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November 20, 2018

Another mystery fire razes parts of Gikomba market, traders expect more empty promises

Part of Gikomba market that was razed on November 7, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A
Part of Gikomba market that was razed on November 7, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A

Traders at the sprawling Gikomba market suffered losses after yet another mystery fire razed their stalls yesterday.

The Kenya Red Cross said it dispatched responders to the scene immediately it was alerted.

“The fire has been contained, thanks to Nairobi city county fire brigade. The team will carry out an assessment,” it said in a tweet.

Traders expressed concern over the state of their businesses as their property of was destroyed.  The cause of the inferno had yet to be established.  

Read: 15 dead, 60 injured in Gikomba market fire

Past Gikomba fires have been met with promises to improve safety at the open-air market. They are not implemented.

In June, 15 people died and 60 others sustained injuries after a huge blaze burnt stalls at the Kwa Mbao unit.

Governor Mike Sonko promised that a multi-agency team would investigate the cause of the fire. 

He said the county government would work closely with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to unearth the cause of the fires.

No information or solutions have been forthcoming. On September 10 last year, there was another blaze. Traders suspected it started from one of the stores before spreading to others.

Barely a month later on October 6, a morning inferno destroyed property and displaced many traders.

On June 23, 2015, a fire started at around 1am. Police said preliminary investigations showed arsonists caused the fire. Earlier in May, the market was razed. 

In 2014, there were two fires that left the market in ruins.

Read: What ails Gikomba market? Speculation reignited by yet another fire

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