Garoua Boulai's huge influx of people, including many Central African refugees, has meant that the market has also been growing. Now, the city (with support from an international donor) is rebuilding the main market area.
I reported before that most butchers have tile counters instead of wooden ones. There has also been building of stalls behind the market where there are sellers of clothes, household items, and some food. Many women still set up on the ground in that area.
Now, the central part of the market was leveled and cinder block stalls/shops are being built. One merchant (pictured under this huge umbrella for protection from the sun) told me that things are difficult now, but they are looking forward to the new buildings. Those, he said, can’t burn down as the wooden tables could have. I also hope that sanitation will improve with the new changes.
Ever wonder what happens to all those clothes that people in the USA donate to charity? Yes, they are sold in resale shops run by the charity, but many of them are also sent abroad – to places like GB. So, the people can get cheap clothes, but it also takes work from local tailors. Help and unintended consequences – as with most things.
I look forward to seeing the “new” market when it is done. I’ll post pictures.
Tomorrow, April 21 is the arrival day for delegates, pastors, program directors, and partners for the Church-wide Assembly of EEL-RCA. They meet every two years, but could not last year because the level of insecurity was too great to assure safe travel. So, this year they will hear reports for three years of work, discuss and vote on revisions to the constitution, and elect a new national president. (President Goliké is finishing his second term and is not eligible to run again.)
Willie Langdji and I will be going to represent the ELCA. After the assembly we will also be part of the team to evaluate the LDR Humanitarian Aid project’s work at about the half-way mark; EEL-RCA is integrally involved in the implementation. Willie and I will be back in Garoua Boulaï on May 2.