AUDIO ASSISTED READING
Traders at Gikomba are counting heavy losses after yet another dawn fire razed a section of the market.
In what seems to be the usual script, officials say the cause of the fire is yet to be established.
Traders first tried to salvage their property amid the raging fire, until fire engines from Nairobi County arrived at the scene. Unfortunately, by the time the fire was put under control, it had already meted considerable damage.
The never-ending Gikomba market fires have become a normal occurrence with Kenyans reading mischief. Some say that the fires are not accidents but acts of arson.
What is the solution to Gikomba fires?
On June 25, 2020, a fire started at around 3 am razing down structures at the cereals and “mitumba” section.
On that day, government officials led by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho visited the market to assess the damage caused.
The team of officials agreed with Kenyans that indeed the infamous Gikomba fires are acts of arson, revealing that the government is set to erect a perimeter wall at the market as a measure of curbing these fires.
Kibicho, who was flanked by NMS boss Mohamed Badi and Kamukunji MP Yusuf Abdi, said the government had liaised with the National Police Service, National Intelligence Service, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services and telecom giants Safaricom to install high mast CCTV security cameras in Gikomba market, to completely curb the vice that has seen traders losing millions of shillings in losses.
The still ongoing project seeks to modernise Gikomba and was tipped to be completed by 30th October 2020.
PS Kibicho also indicated that the market will also benefit from a borehole and solid waste management and drainage system.
In June, the government pledged to compensate the affected traders, and that was a welcome move. But the government must ensure that it impartially probes the genesis of these fires quickly and stamp its authority.