Soroti market vendors count losses over power outage

Vendors in Soroti Main Market protest over water and electricity shortage. PHOTO/SUSAN NANJALA

Vendors at Soroti main market are counting losses following the disconnection of power and water.

The disconnection has left toilets messy and stalls dark, sending away the few customers.  The facility is now deserted.

Mr Benjamin Otim, a trader, told the Daily Monitor that they had lost more than Shs60m at the beef section after a month of operating without electricity.

“We have been raising these concerns to the people in charge, but they are quick to say we are politicising the market,” he said.

Mr Otim said the spoilt meat was distributed to the street children and anyone willing to partake of it.

“Umeme disconnected us over Shs2m, that’s why we closed the market because we want explanations,” he said.

He, however, said each vendor has been paying the utility bills to the city council bank account.
The angry vendors on Wednesday locked up the main market in protest against the city officials for failure to clear water and power bills.

Some vendors chose to relocate their foodstuff outside the market premises, seeking alternative spaces to safeguard their goods from the unfavourable conditions within the market. 

Mr Geofrey Omaria, another beef vendor, said their meat decomposed due to poor storage and preservation.

“Can you imagine that our meat has been rotting away. Each time you slaughter a cow, the balance cannot be kept because the cooling rooms non-operational,” he said.

Ms Grace Adeke, also a trader, wondered why the city authorities would not clear utility bills.

The deputy town clerk, Mr James Obore, refused to comment on the matter.

The RCC, Mr Peter Pex Paak, said they communicated to the service providers Umeme and National water and Sewerage Corporation to have power and water restored.

He asked the vendors to keep calm and re-occupy their stores.