After the Central Market of Bujumbura burning, businesses are moving to other parts of the city. Before the central market burning, this type of business was not common in the city districts.-By Yves Didier Irakoze
At Bwiza, one of the urban districts in central Bujumbura,there is a shop retailingwomen’s clothes, shoes, handbags, jewels, nail polish etc. Asking the owner why her business is located here, she said: “I was operating this business in town at Bujumbura central market before it burned.I decided to run my business in this district because I have to work and earn my living”, she says.
She goes on to say that in town it is very expensive to rent space in order to run a business. However, here outside of the center it is cheap and it is possible to pay the house and have a little money left over to live from. But we only survive, I can’t say that we earn a lot, she finishes.
Anaëlla Kampundu, who also sells women’s clothes, operating in Rohero II, indicates that she prefers to run her business in the district because, as she said: “In town, to rent a house to run a business is almost BIF200,000 per month, whereas here in the district I rent it for about BIF150,000. So I prefer to run my business here rather than in town, so that I can earn a little money to support my family rather than begging”, says Kampundu.
Carine Irankunda, who runs her business at Nyakabiga, says that she alsomoved her business after the central market of Bujumbura burned.
“I was running my business at Bujumbura central market. I had many customers because the central market was a point where everyone gathered, and my customers knew where to find me easily. But now, I lost my customers. Now my business is not as good as before the central market burned. But I have no choice; I have to continue to work in order to support my family and I have to run my business here because town is expensive, and I lost much when the Bujumbura central market burned; all my business burned”, she sadly says.
Liza Dushime, who sellswomen’s clothes and perfumes,operating at Ngagara Quarter 6, indicates that she has to run her business in the districtbecause rents in town are expensive and it is difficult to get a place. “I prefer to run my business here, where I can earn enough to survive. However, now we don’t get as many customers as before. People have to buy food before they buy clothes, people are becoming poor. For instance, I can spend one week without getting someone who buys in my shop”, she indicates.
Carine Irankunda calls for the government to rehabilitate the Bujumbura central market because it is and it was the only way to get customers and to keep business alive.
Liza calls upon the government to do what it can to help them by loaning them some money to start their businesses again, and urges and encourages people who were doing business before the Bujumbura central market burned to continue their business,even though it is difficult to earn much money, rather than begging or doing nothing.