in the market than on the streets.

Joyce, a tailor at Nsooba market says that the vendors on the streets are problems to them, adding that the items sold on the streets are the same as the ones they sell in the market. “The buyers love to buy in the streets which makes them fail to sell.”


In addition to the above, Millicent, a mother and vendor in the same market said their items are at high risk of getting rotten because of the poor facility and too much rain which pours directly on their merchandise.

She further noted that they were tasked to pay shs30,000 as a membership fee, shs50,000 for the place, and  shs45,000 for the tent which has been destroyed, and yet their state of life in the market is bad.

Poor roads and drainage systems are also some of the challenges the vendors and hawkers face as their customers fail to easily access the market.

In response to these challenges, Katerega said they have plans to put long-lasting roofing for the vendors which will ensure their safety.

For a country like Uganda to have a Smart City, vendors and hawkers have to be put into consideration by constructing a permanent place with a long-lasting shelter that will make them feel safe with their properties and easily accessible by the customers.

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