Making Ends Meet
As the economy sags with the decreasing number of tourists in Maun due to the long dry spell, hawkers and street vendors are feeling the pinch.
Taking to the streets of this tourist town, which is a gateway to the Okavango Delta, Voice Money finds out how the ordinary Ngamilander battles on a daily basis to keep bread on the table.
On a ‘very good day’, all five vendors say they can make up to P500.
I am in the business of selling twii, a native food of people living in the north western parts of Botswana.
I started my business in 2013 and I have been able to sustain myself since then.
Despite being able to make ends meet, the business is not as profitable as before.
Since the river dried up I now buy tswii from Shakawe unlike before where I went into the river to harvest it myself.
Tswii together with Mapakiwa are my means of putting food on the table!
I make a living from selling Art crafts. I started the business in 2016, taking over from my parents.
Most of the crafts that I sell are handmade by my wife and I.
I have been able to sustain myself and my family through this business.
The only challenge is that there is no proper wood for carving in Maun so I travel to my home village, Etsha 6, to get the raw material which is costly.
Recently, the business has not been doing that well due to the decline in the number of tourists in the area.
The main target market of my business is tourists since local people are hardly interested.
Rather than staying at home doing nothing, as an old age pensioner I believe self-sufficiency is key.
I originate from Mabudzwane village near Francistown and make a living out of dress-making.
I have been in the business since 1995 and I was able to send my kids to school and sustain myself as well as the business.
I buy cloth and sew dresses to sell.
My only challenge is that some dresses can take a long time in the stall without a buyer.
We are partners. The two of us are in the art crafts business.
We do batik, screen panting, potato printing, metal works and wood curving to mention a few.
We started operating in 2003 and according to us the business is not doing well like previous years.
We believe that the decline in the number of tourists is the cause of our ordeal.
Ever since the river dried up, the number of tourists dropped due to the fact that attractions like boat cruising, mokoro riding, fishing and others have been halted.
We are, however, hopeful that things will get better in the festive season as some people will be coming over for their holidays.