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Fear, uncertainty in salons

AS THE number of COVID-19 cases keeps climbing, and as social-distancing measures remain in place, businesses have now started paying the price.
Small businesses such as salons and barbershops, which solely depend on the daily inflow of customers, are now registering huge reductions in their earnings.
The result is loss of jobs and workers being sent on forced leave as employers can barely pay salaries.
Reporters MWAPE MWENYA and VIOLET MENGO visited their usual salons to see how their hairdressers are coping in the wake of COVID-19.
MWAPE MWENYA reports: I visited one of my usual hairdressers, Bwalya Lengwe, in Lusaka’s Chilenje Township, an area that is now considered a COVID-19 hotspot after recording four cases.
Ms Lengwe told me her income has now reduced by about 50 percent due to the pandemic.
“Before this pandemic, I used to make close to K1,000 in a week, By month-end, I would make more than K3,000. The money used to help me pay my monthly rentals for the shop, my child’s school fees and house rentals. Today you won’t believe if I tell you that a week would pass without making even a K500,” complained Ms Lengwe.
But she also fears for the worst if the outbreak is not contained soon.
Her biggest fear is that she might be forced to close down her business and fail to pay her child’s school fees. For nine years, the salon has been her only source of income.
It is located in a busy shopping area usually abuzz with shoppers, but now few women enter her shop to do their hair.
Ms Lengwe, a single mother of one, believes that the decline in business is the result of people abiding by Government’s call for everyone to stay home to CLICK TO READ MORE