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#COVID-19: The Story Of A Shop Operator In The Countryside

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Fils Rukundo, a young man in Akabeza business center; Gahini sector, Kayonza district, runs a grocery store.

He closed his shop during the lockdown period as the country battled the #COVID-19 pandemic, even though there were no cases reported in the area.

“We closed everything, and we kept hearing of reported cases in Kigali,” he says. “It was frightening indeed.”

After the partial lifting of the lockdown, Rukundo opened and began operating his shop.

Like many other places in the country, residents in the area are learning how to cope up with a new lifestyle.

Clients walk in his shop wearing masks and keeping a distance from each other and no more hanging and shaking hands. It is a totally new way of life.

“We do practice measures of prevention from the Coronavirus, but life here looks almost the same as before”, Rukundo told Taarifa. 

“Our only worry is that cases in other districts like Rusizi and Kirehe are said to be increasing now, and we fear that it will get worse”, he says.

Rukundo get all stock from Kayonza business center, and Kigali sometimes.

His business has not been affected that much because customers still come to buy merchandise as usual, but he is worried if the situation escalate, he might be affected by limited supplies in the area.

“I can not say that there has been a big decrease in the number of clients, no! I still receive a good number of clients who come to buy from my shop, since most of my clientele is the same people around here,” he says. “We have started experiencing some shortages.”He ha recently learnt that household incomes have declined. Some usual clients don’t buy that much anymore. They only buy a few essentials.

And to remain competitive and in business, Rukundi has lowered his price, or offer to deliver to clients, particularly those who live in the neighborhood.

Rukundo, like many people in his area, hope that they shall get past the situation.

“I have hope that businesses around the country and here will rise from the losses,” he says.

 

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