Allow Parents in Botswana to Purchase Baby & Children's Essentials for the Winter

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In Botswana, we are currently under extreme social distancing in the form of National Lockdown. A worrisome outcome of this is the shutdown of baby essentials retailers. While adults may be able to utilise their winter essentials from last year during this time, babies and children ranging from 0-5 years are left unprepared for our peak cold and flu season, which is likely to cause a hike in the spread of COVID-19. 

Our Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Peggy Serame, has announced that these stores will remain closed, despite parents and expectant parents expressing great concern for their children. The reasoning given is that retailers that sell baby clothing and other essentials also sell adult clothing and other items, therefore re-opening these stores may cause chaos.

Through this petition we appeal to Mma Serame, her Ministry, and the Government of Botswana at large to reconsider this decision and consider other methods such as online stores and delivery services of baby essentials (like has been done by grocers and food retailers) to allow parents to prepare for the winter. Asking parents to depend on donations and blankets is problematic, considering how many children we have in our country who will be negatively affected, and how many children in our country go WITHOUT essentials each winter due to poverty and other economic inconveniences. We also ask that the Government consider barricading off sections of retail stores stocking non-essential items (e.g. adult clothing), like they do with the alcohol sections of grocers and food retailers on Sundays. 

Please sign this petition if you believe baby essentials supply should be considered an essential service, and that the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry should reconsider the continued closure of baby essential supply stores. 

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