Food vendors in Kampala have put aside their work to engage in the cleaning of grasshoppers that they claim pays them better.
The vendors claim they are paid shs 1500 in the food vending business daily while they earn three times more just to process grasshoppers that are a delicacy in central Uganda.
To process the grasshoppers involves the removal of the wings and legs. The food vendors mostly from Hoima, Masindi and Kyenjojjo operate around Nakasero park yard where they are found seated in groups of three to clean and pack the grasshoppers in polythene bags.
Joseline Tebasaga a mother of two, from Fort Portal, says she is able to cleanup up to fifteen cups of grasshoppers and earns herself shs 4500 daily. Tebasaga is paid shs 300 for each cup of the grasshoppers she cleans up.
However the business of cleaning grasshoppers leaves the thumb with small sores in addition to effects of the Nairobi fly that causes skin irritation. Tebasaga who has ever suffered from the toxic liquid from the Nairobi fly insists the business of cleaning up grasshoppers is more profitable.
She says even with ithe pain they can still be able to work but this time round paying more attention to avoid the Nairobi. Tebasaga says the grasshopper business pays more and does not wear them out like vending food from one block to another under the scotching suni.
Ampaire Christine a single mother of three and resident of Hoima says she is working hard so as to compensate for the days she had been earning less from food vending.
She says iThe chance of working on the local delicacy comes once so she has to work until she can go on no more.
Ssalongo the owner of the restaurant on Block 1 lock up number 2 says, the movement of the waitresses to the grasshopper business will not affect them much since it is seasonal and there are so many girls willing to vend food.
Maize flour is used to quicken the process of cleaning the grasshoppers. A kilo gram is enough to clean up to two bags of the grasshoppers locally known as ensenene.
Each bag contains a minimum of 20 cups. The sack of fresh Nsenene in Kampala sells for 150,000shs and a cup of read to eat Nsenene costs 5,000 shs.