Somali traders in Dollow apply Coronavirus measures in the market

Tuesday July 7, 2020

People in Galkayo ignoring social distancing advice in markets and public places/Jabril Osman/Ergo

(ERGO) – Market traders in Dollow district in southern Somalia’s Gedo region have put in place measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

Stalls have been set two-metres apart. To reduce congestion, some of the stalls have been relocated to the outside perimeters of the market.

Hassan Adan Abdullahi, a leading trader in Dollow market, told Radio Ergo that they implemented their measures right at the beginning of the pandemic to protect themselves and their customers.

He credited the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for raising their awareness about the disease and providing them with masks and gloves.

“We’ve created safe distances between the traders, we’ve stopped practices like sharing drinking cups and mingling closely with one another, and we started wearing gloves when handling products or serving customers,” he said.
Hawo Mukhtar Abdirahman, a mother of four, sells meat at the market. She told Radio Ergo she learned how to prevent the spread of the disease from IOM and radio awareness campaign.
“We tell customers to keep a safe distance and we handle money carefully,” she said.

Hawo added that everyone is having to change their ways to keep the community safe.

“We used to physically greet each other, sit closely and share the same seat together, but not anymore. We now greet each other from a distance, and we are all fine with that,” she said. “Most traders and customers are cooperative.”

Still, livelihoods at Dollow’s two main markets have been badly hit by the pandemic.

Maymun, a mother of eight, told Radio Ergo she only sells one jerrycan of tomatoes and a sack of onions supplied from locals farms, since the supplies she used to get from Ethiopia stopped due to border closures.

“I used to earn about $300 to $350 before, which was enough for my family, but in the last three months I have had to borrow more and more money just to make ends meet,” she said.

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