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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid