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Government officials emphasize compliance on health directives

A section of residents purchasing commodities at the main market. Only a few traders displayed their wares at the market on Monday March 23, 2020. Photo by KNA.

The  Busia County Commissioner (CC), Joseph Kanyiri has urged hotel owners and super market managers to comply with the government directive that they provide flowing water and soap or sanitizers to clients accessing their promises.

Kanyiri  noted that a number of premises had resorted to mixing detergents like Dettol in water without soap or sanitizers.

“We will soon conduct a crackdown on those flouting the directive,” he said, adding that traders should not resort to cutting costs at the expense of innocent citizens.

At the same time, he reminded parents to ensure that their children stay at home with a view to keeping the virus at bay.

The  CC urged Public Service Vehicle operators to carry few passengers as directed by the government, but warned against taking advantage of the coronavirus to increase fare.

Meanwhile, traders at were not a happy lot after they were ordered to pack their wares and vacate the market.

The traders who had displayed their wares as early as 6.00am were surprised when a section of County Government enforcement officers ordered them to vacate within 30 minutes.

One of them, Syprose Achieng’ said the move affected her business negatively, adding, “I have four children to take care of and a bank loan to repay.”

Joseph Mwangi, another trader said police officers ordered them to vacate the market immediately at around 10.00 am.

Mwangi  who commutes from Mumias said there were no transport challenges in terms of fare in the morning, though the Public Service Vehicles were overloading.

“They told us that if they carry 16 passengers, we will pay sh.150 but if they carry 8, then charges will be higher,” he said.

Shadarack Makokha, a boda boda operator complained about harassment by Ugandan police officers at the border adding that most passengers were declining to use the motor bikes as a means of transport.

However, another resident, Grace Otieno urged the government to prioritize divine intervention as the only way of taming the virus.

The  town has two market days slated for Mondays and Thursdays attracting traders from far flung areas like Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu, Uganda among others.

The Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe on Sunday directed the closure of all social gatherings including funerals, weddings, church services and markets as a way of controlling the coronavirus.

By  Salome  Alwanda

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