Behind Gikomba fires: 8 big fires in 8 years


Behind Gikomba fires: 8 big fires in 8 years

In Summary

  • Fire tragedies are not new to Gikomba market, they are seemingly an annual occurrence with some city leaders are reading mischief.
  • During the last incident of fire at the market, senior government officers made pronouncements promising to make changes among them the construction of permanent structures but 8 months later, it is clear, those were just mere words.
  • In October 2017, the government claimed that it had laid a 19 billion shilling blue-print to construct a multi-storey market where the more than 20,000 Gikomba traders were to be accommodated as well as ensure an end to the frequent fires. The plan remains on paper, quite literally.

By Enock Sikolia

Just what or who was behind the fire that left a trail of death and destruction at the Gikomba market?

This question is yet to be answered but some traders are reading malice, as they once again bear the pain and agony of losing their investments, which this time round, tragically went down with the lives of 15 Kenyans.

Fire tragedies are not new to Gikomba market, they are seemingly an annual occurrence with some city leaders are reading mischief.

“We will make sure it is rebuilt. If anyone had it in their mind that by this they will evict anybody, then they had it wrong,” said Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.

“These traders are here legally and should be allowed to run their businesses,” defended Charles Njagua, MP Starehe.

Bernard Nyabera is among traders who feel that the fire that gutted a sizeable portion of Gikomba market was deliberately planned to edge them out.

” We hear that NEMA wants to plant trees, but we are wondering, are the trees more important than human beings,”

During the last incident of fire at the market, senior government officers made pronouncements promising to make changes among them the construction of permanent structures but 8 months later, it is clear, those were just mere words.

In October 2017, the government claimed that it had laid a Ksh.19 billion blue-print to construct a multi-storey market where the more than 20,000 Gikomba traders were to be accommodated as well as ensure an end to the frequent fires. The plan remains on paper, quite literally.

Traders now continue to count losses, with goods worth millions of shillings going up in flame yet again.

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