More traders turn Buseko market into permanent home…as they imprison children to filth, crime and misery

Written by on April 18, 2019

SOME traders have reportedly turned Lusaka’s Buseko Market into a permanent home, and the number of people choosing to settle at one of the capital city’s largest trading centre seem to be on increase.
A spot check by the Sun at the market on Saturday, revealed that a number of families have resorted to settle at the trading premises despite it clearly lacking secure toilets and reliable sources of safe water.
As the parents busy carried out their trading businesses, their scruffy-looking children, most of them seemingly bellow the age of 11, busy played about the unhygienic market grounds and mingled with the crowds of customers with easy and without any concern.
Martin Mukena, 40, a traders from Mongu District, who has lived at the market for 8 months now, told this reporter that almost all children living with their families at Buseko did not attend school.
“Most parents cannot afford to enroll the children into school. Some parents thought they will be here only temporarily but have ended up living here forever,” he said.
Mr Mukena explained that the situation was particularly unfortunate for the children were imprisoned to a life of filth, misery and crime.
“Subjecting children to such poor living conditions, overcrowding and criminal activities is tougher than sending them to prison and can most likely transform them into delinquents,” he said.
According to Mr Mukena, life at Buseko market is also mentally and physically taxing for pregnant traders because there was no proper sanitation, secure toilets and reliable sources of clean water.
“The pregnant women have no choice but to make do with this insecure and filthy environment because they are also trying to make ends meet,” he said.
And Alice Muhau, another trader, complained that the market was insecure as it was surrounded by townships where criminals emerged to rob people in the night.
“Struggling traders and their families get attached and robbed every night by criminal who try to take away even the little that they could have struggled to make during the day,” she said.
She said that the place did not also have proper toilets and the traders and customers alike have to pay to use toilets at some nearby industries.
“This place has got no running water. We usually ask for water from the companies around the area. Other than that we buy it from the nearby homes at K1 per 20 liter container. We are scared because diseases may break out any moment,” Ms Mukau said.

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