News / Africa

South Sudan Cholera Outbreak Shuts Down Food Stalls

Women purchase grilled chicken from a street vendor in a market in Juba, South Sudan.  Outdoor food vendors say inspections by health officials and a drop in clientele during the cholera outbreak are forcing them to shut down.
Women purchase grilled chicken from a street vendor in a market in Juba, South Sudan. Outdoor food vendors say inspections by health officials and a drop in clientele during the cholera outbreak are forcing them to shut down.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
Food vendors and tea sellers in Juba say they are being forced out of business as South Sudanese health officials step up hygiene inspections to try to stem the spread of cholera in the capital. 

Twenty-nine people have died and more than 1,200 have been infected in the recent outbreak, which this week was reported to have spread beyond Juba.

When officials in Juba declared on May 15 there was a cholera outbreak, the mayor of the capital, Christopher Sarafino, said health inspectors would be traveling around the city, shutting down restaurants and tea stalls that did not follow proper hygiene procedures such as having indoor toilets and washrooms and using treated water to wash crockery.

Many food vendors in Juba have been breaking those rules for years by cooking in the open air. This is especially the case in Juba's Nyakuron market, where on Wednesday only a handful of women were still cooking food in the open, running the risk of being shut down by health inspectors and losing what is sometimes the sole source of income for their family.

Shrinking customer base


One of the women, Lukia Chandilu, said the number of people who eat at her stall has dropped since the cholera outbreak began.

"We are just facing so many problems," Chandilu said. "I used to have some customers in my business. These days they have reduced. They are saying they don’t want us to prepare food because we are in an open place,” she said.

Health inspectors say they have to crack down and enforce the rules to save lives. Cholera is transmitted through contaminated food or water and can kill within 24 hours through rapid dehydration, if left untreated. Children and people with weakened immune systems -- such as those suffering from malnutrition -- are especially vulnerable.
 
Since the cholera came, I am not making any profit. I don’t make anything... There is no money at all.
Chandilu said she has set up a handwashing facility and uses clean water to wash her dishes and utensils. But she still prepares food in the open and officials have told her she needs to move to a permanent facility. She said she can't afford to do that.

Lona Bitara relies on the income she makes selling tea in the market to feed her three children and unemployed husband. She said the cholera outbreak is forcing her to shut down her small business.

“Since the cholera came, I am not making any profit. I don’t make anything. I don’t get any money. There is no money at all," she said.

Food prices skyrocket


Lupayi Twaha is a local merchant who sells corn, cassava and beans in the market. He said he can no longer afford to buy food to feed himself because prices have skyrocketed.
 
"We used to get food at five pounds. Nowadays, even from big hotels, it is at 30 pounds," he said. "It has become very difficult for us to get that money. We are suffering here.”
 
But Justin Jogo, a security guard, said he was thankful for the health inspectors' stepped-up vigilance in the midst of the cholera outbreak.

Enforcing hygiene rules and being careful about the conditions food is prepared in is better than getting cholera, he said. "On the way to work, I will not buy things that are outside. Things that are not covered, I will not buy because of cholera," he said.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid