SANFROSSA MANYINDA writes
MISISI charcoal traders say they have continued to risk their lives by trading under high voltage ZESCO power pylons because they have no alternative place to conduct their business from.
They said despite several warnings from ZESCO, there was nothing they could do because it was their only line for survival.
They admitted that it was risky to trade under the pylons and that ZESCO has warned them against this but that they have remained adamant because they had no other place to trade from.
“We were told that it was also a health hazard to trade under pylons but we are adamant because we survive through this business,” Fredrick Mubita, a trader at the place said.
Mr. Mubita said that it was the only place available for them, stressing that they could move anytime when space was provided for them.
He said that many families would starve should they vacate the place now without an alternative.
“We do not want to be on the streets begging for alms that is why we sacrifice our lives for the future of our children. We would not want to die prematurely but the need for money to survive is what drives a lot of us to the area,” said Mr Mubita
It was however noted that the number charcoal traders was increasing at the place with many of them are coming from other provinces to sell their charcoal under ZESCO pylons.
Recently, ZESCO warned the public to refrain from trading under its pylons on grounds that it was not safe especially in the rainy season because the structures may collapse with catastrophic consequences.
The company has been advising the traders to move the market to a place provided for by the Lusaka City Council.