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Gikomba infernos: No fence or fire station that Sakaja promised

Newsbeat & Tech

For the third time this year, traders in Gikomba market were woken up by reports that the market was on fire on December 1.

The early morning inferno left several stalls in ashes.

Witnesses said the fire started around 2 am and in less than an hour it had spread around leaving about 450 traders without stalls.

Each year fires break out at the market occasioning traders' losses running into millions of shillings

“I lost about Sh1 million in the fire, I had just received my stock from the supplier and was yet to clear the balance,” said Angela Mueni.

She added, “It pains me the most because I had borrowed some loans hoping to make some profits during the Christmas season, now all is lost.”

Like many traders whose stalls were reduced to ashes, Mueni now wants the county to implement some measures to guard the market. The traders argue that the frequency of the fires is suspicious and could be an attempt by some individuals to push them out of the market.

“There have been promises by politicians to address the matter but that has been said for many years nothing has yielded, they just promise for the sake. Now we are forced to rebuild again,” Moses Yugo, another trader lamented.

The traders have pegged their hopes on a recent promise by Governor Johnson Sakaja to stop the suspected arsonists.

“One of the causes of the fires at Gikomba has been land speculators and grabbers who intend to push out the traders,” the governor said.

In a speech to the county assembly in October last year, Sakaja noted that the land where the market stands is public.

He promised to ensure that it has a title deed. He also promised to build a fire station.

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