The Zambian government has issued a warning to traders who continue to sell ready-to-eat foods on the streets, in spite of a ban aimed at preventing the spread of cholera. The ban was imposed due to concerns over unhygienic practices and the potential for the disease to spread throughout the country.
The ban has been flouted by many street traders in Lusaka and Kitwe, who claim that selling food on the streets is their only means of survival. However, Local Government and Rural Development Permanent Secretary Maambo Hamaundu has emphasized that traders who disregard the ban will be dealt with according to existing laws and guidelines.
Hamaundu has reminded traders that the issue at hand is a matter of life and death, and urged them not to put citizens at risk by continuing to sell food on the streets. He has also directed local authorities to communicate the ban effectively, in order to ensure that all stakeholders move in the same direction.
The Association of Vendors and Marketeers of Zambia President Abel Chikwa has called on the government to find lasting solutions to prevent cholera outbreaks in the future. Meanwhile, the street traders selling ready-to-eat foods have argued that they cannot stop selling on the streets as it is their only source of income.
Some traders have suggested that the government work with them to ensure that the streets are kept clean, rather than imposing a ban that harms their livelihoods.
The ban on the sale of ready-to-eat foods on the streets is a measure aimed at protecting citizens from cholera, which is caused by contaminated food or water. The disease has been a persistent problem in Zambia, with outbreaks occurring regularly in recent years.