Traders at the famous Gikomba market are counting losses after a fire broke out early Thursday, November 24.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Gitothi Muriuki, one of the businessmen, explained how he arrived at the market only to be met with flames and smoke.
“I arrived at Gikomba at 4.40 am as usual since I have a business here. I usually sell bales to my customers, but today was unusual as I found fire having engulfed part of the market,” he stated.
The cause of the fire was yet to be established with early reports pointing at faulty electricity connection or a jiko.
The morning incident affected the Jua kali area next to Muthurwa primary school, which deals with second-hand clothes and hawkers' merchandise goods.
By the time of publishing this story, the situation had been contained as firefighters responded around 5.00 am though a bit late.
“Thirty minutes after arriving, police officers and firefighters arrived and contained the situation although a lot of property could not be saved,” he noted.
Referring to the previous incidents, Gitothi stated that together with other traders had opted to look for safe places to store their merchandise.
“The fire incidents have taught us a lesson. I no longer use the stores in here because they are no longer safe. Some of us have been using the store situated near the city stadium to be safe in case these surprising fire accidents occur,” he expounded.
He however stated that even before shifting to the safe stores, his business has never been affected by fire incidents.
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja previously, claimed that the cartels fighting for the land at Gikomba were behind the perennial fires at the market.
Speaking on Monday, October 17, he announced plans to construct a fire station within the market to facilitate faster response to fire breakouts to reduce the damage to property.
"Gikomba is public land and we will build a wall around it. It belongs to the people of Nairobi. We will defend it to the end from grabbers," he stated then.
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