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Nairobi maps out areas for resettling hawkers

WORK LIFE
By Josphat Thiong’o | June 1st 2017
Muthurwa Market; one of the areas picked by the county government to accommodate street hawkers. [File, Standard]

Nairobi County has now mapped out areas meant for the resettlement of itinerant traders.

In the recent past, business owners have been at loggerheads with hawkers and street vendors for plying their trade in front of shops, thus blocking customers.

Ruai, Dandora, Karen, Eastleigh, Muthurwa and Wakulima markets have been identified as viable areas where the traders may be relocated to.

County Secretary Robert Ayisi Wednesday said the markets were also being expanded in order to accommodate the traders.

“This is going to be a gradual process that will see the Central Business District cleared of the traders because of the public’s mindset,” said Ayisi.

Expansion

The County Secretary and Head of Public Service said markets such as the city market were already undergoing reconstruction for expansion in order to accommodate the traders.

“We are also taking time to talk to the traders and advise them on the benefits of moving to the designated areas. Most of them had refused to move to Toi Market in Kibera but everyone is now flocking there,” he said.

Additionally, he said, plans to set up a marketplace complete with stalls at Kuwinda in Karen had been approved and signed and was awaiting implementation. Ken Omollo, a street vendor who operates at Muthurwa roundabout, however said he would not move.

“If you are operating in a market, you need to pay licence fees and at the end of the day you make little or no profit. I would rather take my chances with the county askaris,” said Mr Omollo.

At the beginning of the year, the city government had called on any able and willing land owners to lease land to host the more than 13,000 street vendors. County trade executive Annah Othoro confirmed Nairobi loses approximately Sh2 billion to the street vendors who fail to pay licence fees.

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