• The governor said the county has already registered between 4,000 to 5,000 hawkers.
• “Nairobi has enough space for all of us but with order. And that is the order we are bringing,” Sakaja said.
The Nairobi government has resolved not to kick out hawkers from the Central Business District.
Instead, Governor Johnson Sakaja said his administration will convert 32 backstreet lanes, which will be used by hawkers.
“I have held various meetings with a section of hawkers and their leaders. We agreed that my administration will create 32 lanes for them to conduct their businesses,” he said on Thursday.
Among the targeted lanes is Dubious in down town.
City hall is expected to tarmac the lanes.
For security and sanitation purposes, streetlights will also be erected and water points set up to enable the hawkers conduct their businesses freely.
The governor said the county has already registered between 4,000 to 5,000 hawkers.
“If you are hawker number 56, you know that from 5pm to 10 pm, you will operate at this point on that specific lane. Once it is 10pm, they will be required to clean their trading spots and go home,” Sakaja said.
He said part of the reason why the CBD is congested is because hawkers have flocked in designated pedestrian footpaths, road sides and lanes where they know they aren’t suppose to be.
“Nairobi has enough space for all of us but with order. And that is the order we are bringing,” Sakaja said.
The county chief had earlier announced that hawkers will be allowed to operate for five hours, from 5pm to 10pm in the CBD.
He however said had his reservations about the rough way the county had dealt with hawkers.
“The way we deal with hawkers is not by engaging in running battles every other day. Hawkers are part of the private business community and contribute to the economy,” he said.
Sakaja said he is in the process of pedestrianising the congested streets in CBD, which include Tom Mboya and Moi Avenue.
To this effect, all tuktuks, which had been operating along Tom Mboya street at Archives have been relocated.
Early this month, City Hall had invited the public to give their views on hawking within the CBD.
During campaigns, Sakaja pledged that he would prioritise addressing the harsh treatment of hawkers in the city.
The hawker menace in the CBD has been a problem that the previous administrations failed to decisively deal with.
Their handling of hawkers has been fodder for critics, in highlighting administrative failures of past county governments.
With Sakaja at the helm, the hawker menace is still a big headache, particularly in the evening when the traders occupy all the walkways.
They leave pedestrians to battle it out with vehicles on the main streets. This causes confusion and traffic congestion.