If the two heavy rains that fell in N’Djaména in recent days irritated many residents of the Chadian capital who have difficulty moving around thanks to puddles, the same cannot be said of car washers.The latter are blessing the skies for opening up, as they are swarmed by drivers, who are left with no choice but to constantly wash their vehicles dirtied by muddy waters.
Car wash owners are so busy that many of them who had laid themselves off before the rains have returned to work.
For lack of customers, they had temporarily put their activities on hold.
The washers, most of whom came from the interior of the country, work under the orders of an employer who does not let them go all day long, just to make sure that the vehicles are properly washed.
At the beginning of the day, Patrick and his colleagues, employed at a station at the “Globe de Farcha” roundabout, located in N’Djamena’s first arrondissement, are busy around several cars and motorcycles whose owners patiently waited for delivery.
“We wash a car for CFA1,000 and motorcycle for CFA 500. If the customer wants simple water to be used to clear the mud from his car or motorcycle, he pays half the cost” Patrick explained as he wiped the hood of a car.
“Thank God we have enough customers during the rainy season,” said Abakar, a washer working for the owner of a station next to Patrick’s.
“When it rains, we have many customers. The motorcycle taxi drivers also come all the time because they travel through different neighbourhoods,” he pointed out, adding that there are dozens of customers a day.
Paid in proportion to a day’s wages, Patrick, Abakar and all his colleagues gleefully keep their fingers crossed, expecting the rush of customers to continue.
Car wash owners, on the other hand, are very reserved about their daily income.
“Alhamdoulilah, we manage…we also allow a few young people to have a job, even if it is temporary,” said the owner of a vehicle washing station.