MASERU – A local consultancy firm, Mereng Consultants Pty Ltd, on Wednesday handed out food aid parcels to about 400 street vendors in Maseru.
Street vendors are daily wage earners so most of them cannot feed their families since the lockdown, which started on March 29, prevented them from trading.
The initial 23-day lockdown, which was expected to end on April 21, was extended by two weeks to May 5 to check the spread of the coronavirus.
During this period, citizens are not allowed to leave their homes except only to procure essential goods and services and activities not involved in the provision of essential goods or services are closed for the duration of the lockdown.
Any business which contravenes this regulation is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding M10,000.
The lockdown has brought an abrupt end to street vendors’ business activities and ruined their hand-to-mouth livelihoods.
“The food aid parcels were handed out to street vendors who trade at the in-market zone, capital zone and a new stall zone in the central part of the city of of whom fall under the Maseru Vendors Association,” Mereng Consultants administration manager, Isaac Mafooa, said.
“The food parcels included 12.5kg of maize meal, 1.5 litres of cooking oil, a packet of peas and one long bar of soap,” Mafooa added.
He indicated that the donation made to Maseru street vendors was the first of many to come as the company was committed to ensuring that Basotho were not just safe from the coronavirus but do not suffer from hunger while staying at home.
“This was the first batch, the second and third will be coming soon,” Mafooa said.