Renovated market gives traders a boost
Determined to provide for her family after her husband was killed, mother-of-six Mana Abdulle Abukar started selling fruits and vegetables at the Hoosh Market in Somalia’s Dharkenley District.
Despite her best efforts, Mana couldn’t make a decent living because of the market’s terrible conditions. Overcrowding in the chaotic market forced Mana to display her goods in the open air, where they were spoiled by dust, mud, sun, and rain. On top of that, the market had no toilets, except a poorly-maintained pit latrine.
Today, however, thanks to the UNDP’s Employment Generation for Early Recovery (EGER) Project, the Hoosh Market has been renovated with concrete tables and features six latrines. The improvements have given Mana -- and dozens of other traders -- a clean, covered, secure, and well-maintained place to sell their goods and earn a living.
”It was a surprise that I would sell my vegetables in the shade”, 46-year-old Mana said. “I used to stay in the sun and dust during the dry season and rain and mud during the rainy seasons. The whole market was in a terrible condition. The rehabilitated market is like a palace.”
Before receiving support from the UNDP’s EGER Project, Mana had suffered through difficult years. She moved with her husband from Baidoa to Mogadishu in 1992 when famine struck Southern Somalia, but lost their daughter to starvation. Mana and her husband became Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Mogadishu, performing menial jobs to make a living. Mana’s husband was killed during fighting in 2007.
With help from family and friends, Mana started a small vegetable business at the Abdi-Aziz Market. When fighting erupted in the district in late 2009, she fled with her children to a camp in Dharkenley and started work in the Hoosh market.
She struggled at the market until the EGER Project selected her as a beneficiary and assigned her a pre-numbered concrete table. Mana also received lessons about market hygiene, conflict resolution, marketing techniques and customer satisfaction.
“My daily income has improved,” Mana said. “I have got new clients who would not buy from me initially. My vegetables and fruit no longer rot. So, I not only got better shade but also a better income.”
The project is funded by Japan.