As the world continues to battle with the coronavirus pandemic which has crippled the economy across all sectors, fish vendors in the Zambezi region continue to persevere in selling fish, just as they have with in the past years before Covid-19.
New Era caught up with some of the fish vendors at the Katima Mulilo open market, who narrated the challenges they are facing in selling fish. “The business of selling fish is good for instant cash, as you don’t need to wait for the end of the month to get money. However, it looks like Covid-19 has crippled our business as the number of our customers has been reduced.
The closure of the borders has also not helped, as the demand was previously high as we used to sell to travellers from all over the world. Even those from Zambia could come and buy from here. All these factors have affected us. We are selling, but we are not getting enough profits like before,” said one of the fish vendors, Erica
Another fish vendor, Mary Muchaka, pointed out that although fish is a staple food in the region, they are at times forced to lower the prizes due to complaints from the customers that they are too expensive.
“We don’t have enough customers. A fish which you are supposed to sell for N$10 could end up with you selling it at N$5 or N$3. Our suppliers have also hiked the prices after learning that we were making good money. However, we don’t have customers anymore, so the profit we get is not that much. But I should point out that we are at least able to feed our families and buy our children stationeries and other necessities,” she said.
With the water level of the Zambezi river decreasing rapidly over the past weeks, it is expected that the local Zambezi breams will be readily available, and this might see the prices of the fish going down. Fish prices in the Katima open market are ranging from N$5 to N$50.