I only agree with you in part. I remember
during training that when you MUG people were doing the street
vendor project, Saral Waldorf commented that in all the
underdeveloped parts of the world street vending is an important informal
economic sector. It gives people at least some income and purpose, people
who would otherwise have nothing. In Malawi, didn't many of those street
vendors get their wares from some of the the very businesses that they parked in
I agree with the vendors' complaint...being shunted
off to a location away from where the foot traffic might normally be, isn't
to their advantage.
However, you're right about the problems
caused in Limbe by the radical increase in the number of street
vendors. It was almost impossible to walk on the sidewalks and moving
out into the street wasn't a safe option. Besides, with dozens of
shoe vendors, how many shoes can each vendor sell in a day? Not
enough to make much of a living, surely.
So in my opinion, the best case scenario
would be a controlled number of vendors on any given
sidewalk. Or is that essentially what you were saying...with fewer
vendors those 10 years ago, it worked well enough? But then who will ever
be able to control the numbers, and how will they divvy up the
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 6:22
Subject: [ujeni] Christine's articles on
12 years ago Limbe was our town. That's
where we did the majority of our shopping, banking and customs runs to get our
prizees from home. Have great memories of Limbe, our 2nd home.
Walking the streets of Limbe 2 years ago bordered
on frightening. There were literally "wall to wall" vendors so it was
difficult to make your way through them. There'd be 10 vendors in a row
selling shoes and then another large group selling clothes,
etc.,etc. All of this was happening on both sides of the main street
and the lower street. My antennas
were up because I kept looking out for the thieves who had ripe pickin's with
the 4 azungas (sp)? meandering down the blocks. It was not comfortable which
was the antitheses of walking the streets in 94-96.
We did see Rey Sampaga's finished product--Limbe
Market and if he ever returned he'd be proud of his contributions in its'
construction. What our grandson's remember about the market was its'
chimbudzi. It was ripe. They talked about it so much I had to check it
out. Ah, the good old smells, reminiscent of Wanella and other memorable
Anyway I do hope the well meaning officials can
wrest away the streets from the multitude of vendors who have created
chaos out of what used to be order. I can remember all of us talking about
buying something absolutely useless but it was such a good deal we couldn't
pass it up. Dealing with the street vendors then was non-threatening
and usually fun. Don