Traders using umbrellas in Bujumbura city in despair

Trading activities under umbrellas are no longer authorized in Bujumbura city since this November 22. Freddy Mbonimpa, Bujumbura Mayor said the decision concerns the three urban communes of Bujumbura city.

Street traders are no more authorized to use umbrellas as rain protection or
sun shade

Dealers of airtime cards and money transfer in Mukaza urban city are lamenting. Umbrellas of Lumitel or Econet phone companies were not put up in Buyenzi area of Mukaza urban commune, this November 25. Traders sheltered under trees while others were obliged to expose themselves to the sun. “We have badly welcomed the decision taken by Bujumbura Mayor”, says Alexis Ndayizeye, a trader met in Bujumbura city. He says he pays his rent and feeds his children thanks to the money earned by selling airtime cards and transferring money.

Mr. Ndayizeye says the decision has come to worsen their situation. “We were firstly exposed to the sun but now, the risk of getting wet if the rain falls is high”, he says adding that these umbrellas were also useful for them in advertising. “How will customers know about our services, without any advertisement sign?” He then asked Bujumbura Mayor to review the decision. “My daily gain has significantly decreased. I often gained BIF 20,000 before the decision. But now, I only get BIF 5,000”, he regrets.

L. Ntiranyibagira, a young graduate from Burundi University says the decision has come to worsen their living conditions. “We risk losing the credibility of our customers. They may consider us as swindlers”, says Ntiranyibagira, a money transfer agent. C. Niyuhire, another street trader says the decision of removing all umbrellas in Bujumbura city will increase the number of unemployed people. “We did our best to create jobs and improve our living conditions. Unfortunately, Bujumbura Mayor decides to send us back home”, she says adding that Bujumbura Mayor should review the decision.