Chipata residents have continued to buy second hand underwear from traders despite calls by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) for them to desist from the trend as it posed a danger to their health.
A Chipata resident, Mercy Banda, stated that the people have continued to buy the second hand clothes, popularly known as Salaula, especially underwear, because they were of good quality, durable and of standard.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Chipata today, Ms Banda said people, especially women, would refrain from buying the commodity once it was off the market.
Ms Banda stated that there is need for the ZABS to step up the campaign of sensitizing the masses through local radio stations so that the message spreads across.
She said ZABS should also have a deliberate policy to ensure that new underwear sold in shops are of good quality to encourage people to buy new ones.
Ms Banda said not many people have heard about ZABS in the district, hence the need for bureau to put up measures that would protect a consumer from purchasing goods that would compromise their health status.
And a second hand trader, who deals in the sale of under wear at Kapata market, Richard Phiri, said dealing in the commodity was profitable because women preferred salaula clothes to the new ones bought from shops.
Mr Phiri said he and other traders were aware that ZABS was against them selling the commodity but that it was the only business that brought good profits.
He said discouraging people from buying and selling second hand clothes was retrogressive as people that sell the commodity had families to take care of.
He stated that he had school-going children who have been supported through the sale of underwear, adding that not everyone could be in formal employment.
And another resident Brandina Chirwa said there was need for a deliberate programme to educate the masses on the need to thoroughly wash the clothes with disinfectants before wearing them.
Mrs Banda said banning the sale of second hand clothes, under wear in particular, would not help because they were cheap and affordable for the locals.
Recently, ZABS director, Manuel Mutale, was in the area to officially open offices at Mwami and Chanida Borders and discouraged people from buying second hand clothes especially underwear because of health implications.