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November 16, 2018

Kwale hawkers protest demolition of kiosks

Hawkers alongside Diani beach roadprotests ongoing demolition of their shops and stalls by the county government on September 12, 2018.
Hawkers alongside Diani beach roadprotests ongoing demolition of their shops and stalls by the county government on September 12, 2018.

Hawkers along Diani Beach Road in Kwale have protested the county government’s demolition of their structures to open up the route leading to the beaches.

Kona ya Beach stage is among the markets in Ukunda town serving at least 250 traders. The traders say their businesses have been hurt by the ongoing demolition of stalls and shops.

The county government has demolished some structures after the deadline for the demolition expired on August 26.

“We gave the traders a two-week notice but they asked for a month so they can vacate and we allowed them. Our people are resistant to change and that’s why they didn’t leave,” Msambweni subcounty administrator Hamisi Mwandaro said.

He said places like Calypso, Lenna and Misufini have ample spaces and traders can carry out their businesses there.

“This place should be clean and presentable as its the gate to our best beach destination. It has been a peaceful and those who asked for two more days to relocate have been granted,” Mwandaro said.

But yesterday the traders said they are unhappy with the eviction. They said the county government has not given them an alternative site to relocate.

Traders representative Joseph Mwasia urged the governor to intervene.

“We are not opposed to moving and that’s why we set temporary structures here, but it could be better if they notified us early enough,” he said. Mwasia claimed the notice was brought two days after it had expired.

Trader Rose Kivinda said she uses the proceeds from her maize business to educate her daughter.

“What will I do now? The county government is not concerned about the welfare of the traders,” she said.

Joseph Ng’oge said some traders are servicing loans and they depend on the money they get from their trade to repay them.

“We are wondering how we will repay the loans if our stalls are demolished without being given an alternative place. This is our only source of income,” he said.

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