RELIEF FOR TRADERS

Construction of new Gikomba market underway

In Summary

• The contractors are on the ground and so far the foundation and the floor level have already been laid. 

• Housing and Urban Planning PS Charles Hinga said that hopefully, the market would be complete by the end of the year.

construction of the new Gikomba market
construction of the new Gikomba market
Image: COURTESY

Construction of the new Gikomba market is underway.

The permanent market aims to be a lasting solution to the series of fires at the area.

The contractors are on the ground and so far the foundation and the floor level have already been laid. 

Housing and Urban Planning PS Charles Hinga said that hopefully, the market would be complete by the end of the year.

"After many years of promises, Phase One of the market will be a reality late this year,' Hinga said on Tuesday.

Last year in July it was revealed that the Nairobi County Government and the National Government will be building a new five-storey Gikomba market to end all the fire incidences.

At a cost of Sh 3 billion, the market will have at least 525 stalls across all five floors.

Deputy President William Ruto said the construction will give traders better places for business and help prevent perennial fires.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko had said the designs were complete and the tender would be announced as the county was seeking approvals from the National Environment Management Authority.

The constructions started last year in October.

Gikomba Market has been host to a series of fires almost experienced yearly.

Almost after every fire case, investigations are launched and committees formed to probe the fire but no report has been publicly released on the matter. 

So far this year the traders have experienced the fire twice.

The recent one being the one on April 10, 2019, where more than 2,000 structures were razed down as a section of Gikomba Market was gutted by fire.

Last year, the market experienced three fire cases which led to President Uhuru Kenyatta calling for investigations in the fires.

On November 7, 2018, a number of shops and a block near the U&I Microfinance banking Hall were destroyed as fire engulfed the market.

Construction of the new Gikomba market
Construction of the new Gikomba market
Image: COURTESY

In October, another fire had been experienced in the market.

In June last year,15 people died and at least 60 injured when a section of the market dealing with timber and clothes was burnt.

In 2017, Gikomba market caught fire twice on October 6 and September 10.

In 2015, fire also broke out twice in the market in the months of May and June.

Fire was also experienced twice in 2014 in the months of May and October and once in the month of March in 2012.

It had been said that loan defaulters at times set shops on fire and tell banks they lost the property.

As a result, the businessmen burn them to claim insurance.

It had also been mentioned that the traders themselves burn the stalls to evict tenants and charge them higher rent