Weeks after the Blantyre City Council (BCC) banned the sale of cooked food in Blantyre markets, traders are still selling the food.
Earlier this year, the BCC banned the selling of cooked food in the city’s markets and streets as a way of preventing cholera outbreak in the city.
The council’s Deputy Director of Health and Social Services Samudeni Seunda made the announcement following the spread of cholera in parts of the country.
However, Malawi24’s visit to some of the city’s markets established that traders are still selling cooked food.
It was observed that the sale of food such as fritters, sweet beer, already cooked sweet potatoes in Limbe, Blantyre, Mbayani, Chilimba and Ndirande markets is still thriving.
Vendors told this reporter that it will be very hard for them to completely quit the business.
The traders said the selling of food is their only way of earning a living and if they stop doing the business, they will put themselves in trouble.
“I know that the city council banned us from doing this business, but I have a great responsibility and quitting this business would mean no eating at home and no school fees to my two children,” said 47 year old Elena Mbewe who was selling cakes (zigumu) at Limbe market.
Another trader, 28 year old Kondwani Mussa who was selling sweet beer at the Blantyre market entrance, said he is aware of the ban but he has no other option.
Customers were also seen flocking to buy the food despite the threat of cholera.
“My friend, I know cooked food business was banned but on this matter I can’t do otherwise, I am hungry and had to eat by all mean,” one buyer in Chilimba.
When it announced the ban, the council said it will not tolerate any person who will not abide by the ban.
The council also said the ban will only be removed when the cholera outbreak comes to an end.
Since November last year, Malawi has recorded about 500 cases of cholera and eight people have died from the disease.