Soroti, Uganda – The Soroti modern market vendors have taken to the streets this morning in protest against the prolonged lack of water and power infrastructure in the market. The dire situation has left these hardworking entrepreneurs struggling to conduct their businesses effectively.
One of the affected vendors, Joseph Okello, who specializes in selling meat, expressed his frustration at the ongoing challenges faced by the vendors. According to Okello, the market has been without water and power for nearly two weeks, severely impacting their daily operations and livelihoods.
With the absence of electricity and running water, the vendors have resorted to using torches and conducting sales from makeshift stalls outside the market premises. This has created an environment conducive to theft and other security concerns, posing a serious threat to the safety of both vendors and customers.
In response to the vendors’ grievances, James Obore, the Deputy Town Clerk of Soroti City, has confirmed that immediate action is being taken to address the issue. The local authorities are actively engaging with UMEME, the electricity distribution company, and the National Water Authorities to resolve the matter promptly.
Peter Pex Paak, the Resident City Commissioner of Soroti City, shed light on the reasons behind the water scarcity issue. He revealed that the lack of water can be attributed to Conlog company’s failure to remit the necessary funds to the City Authorities. UMEME bills the market a total of four million shillings each month, but Conlog has only been remitting 1.5 million shillings to Soroti City. This significant shortfall in payment has resulted in an inadequate supply of water to the market.
When approached for a comment, Samuel Iriebat, the chairman of Soroti Modern Market, declined to provide a statement and referred our reporter to the City Authorities for further information.
The Soroti market vendors’ protest serves as a powerful reminder of the crucial role that basic amenities like water and electricity play in supporting local businesses and communities. It is imperative that all stakeholders involved work together to promptly resolve the water and power shortages in Soroti market. The vendors and customers alike are eagerly awaiting a swift resolution to restore normalcy and ensure the prosperity of this vital economic hub.