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Risks traders take to sell to buyers in moving cars

By Mercy Kahenda and Nikko Tanui | January 23rd 2017
Risks traders take to sell to Motorists along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway. (Photo: Kevin Tunoi/Standard)

They have witnessed their colleagues knocked down by speeding vehicles. Many others have been killed when vehicles rammed into their kiosks. But this does not seem to deter traders along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway who are willing to take any risk to sell their wares.

A spot check by The Standard reveals a number of illegal kiosks between Nakuru and Londiani that have literally become death traps.

But what is surprising is the traders do not seem to care about speeding vehicles and will do anything to sell their produce. Some have either been knocked down by oncoming cars or crushed between others.

In Kolel, a few kilometres from Nakuru town, traders have erected several illegal kiosks from where they sell various items, including fruits and beverages.

Stephen Mutonyo says he is aware of the dangers involved but he does it because it is the only way he can earn an income.

"I have witnessed some of the accidents on this road and it has been traumatic. Images of the victims still run through my mind but what do we do? It is the only way to get customers," says Mr Mutonyo.

In Sachang'wan, locals sell sugarcane, furniture and food along the highway. They dash between moving vehicles as if they don't care about life.

"Accidents are not new here. People have been killed and others maimed but I have to sell to feed my children," says Lydia Cheptanui who sells sugarcane.

"Everything in life is about taking risks. People die at home or in hospital. It is God who gives life," adds Alice Muthoni who owns a kiosk situated on a sharp corner in Sachang'wan.

She says not all the accidents are caused by the hawkers. "Some of the accidents are caused by drivers who do not respect traffic rules."

Meanwhile, at Chepseon trading centre in Kipkelion East constituency, a contractor left huge holes on the edge of the Mau Summit-Kericho road, which posed a risk for pedestrians. The holes were meant to anchor pillars that were supposed to support a footbridge that was to be built in the area.

Locals want the contractor compelled to complete the bridge.

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