The government has pledged to find a permanent solution to the perennial fires in Nairobi’s Gikomba Market after another inferno left traders counting losses Thursday.
The morning fire razed down the market’s cereals and second-hand cloth sections, with President Kenyatta directing the Interior Ministry and Nairobi Metropolitan Services to probe the incident.
Responding to Uhuru’s order, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, NMS Director General Major Mohammed Badi, Housing PS Charles Hinga, and Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan Abdi visited the scene and hosted leaders from Gikomba Market after assessing the damage caused by the fire incident.
“We shall work with the Police Service, intelligence agencies, residents, leaders and business people of Gikomba to arrest and prosecute the culprits behind the frequent arson attacks in the market,” said PS Kibicho.
“We in government do not believe these fires are natural. We believe that there are some people who think that by displacing the business people here they will have an opportunity to develop this land on selfish grounds,” he added.
“We hear that some people had made social media posts predicting that this fire would occur. We have opened a desk at Nyayo House, 5th floor. All this information including the intelligence we have received from business people here will not be in vain. I know such promises have been made before but we want you to test us this time around,” said the PS.
The Interior Ministry further outlined some of the measures it will take to solve the frequent arson attacks and congestion in Gikomba Market.
“The Government will in approximately three months time install high mast CCTV security cameras, a perimeter wall, a borehole, a 100,000-litre water tank, and solid waste management and drainage system,” the Ministry tweeted.
PS Kibicho also said the government would compensate traders who lost goods in the fire.
“The 399 households affected by the Gikomba Market fire will receive Govt support. We have also asked the @NPSOfficial_KE, the NMS & @SafaricomPLC to work together to install CCTV security cameras,” tweeted Kibicho.