Vendors of the Nakawa market in Kampala, received Covid-19 relief items under the Kampala Jinja Expressway No One Worse Off - KJE-NOWO project. The donation, worth 100,000 EUR, included water tanks, waste bins, tarpaulins, face masks and handwashing facilities, among others. The materials were handed over by Cities Alliance and the European Union on 30 November at the Nakawa Division Offices, in Kampala.
This is very helpful in these tough Covid times. It is also the rainy season, we have been suffering a lot.
Annet Nattabi, a market trader in Nakawa.
“With these tents, we will have some shelter from the rain. If there is another need for us to sleep in the market like was the case during the previous lockdowns, we will have a roof over our heads at night and mosquito nets to protect us from malaria", she said.
Nakawa vendors are part of the population affected by the construction of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway (KJE), as the market is located on the right-of-way of the road.
"Cities Alliance supports the livelihoods interventions and puts safeguards in place to ensure that no one is made worse off by the project", said Samuel Mabala, Cities Alliance Uganda Urban Advisor. He extended appreciation to the EU for funding the initiative.
Johannes van der Ploeg, Operations Infrastructure Advisor of the EU in Uganda, noted that the EU will contribute over 90 million EUR to the KJE project and highlighted the importance of having safeguards to protect people and livelihoods. "We supported the KJE-NOWO project to ensure that the road does not leave people in worse conditions”, he said. He mentioned that the situation of the traders had been exacerbated by the pandemic, which motivated the additional support through the donation.
The items were handed over to the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)'s Deputy Director, David Luyimbazi. He invited the vendors to prevent the misuse of the materials, as they will help ensure their own protection against the virus, given the low vaccination rates in the country and the new variant threats.
Paul Mugambe, mayor of the Nakawa Division, emphasized the difficulties faced by the vendors who have been severely impacted by the Covid measures and the subsequent lockdowns. "The conditions have been tough to the extent that we have even lost lives. There is a time when vendors could not leave the market so they could not access health services. We are very grateful for this relief because it will save lives and give hope to our people.”
Funded by the European Union and implemented by Cities Alliance, the KJE-NOWO project ensures that social and environmental safeguards are in place to protect the communities living on the right of way of the KJE. This includes providing support services to the affected households and small enterprises in targeted areas to help improve livelihoods, security of tenure, housing for longer-term markets, and neighbourhood incremental upgrading.