Garissa county government will construct access roads to the infamous ‘Sug Mugdi’ market to allow easy access by emergency vehicles and fire engines.
This follows a daylong meeting between the grocery market committee and Garissa Governor Nathif Jamah held in his boardroom today to address problems affecting the market that is host to more than 6,000 grocery traders.
In June this year, the market was gutted by a fierce fire that destroyed the wares of more than 5,000 small and middle-level traders.
In 2017, a similar fire incident razed the market a day after the gubernatorial results were announced.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has on several occasions hit out at the county government for being unable to provide basic safety measures and equipment that would come in handy during such disasters.
Among the issues that contributed to fire spreading fast was the lack of access roads that would have enabled fire engines the military that was willing to help put out the fire. The county fire engines were all grounded then.
Speaking after the meeting, Nathif said the municipality would open and renovate all blocked access roads.
It would also establish new ones where necessary to allow entry and exit in all the four corners of the market.
“This will provide emergency response vehicles like fire engines and ambulances access to the interior of the market in times of need to save lives as well as save millions of property in case of a fire incident,” Nathif said.
“It will also permit effective garbage collection and proper security patrol in the market,” he added.
The meeting also resolved to immediately start a sensitization campaign to urge the traders who have built their stalls on areas the access roads are supposed to pass to vacate and find alternative spots.
In view of this, the governor will later today pay a visit to the market to personally urge the affected traders to comply with the decision for the betterment of the welfare in the market.
The Governor was quick to add that no one would be harassed or intimated to comply and everyone affected would be given an alternative spot to continue their business.
The market committee chair Billow Bashir called for the general improvement of the market safety by installing CCTV cameras, perimeter walls, floodlights and an equipped fire station.
“We all know what this market means to hundreds of thousands of families. It is heart breaking to witness this market burn to ashes every now and then. We welcome the good gesture from the new administration led by the governor and we hope that a permanent solution will be found,” Bashir said.
The meeting was attended by Assistant County Commissioner I (ACC I) James Marete who represented the County Commissioner, and area OCPD James Ng’etich.
Also in attendance were MCAs Hussein Dakane (Township), Mustaf Ahmed (Iftin), Abubakar Haji (Waberi), Ismail Said (Municipal Manager), Magan Dahir (Municipal Board Member), Mohamed Bu’uul (Head Sanitation Municipality) Abdullahi Salat (Head of Operations Municipality) and Mohamed Issack (Sub-County Admin Township) among others.
By Jacob Songok