Vendors along river Kathita and Gitimbine area in Meru have been urged to relocate from road reserves for their own safety.
Meru Town Municipality Manager, Festus Mbaabu, pointed out that vendors selling their wares on the road reserves are causing safety hazards to motorists, pedestrians and themselves.
He said there has been increased cases of people being knocked down due to overcrowding caused by vendors and boda bodas.
“We would like you to relocate to Gakoromone and sell your wares from there, your customers will come to buy them from there” he said, adding that he is keen to ensure that citizens’ lives are protected.
The Town Manager noted that most vendors come during evening hours to target customers mainly from offices and businesses.
He said his staff will ensure that no hawkers will be allowed to display their wares along the route, citing the area being a black spot.
“On Monday this week a lorry driver narrowly escaped death after his vehicle had hitches with breaks, hitting five vehicles and a boda boda,” he said, adding that the incident comes barely three months after another lorry lost breaks killing four vendors and leaving several others with injuries.
He said the pavements along the roads are supposed to be used by pedestrians not for displaying wares.
“As you can see the County Government has embarked on planting different variety of trees on the road reserves as a way of conserving the environment,” he said, as he urged the vendors to sell their wares from designated places.
Susan Karambu, a vendor, said she buys her vegetables at Gakoromone Market and sells them along Kathita-Gitimbine route. She says she has been in the vegetable business for the last five years and the returns are handsome.
“Many vendors selling along Kathita River-Gitimbine route, normally source their goods at the main market which is downtown, we clean them and sell them at higher prices compared to Gakoromone Market,” she said, adding that the vendors mainly target persons coming from the work in the evening.
Karambu noted that though she is aware of the danger lurking while they sell on the road reserves, she has no choice, citing a lot of business competition at Gakoromone Market.
She acknowledged that several vendors have lost their lives along the route as they carry out their businesses.
“There is heavy traffic along this route occasioned by motorists, pedestrians and boda boda riders hence it makes it viable for vendors to target customers,” she said.
By Muguongo Judy