Government comes up with solutions to Gikomba’s perennial fires

Government comes up with solutions to Gikomba’s perennial fires
  • PublishedJune 26, 2020

The government has promised to install CCTV cameras in Gikomba market to help them man the area and hopefully catch those responsible for the perennial fires.

The National Police Service, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and Safaricom will work together to install the CCTVs.

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Interior Principal Secretary Dr Karanja Kibicho has also said that within the next three months, there will be a perimeter wall and borehole in Gikomba.

The government will compensate the 399 households that were affected by the Thursday fire.

A frustrated man sits beside the remains of his business at the Gikomba market on June 25, 2020. [Source: Yusuf Hassan MP/ Twitter]“The 399 households affected by the Gikomba Market fire will receive government support. We have also asked the National Police Service, the NMS and Safaricom to work together to install CCTV security cameras. In approximately 3 months, Gikomba shall also have a perimeter wall and a borehole,” PS Kibicho said on Thursday.

For the second time this year, a fire broke out on Thursday at 2 am. The fire started at the poultry section then it spread to the cereal section and by morning it had burnt part of the clothes section.

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The fire brigade and the KDF came to the traders’ rescue and helped to put out the fire. However, a lot of damage had already been done.

“The military who came with fire extinguishers came too late. They came two hours late when things had been burnt and they couldn’t help,” a trader at Gikomba, Chrispin Onyango told a local media.

Long-term, the government’s plan is to relocate Gikomba traders to other markets in the county which are currently being developed.

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According to Dr Kibicho, private individuals are determined to grab the Gikomba market for private use. The PS said that the government has begun investigations to pin down those responsible for the recurrent fires at one of the largest open-air markets.

“Unfortunately there are people who believe that when the business people using this space are evacuated they will have an opportunity to use this land for private use. Gikomba is public land and it shall be used for public purposes even after we relocate the traders who are here to the markets we are building,” the Interior PS affirmed.

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