UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Kampala leaders have revealed that arcades will only reopen after the landlord earns a certificate of compliance. The action follows the easing of the lockdown by President Museveni two weeks ago. During the president’s address to the nation, he allowed the reopening of Kikubo arcades and other business centres on condition they fulfil specific measures.
The president’s conditions include; compliance with all SOPs, presence of compliance officers, clearing of corridors and access ways, and installing CCTV cameras where they are absent, for monitoring adherence to SOPs.
“Only those arcades that conform to the above guidelines will be allowed to open. In addition, failure to conform to any of the above will lead to closure,” President Museveni said.
The State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Honorable Kyofatogabye Kabuye emphasised the new conditions last week at the Media Centre in Kampala. The Minister emphasised they will inspect all the buildings to ensure the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) observance.
According to Hudu Hussein, Kampala Resident City Commissioner (KRCC), they will not issue any arcade owner a certificate of compliance if they do not adhere to the conditions set.
“Our arcades by nature have stockpiles. The walkways are blocked. We have passages where some arcade landlords have put temporary structures, with mobile money units that have blocked the pathways which congest the arcades, affecting ventilation and aeration. Therefore, we thought that unless these are adhered to, we will not issue any arcade owner a certificate of compliance,” Hussein said.
Hussein further noted that during the 42 days of partial lockdown, traders and landlords were asked to remove shop extensions and clear the pathways. However, the traders did not heed the call.
Godfrey Katongole, the chairperson of Kampala Arcade Traders Association (KATA) asked the government for the immediate opening of arcades.
“We can only adhere to SOPs when we are working. If we are not doing business, we can’t adhere to them.” Opening shops that are outside and leaving the arcades closed isn’t fair,” Godfrey said.
He said that to limit the spread of infections, they have secured megaphones and have partnered with various companies that manufacture sanitisers and masks to distribute them to the population at lower costs.
Following the president’s directives, the Property Mogul Sudhir Ruparelia is one example of a SOP compliant real muloodi landlord. His shopping malls have reopened strictly by observing the SOPs put in place by the Ministry of Health. Another real muloodi landlord, Mr Hamis Kiggundu, the managing director of Ham Towers and Ham shopping malls, said he had not relaxed the SOPs since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic began.
The management urged tenants and clients to follow SOPs, including wearing a face mask (traders and customers), regular sanitizing, observing social distance, and doing regular hand washing. They also say that 24-hr surveillance has been put in the arcades to ensure compliance with the above mentioned SOPs.
Full List of SOPs Malls and Arcades Must Adhere To:
- Premises and access ways should be clean, hygienic and not blocked.
- The corridors and access ways should be free of any obstruction, stockpiles and temporary structures.
- There should be adequate natural lighting and ventilation.
- Arcade must have dedicated access and exit points.
- All entry and exit points to be manned by dedicated persons at all times.
- Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras installed at each entry and exit level.
- Body temperature screening of attendants and clients using functional thermometers.
- Shoppers, customers and attendants use recommended facemasks.
- Notices on use of face masks, hand hygiene, social distancing and respiratory hygiene should be placed conspicuously.
- All entry points should be strictly manned.
- Each mall/arcade should have a dedicated isolation room.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
- Arcade or mall is connected to piped water supply.
- Provide functional hand hygiene station, including draining the waste water.
- Ensure hand-washing facility has water and soap alongside hand sanitiser.
- Ensure arcade has functional toilets with privacy and gender-separated.
- Provide functional hand-washing points with water and soap near toilets.
- Register all tenants
- Appoint compliance officers.
- Train compliance officers on guidelines.
- Generate a monitoring check-list for compliance officers.
- Provide adequate stock of soap, sanitiser, toilet paper and related consumables to last for at least 2 weeks.
- Each shop owner avail soap for disinfecting counters.
- Ensure arcade has dedicated cleaners through the operation time.
- Janitors provided with adequate personal protection equipment (PPEs).
- Provide adequate trash bins with tight lids for storage of solid and hazardous wastes.
- Enforce proper discharge of liquid waste.
- Implement social distancing marks on the flow, 2 metres apart.
- Mark off physical distancing with strings.
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