By Elezo Libanda
Katima Mulilo, 7 July – The lingering effects of COVID-19 are still being felt by many as the nation struggles to recover from the fragile global economy. COVID-19 has affected every country, but its impact has been most severe in the developing world, with some nations still reliant on foreign aid. In Katima Mulilo, numerous small businesses have closed their doors due to dwindling market volumes that have crippled these establishments.
Mubita Simone, who owned a fast food outlet in the open market, had to make the difficult decision to close down his business as he could no longer afford to pay rent and wages for his two employees. Life has drastically changed, and a return to normalcy seems unlikely. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, business was thriving as our clientele had disposable income. Some even had accounts with us, regularly availing of our services and paying at the end of each month. However, due to the current hardships faced by everyone, customers have disappeared, leaving me unable to meet rental and wage obligations.
Another small business operator, Mabita, mentioned that only alcohol outlets have managed to survive the aftershocks. In Katima, people are consuming alcohol in greater quantities. If you take a walk around the Central Business District (CBD), you will notice that former grocery stores and other shops have been replaced by alcohol outlets. Adapting to this new reality will be challenging, as we now need to find alternative ways to cope with life.
Despite ongoing reports of new COVID-19 cases, with five recent deaths at the Katima Mulilo State Hospital, it is crucial for the nation to take precautions, such as getting vaccinated and continuing to wear masks. -Namibian Daily News