AFRAID FOR SECURITY

Kwale traders threaten protests over street lighting

Calypso market traders give county 14 days to fix broken lights.

In Summary

• Trader says they are unable to operate until the curfew time due to darkness, thus record low profits. 

• Says it has been over three years since they started requesting for a security light in the area. 

Sharlet Mariam addresses the media in Ukunda on Tuesday.
TWO-WEEK ULTIMATUM: Sharlet Mariam addresses the media in Ukunda on Tuesday.
Image: SHABAN OMAR

More than 200 businesspeople at Calypso market in Kwale have given the county government 14 days to prepare and instal streetlights.

They said the majority of the streetlights along the Mombasa-Lunga Lunga highway in Ukunda have malfunctioned. 

Led by Sharlet Mariam, the traders said they are planning for massive protests if the lights are not fixed in due time.

 

“We are giving the county not more than two weeks to address this issue and let us know what they have put in place for Calypso market to have Mulika Mwizi security light,” she said. 

She spoke on Tuesday while giving sanitiser and face masks to the vendors in Ukunda.

The residents also threatened to mobilise more people to join them in the demos saying it is their right to have safe towns. 

Sharlet said the vegetable vendors and others are forced to close very early in the evening because they fear for their security.

“The President said Kenya should have a 24-hour booming economy but by 6pm, we have already packed because there is no light,” she added.

She said it is unfortunate for young business persons who have decided to venture into income-generating activities but lack a conducive place to exploit their abilities.

Calypso market chairman Samuel Sagero said hundreds of market traders are affected.

 

He said they are unable to operate until the curfew time due to darkness, thus record low profits. 

Sagero said it has been over three years since they started requesting a security light.

“We have cried for a very long time but year in year out, no implementation,” he said.

Boda boda operator Abdulkarim Ramadhan also said their work enormously depends on streetlights. 

Early this year, the county in partnership with the World Bank allocated Sh425 million for maintenance and development of Diani and Kwale municipality. 

Municipal board members were also sworn in to ensure steady growth of the two municipalities among other areas.

Edited by R.Wamochie