The outbreak of COVID 19 has led to emergency and rapid development of businesses dealing in masks, gloves and sanitizers which are seen as the measures to combat the epidemic in the times when the cure is not discovered yet.
Along nearly every street in downtown Kampala, vendors have piled up heaps of masks and gloves mostly made from recycled local materials.
The vendors say demand for these products has shot up, forcing some of them to increase prices.
However, there is fear that the recycled masks are substandard and could put the lives of Ugandans in peril.
We went down town Kampala to find out how the business of selling masks, gloves and sanitizers is coping.
Hussein Lubega, who was vending outside New taxi park told us the demand for masks increases every minute.
“This mask previously cost 1000 shillings but right now I am selling it at 3000 and the price is expected to continue rising because every time we go for shopping, we find an increase in price. This is because there is lots of wholesale buyers who shop from there,” said Lubega.
“The price fluctuates almost every hour.”
He sells various mask types ranging from 1000 to 5000 shillings depending on the material, quality and longevity.
Lubega also sells gloves of various types with medical one’s going for 1000 while those with thick surface costing 5000 shillings.
Michael Wasani who camped just a few metres from Lubega’s selling point had no words different from Lubega’s.
“Whenever we go back for shopping we find a hike in price. That is why our prices fluctuate rapidly,” said Wasani.
On the other hand, Alex Galiwango said, “the price for masks is not permanent. For instance, the price has increased because of the high demand.”
The high increase in price is not only witnessed on masks and gloves but sanitizers as well.
“I have been shopping this sanitizer at 5000 but it has risen to 8000 meaning that I have to sell it off at 10,000 so that I make a 2000 shillings profit,” Galiwango told Chimpreports.