Mango sector is the local economic driver of Shibganj. Thousands of farmers and traders of Shibganj earn their living mainly by selling mangoes. As the second wave of COVID-19 hit Bangladesh in March 2021, these people became increasingly worried about how to sell their produce amid the lockdown. The well-timed initiatives taken by PRABRIDDHI made them more resilient to the shocks.
Raising awareness and distribution of masks
In collaboration with the municipality, PRABRIDDHI distributed thousands cloth masks, displayed banners and festoons at the Chawkdoulotpur mango market and at the entry point of Shibganj. These initiatives promoted WHO and GoB endorsed messages on COVID–19 safety rules.
Mr. Md. Monirul Islam, Mayor of Shibganj Municipality said, ‘PRABRIDDHI has been a valuable partner during the times of pandemic. Together we could support thousands of farmers of Shibganj to become more adaptable to the changing context’
Revamping of mango market
Eight hand washing basins with soap were installed at the mango market. The Market Management Committee ensured the safety and cleanliness of the market. Bleaching powder was sprayed regularly to disinfect the market place. Separate routes for entry and exit were maintained. Infrared thermometer was used at the entry point to check the temperature of the buyers and sellers. Social distancing was maintained while buying and selling mangoes.
‘Shibganj municipality has supported us to fight against the COVID-19 induced economic shock. Without these measures in place, we won’t be able to open the mango market this year’, said Jummon Ali, Secretary, Mango Market Management Committee.
In addition, Md. Kawsar Ali, a mango trader of Shibganj said that ‘with the safety measures in place, we feel safe to buy and sell mangoes in a market place even during this pandemic’.