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Rongai traders remain adamant on road reserve despite Demolitions

Kware Open Air market traders in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County conduct their daily operations on Magadi road reserve. Photo by Nelly Kosgey/KNA

Traders in the largest Ongata Rongai open air market made their come back on Magadi road reserve and defied orders for relocation to ‘Makaburini market’.
According to the Market Chairman, Mungai Gachie, the over 3,500 traders cannot fit in the new Makaburini open air market and roads remain inaccessible.
Gachie speaking to Kenya News Agency Thursday during an interview at the Kware open air market, faulted Kajiado County Government for the failed relocation exercise as the demands of the traders were not met.
He noted that the traders were too many to fit in the new market and no basic amenities have been constructed in preparing a conducive environment.
Market Chairman argued that after demolitions of the temporary open air market by Kenya National Highway Authority (KENHA) two months ago, the traders have since operated on heaps of garbage, which is a health hazard both to customers and the traders.
“Even the market toilet was demolished and the traders are now forced to use private toilets around,” he said.
However, Gachie said the traders have since refused to pay daily tax levies to the county Government which is close to Sh 6,000,000 per month.
He noted that the traders have tried to put up temporary umbrella shades to avoid losing again as they do not know when KENHA will come back for demolitions.
The chairman who is also a trader in the Kware market noted that the traders are ready to move to a conducive environment if they are fully involved during the process to avoid being fed with empty promises.
“The new Makaburini market does not have any single structure and traders want to know how their daily taxes are being utilized by the County Government,” he argued.
Similarly, a fruits vendor, Nancy Mutiso said the market is in a deplorable state, a situation that needs urgent attention.
“As traders we need our grievances to be addressed with the seriousness it deserves since we are tax payers and we do not get standard services from our Government,” lamented the trader.
She noted that during the rains, the traders are forced to operate on top of sewer as the drainage is no longer flowing after the demolitions of the temporary stalls.
Kajiado County Governor, Joseph Lenku had October announced the relocation of Kware Open market to Makaburini, which traders dispute that no public participation was conducted to engage the traders.
By Nelly Kosgey

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