Street Venders Looking for Better Stable Future
Streets venders have been living for a long time between the Anvil of economic hardship and unemployment, and the terror of the hammer of the localitities and municipalities, which routinely conduct campaigns against them, confiscating their goods and without trying to legalize permanently their trade in a sustainable and modern manner. This has led in certain instances to catastrophic results, as in the case when one street vender escaping a municipality campaign, fall into a well and died.
Lately, in compliance with the directives of the President of the Republic and the First Vice President, the Khartoum State have formed a high-level committee to develop the centre of Khartoum starting with the Khartoum Locality which have begin with the innovation of the Suliman Kasha , Saliah Pasha and Comboni markets.
The turning point in dealing with streets venders came when the Khartoum State’s Minister of Finance, Economics and Consumers Affairs Eng. Saddig Mohd Ali Al Shiek affirmed in his address in the opening of Niemer Markets in Jackson Square that the State will not hunt down any person seeking to earn his livelihood. He pointed that the new markets aims in an initiative of addressing economic and social issues and stressed on that the Government support the poor segments of the society. Adding that the Jackson Square will be a positive and not a negative factor in development .Also, he called on other localities to benefit from the experience of the Khartoum Locality and pointing to need to develop and promote the markets to attract tourism.
On the other hand, Khartoum Locality’s Commissioner Omer Nimer said that the project is a partnership between the locality and the community and that specialized committees have reviewed the statues of the streets venders and that the work is going on to prepare for them suitable markets to absorb them in Al Quads and Shahafa markets and Comboni Books market and that 85 percent of the work have been completed and delivery expected within 45 days. He pointed to challenges that used to face the street venders because of disorganization, although street venders is an international phenomena but stressed on the need of organized markets and weekly markets .He added that the street venders have to be aware of the importance of cleanse and that the State Ministry of Health have been instructed to close any restraints that does not abide with the health and cleanse regulations. Same time, the Commissioner said that although the disorder in era of campaigns against street venders have ended but no one will allow to create disorder in the streets. Also, he declared the return of coffee shops in the centre of Khartoum which will start with 10 shops, adding that in the context of the State endeavor to address the negative phenomenon in the society, special attention have been given to the large segment of the street children and schools drop-outs ,some of them have been enrolled in the rehabilitation camps organized by the State’s Ministry of Guidance and Social Welfare to be active members in the society instead of washing cars in the streets which lead to the dirtiness and detritions of the streets instead he revealed that an agreed have been reached to start dry car washing inside fenced parking facilities and later on the open.
The general manager of Millennium Company Al Yasa Osman one of the project implementing companies said that the project came after study on the situation of street venders and aims to improve the markets environment and security and affirmed that the venders are very keen on the market development and environment.
While the Company manager Salah Elsafi stated that the project implementation took two months and targets 5,000 street venders to give them security and stability and the project phase one which have been opened cosseted SDG 5 million and will accommodate 2,000, while the second phase will cost SDG 10 million and will accommodate 3,000 street venders and will be opened after Ramdan project will include Nimer,Salah Basha ,Swquia Al Kir ,Suliman Kisha Street , South Comboni markets.
Ahmed Farah ,the president of the street venders said that the makets were named Nimer markets due to the great efforts and cooperation of the Commissioner in its establishment. Adding that this was a dream that have become a reality, pointing to the previous hardships and sufferings from the sun, the hot weather and the localities campaigns and this was a permanent situation during all previous governments. He concluded that the from the beneficiaries markets include different segments including war wounded, pensioners ,widows ,orphans and graduates and called upon all street venders in all Sudan to copy this model.
Mohd Hassan ,a merchant in the market said that we thank God for this area that have become true .adding that all previous initiatives was to allocate venders outside the markets while the rents of shops in the markets was very high ranging between SDG 700 to 1000 in addition to the present stagnation in the market. But now there is stability and a steady income.
Haja Hawa Mohd says that she was works as a street vender to support her orphaned children and used to purchase the goods from Omdurman but due the continues confiscations of her goods by the locality had to bore from the merchants as she lost all her capital. But now she says thank God that the new market protect our rights and commodities from robbery and campaigns .adding that women have suffered a lot in past.
A student, who work as a part time street vender to pay for his schooling because of the economic conditions says that the new markets have provided us with an element of stability and protected us from the heat of the sun and provided citizens with easy assess for the commodities they need at a reasonable price because we sell at a low price and don’t aim for a large profit.
Meanwhile, many citizens affirmed that these markets are very important especially the weekly one because they provide them to purchase what commodities they need at near by place and at a reasonable price.
By Najat Ahmed,Alsir Mukhtar, 01/08/2012