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Traders set for Ramadhan

As the Holy Month of Ramadhan fast approaches, traders at the historical Mackinnon Market famously known as Marikiti are gearing up for the Islamic fete, with hopes of increased business, amid a sluggish trading environment.

Ramadhan is the Ninth Month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide, as a period of fasting, prayer, reflection, generosity, and devotion.

Ramadhan typically lasts for 29 or 30 days, it is expected to begin in early March depending on the sighting of the moon.

It is one of the five pillars of Islam and is marked by abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until sunset.

The Marikiti Market Traders Association Secretary, Mahmoud Abdallah, said despite a slower start this year, traders at the Market remain optimistic about the upcoming Ramadhan season.

“In comparison to the past months before the Holy Month, we had customers at a time like this inquiring about specific goods and prices. This year, they have not started inquiring or purchasing the commodities,” said Abdallah.

He added that they import a lot of merchandise from India, Iran, and Tanzania, which are usually in high demand during the Ramadhan period.

Preparations are underway as most traders have already placed orders for Ramadhan goods, expecting them to arrive within the next 15 days.

Ramadhan is a profitable period for traders, the Secretary said small businesses that normally make a profit of Sh1,000 in a day in the month make more than Sh3,000.

Trading hours are extended in Ramadhan, with shops open from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays, compared to the usual closing time of 5 pm. Additionally, the Market, a national monument, remains open on weekends, unlike normal months, when it closes on Sundays at 2 pm.

To ensure the safety of traders and customers, the leadership of the Market is working closely with the County Security Team, to deploy Police Officers to patrol and its vicinities.

The County Government have installed Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, for surveillance.

The traders welcomed Old-Town MCA Abdirahman Hussein’s move to provide drinking water and his intervention in ensuring accrued stall rates are waived by the devolved government.

“We had arrears of almost Sh6 million owed, but now it’s down to Sh 1.5 million,” the Secretary remarked, highlighting the MCA’s efforts in reducing debt burdens.

The Chairman of the Market Association, Muhammad Ali, encouraged members of the Muslim community, to demonstrate self-control, modesty, and wholehearted devotion to Allah, throughout the sacred Month.

By Mauta Jackie and Abdulrahman Allui

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