An inter ministerial sub committee has been formed to ensure the enforcement of a statutory notice issued by the public health ordering the closure of California market in Lodwar.
The sub committee will comprise of senior staff from the ministry of Lands, Health, the police and deputy county commissioner’s office.
The resolution was arrived at during the county covid 19 emergency response Committee meeting on Tuesday at Ekaales centre.
The closure notice was issued more than two weeks ago but is awaiting enforcement.
Health county executive committee member Jane Ajele said her officers had done their part and it was awaiting enforcement agencies to do their part.
On her part county executive committee member for Lands Esther Lokwei said she would plan with her officers on how the demolition would be conducted.
“The market poses serious health issue and the structures are illegal. We have sensitised the residents severally and it is now time to act,” she said and promised to report to the committee by Friday measures taken by her ministry.
The County commissioner Muthama Wambua defended the security agencies over allegations of being unwilling to act saying the police do not have the equipment to demolish the market structures saying theirs was only to provide security as the county officers undertook their task.
“Police do not demolish structures, they help provide security as the relevant county government department staff enforce the law,” said Wambua.
He added that his officers are ready to cooperate with the county government officers and they were waiting to be informed on the date when the land officers wanted to evict the residents living at the California market.
The County police commander Samuel Ndanyi said the police are willing to support the county government officers in enforcing the law.
The market has been cited as a point where the covid 19 pandemic could start from due to the crowding and poor hygienic conditions at the market.
Health county executive committee member Jane Ajele said the government would not take chances and had no option but to close the market.
“We are talking about lives of our people, what we are doing is in their interests. We must go ahead and enforce the closure notice issued by the public health officers,” she said.
Meanwhile, police have been urged to ensure there is no crowding at miraa selling points.
This follows concerns that most people were not observing the social distancing guidelines that are key to preventing the spread of Corona virus.
“Miraa should be sold as take aways and so we don’t expect crowding of buyers. The police should protect miraa traders from idle youth who crowd at their premises doing nothing,” said County secretary Peter Eripete.
By Peter Gitonga