Livestock markets and flower firms in Kajiado County have been re-opened after measures were put in place to ensure all the traders comply with the precautions of Covid-19.
Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku directed that the major livestock markets in Kimana, Kiserian, Emali, Ilbissil and Shompole be re-opened after the management of the various markets agreed to work with Public Health officials in ensuring the safety of traders and customers.
“We are re-opening the markets on condition that the measures that have been put in place by the Ministry of Health are adhered to,” said the Governor.
He said Kajiado was a big producer of meat and other agricultural produce and re-opening the markets was meant to stabilise the prices of the commodities
“Kajiado County is among the counties dubbed as the food basket from the supply of meat as well as food stuffs to various regions including Nairobi, Kiambu and other counties. All the traders in the markets have agreed to comply with all the health ministry guidelines. Hand washing facilities have been provided at all entry points.” said Lenku.
The Governor reiterated that social distancing remained a big challenge to the trading activities and announced that County Enforcement officers would be deployed at the markets to ensure compliance of the social distancing rule.
He reminded the traders that all levies related to food, including livestock cess, had been suspended until June 30, 2020.
The directive comes exactly two days after the County government and the emergency committee on Covid-19 lifted the ban on the closure of salons and barber shops in the county with a caveat to ensure that they all adhere to the set guidelines of providing running water and soap to wash hands, maintaining distance among customers as well as constant wearing of masks at all public areas.
Kajiado County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha said security would be provided to all traders and warned that only non-compliance of the guidelines could lead to a closure of the markets.
The lift of the ban comes as a major relief to the traders’ after the government last month directed that the markets be closed as a result of population and cleanliness of the areas in bid to curb the spread of corona virus.
Solomon Oipoi a livestock trader at Il Bissil market welcomed the move to re-open the market adding that his business had been greatly affected since the market was shut down.
“The last few days, have been extremely difficult for us because as a pastoralist I don’t have any other income generating activity besides the sale of cows and goats, it was only a matter of days before the little I had in my savings ran I am glad that we are back in business and we shall ensure that we adhere to all the directives issued so that we can also remain safe for our families,” said Oipoi.
Kajiado County has so far reported only one positive case since the virus was first announced in the country on March 13, while 36 others have been placed on mandatory quarantine in isolation units around the County.
By Rop Janet and Albert Lemomo