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Traders suffer huge losses as fire razes their wares at Toi Market

NAIROBI
By Anyango Otieno | March 13th 2019
Toi market in Kibera, Kibera goes up in flames. [Noor Khamis/Standard]

Charred timber and iron sheets were the only things visible after fire destroyed Toi Market in Kibra yesterday morning.

Traders at the market, known for affordable second hand items, watched helplessly as the fire razed their wares.

Witnesses said the fire broke out at around 3am and within an hour, a greater part of the market was consumed.

At 6.30am the flames could still be seen spreading to nearby shanties. Clouds of smoke could be seen from a distance.

Judy Maina, who has managed a family business at the market for years, said her father called at around 4am to tell her about the fire. By the time she got to the scene there was nothing to salvage. Her sentiments were echoed by many traders.

Witnesses claimed response by the fire fighters was slow, and when they arrived, more than an hour later, they had inadequate water. “They came late and after three minutes, the water was finished. They had to go back,” a witness said.

ODM leader Raila Odinga and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko went to the scene. Raila said the fire could have been started by land grabbers.

He proposed that the market be put under the county government watch, adding that there were plans to upgrade it.

Sonko pledged Sh5 million for reconstruction of the market.

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