Sad Tale Of Struggling Traders In Bayelsa
The cry of an infant laid in a plastic basket draws the attention of passers-by.
Few steps away from the basket, her mother can be seen breaking firewood into pieces by placing them across her knee.
After breaking them, she then adds the pieces to a fire she is setting.
Thick smoke clouds the road and pedestrians fan frantically in an attempt to escape it.
Frustrated that all she has succeeded in building is 'smoke and no fire', the nursing mother looks up with teary eyes.
This is the pitiable state Tarilatei is in when Bounce News encounters her.
Curious as to why she's in such a condition, we seek to uncover the source of frustration.
"My name is Tarilatei, a single mother of two daughters.
“They have spoilt my shop. Breeze won't let me cook. Soon, customers will start coming. What will l sell?" she asked still in tears.
Tarilatei is one of the victims of the demolition which took place in June along Fire Service Road in Ovom, Yenagoa Bayelsa State.
But one month after the demolition of their shops by the Chairman of Bayelsa State Physical Planning and Development Board, Mr Ebi Waribigha, the resilient shop owners are back.
This time, under umbrellas; a make shift tent that they can run with should the government enforcement agency show up.
It has been a rainy period in Bayelsa and the battered condition of their goods especially during a downpour, does not deter their fight for survival as they can be seen trying to cover their wares with plastic bags.
Most noteable are their customers who defy the rain to come and patronise them still.
Chioma, a typist whose typewriter was completely destroyed like Tarilatei's shop, has decided to start afresh.
She now operates a computer powered by a generator opposite her former shop.
"I almost killed myself after l lost everything.
“I rent this computer and pay the sum of 1,000 Naira per day'' she told Bounce News.
She also complained that business has been slow mostly because her customers can't sit under the sun or rain while she types their document.
“My customers prefer a shop to an umbrella as such, l have lost quiet a number of them," she narrated.
Mrs Beauty Fisherman, a staff of the National Youth Service Corp, pleaded with the State Government not to chase the business owners away as it will affect them badly.
"If they leave here, it will be difficult to type urgent documents, eat food or buy stationeries, as the nearest shop is located far from here.''
She further stated that “the space should be better planned and the traders levied according to the size of their commodities.
"However, measures should be taken to curtail the unnecessary building of shops and tables along the road".
It is believed that if things are put in place and properly managed, the out-stir of traders to the road will be greatly curtailed.
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