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Rubavu: Cross border trade disrupted by COVID 19

By Basanda Ns Oswald

Cross-border traders living in Rubavu District in the Western Province told journalists from ABASIRWA (Association of Journalists against Aids in Rwanda) that they have faced the severe consequences of Covid-19, saying that it will take time for them to resume their business, because it was naturally not easy for them.

Nsekanabo Aloys who lives in Ramba Village, Nyamyumba Sector, Rubavu District, told the media that they were affected by COVID-19 and that they used to transfer their goods on a cargo ship, and put them in what is called kobe, the first and second kobe 2 and put their products in and sell them both in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the areas of Rusizi and Nyamasheke that their products have decreased.

He said, "The impact of COVID-19 has caused some traders to not continue, because the investment has decreased, some have eaten the capital they had due to the fact that we went to stay at home, we did not continue business".

Claudine Nyiramana who also lives in Nyamyumba Sector says that they have faced the effects of COVID-19 due to the fact that some traders did not continue their business, because it was normal, she asks that the Government should do something and see how to help these traders in terms of increasing their capital, to have that products, especially food, will decrease in price.

Nyiramana told the media in SIMERWA that they should do more advocacies because of the effects of COVID-19, there are some who have lost their culture and engaged in theft, supporting their families is going backwards including those who are involved in bad habits related to sex where they can get infected with AIDS.

He said, "The government should look at how to help the people who cross the border and sell again, because it has been helping some people".

Zagabimana Emmanuel, one of the residents, testifies that the effects of COVID-19 have caused some residents to go to the streets again to beg, some go to pick potatoes in other people's fields, others engage in bad sexual habits where they can spread sexually transmitted diseases, while before COVID-19 they were comfortable with no bad habits, they left the business and lived well with their families.

Léon Pierre Rusanganwa, the coordinator of the health program at the Private sector (PSF) in Rwanda, told reporters at Urugaga ABASIRWA that during the COVID-19 epidemic, traders faced various problems.

He said, "Rubavu, trading with the City of Goma, 14,000 traders before COVID-19 were the ones who crossed the border, because of the COVID-19 epidemic, measures were taken, because we were confident that the neighbors could also prevent it".

Rubavu district because it is a tourist area and many people want to enter it, it was not easy to prevent and guide those people who could pass through the 3 borders of Nyamyumba Muto and the other 2 borders which are often called "grande barriere and petite barriere" ''.

He said, "This is a tourist area, for the bikers who want to enter it, it was not easy to take measures related to the borders known as the big border and the small border with Nyamyumba".

Rwanda's economy is based on the private sector where health depends on consumers and customers, private health workers who are involved in the fight against Covid-19 have joined the Ministry of Health, RBC and the media.

Private sector witnesses in the province were involved in enforcing the regulations on wearing face masks, in the province PSF used vendors who gave Covid-19 witnesses, who played an active role during the "stay at home" period, because they were the ones who had to carry the goods, because not business has stopped, the private sector has helped the emergency by following measures, health regulations including the distribution of masks to prevent COVID-19.

Journalists have been praised by the private sector as well as the Ministry of Health for their role in raising public awareness about the prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic, including combating rumors and showing the measures taken for their benefit.

Kambogo Ildephonse, the Mayor of Rubavu District, told the media in ABASIRWA that the border crossing and returnees before COVID-19 was about 55,000 people per day.

Kambogo Ildephonse, the Mayor of Rubavu District, told the media in ABASIRWA that the border crossing and returnees before COVID-19 was about 55,000 people per day.

He said, "This region has earned 99 thousand dollars after Mexico and the USA".

Kambogo also told the media that currently there are no more than 10 thousand people crossing due to the effects of COVID-19, in addition to the problem of earthquakes that shook the region, he said that while he will be meeting with a trader who has stopped his activities due to all these problems that it would be tolerated.

Rwanda's economy is based on the private sector where health depends on consumers and customers.
Kambogo Ildephonse, the Mayor of Rubavu District.

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