Traders want Ngong market fumigated

They say they feel neglected by the county government.

In Summary

• Some people ignore the directive from the Ministry of Health, hence posing a serious risk of spreading the virus.

• The allocation market houses at least 2,000 traders daily.

Ngong' allocation market, Kajiado county.
Ngong' allocation market, Kajiado county.

Traders at Ngong allocation market in Kajiado county want the county government to immediately fumigate their stalls to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

They told the Star yesterday that they feel neglected by the county government. They said they have not been provided with water, hand sanitiser and soap.

"We’ve not been getting services from the county. We feel totally ignored,” one trader said.

"We contribute to water and hard soap daily. We are giving up on the contribution because we do not want to spend our money on them anymore now that business is slowly going down.”

Those entering the market are required to wash their hands but there is little water provided and only two bars of soap. The traders say some people ignore the directive to wash their hands. 

“They become abusive if you ask them to wash their hands. But you cannot force them. We ask the public health officials to continuously come and sensitise our people on this deadly virus,” a trader said.  

Despite the Covid-19 crisis, the market operated normally, with social distancing observed. About 2,000 traders use it daily.  They sell It was funded by the World Bank under Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement (NAMSIP) for Sh800 million.

Traders wash their hands at the entrance of the Ngong allocation market.
Traders wash their hands at the entrance of the Ngong allocation market.

Elizabeth Muthoni, a grocer, said she cannot stay at home because she is the sole breadwinner of her family. She wants public health officials to act accordingly.

“I obviously take the precautionary measures but what will my children eat if I decide to stay at home? They will definitely sleep hungry which I cannot allow. Business must go on,” she said.

Kajiado Health executive Esther Somoire promised to have the market fumigated.

"I will be expecting my team and the market manager to co-share and fumigate the market today. After that, we shall continue with Kitengela market tomorrow,” she said.

On Saturday, Ministry of Health officials fumigated Nairobi markets —Gikomba, Muthurwa, and Burma — under the campaign dubbed #KomeshaCorona.  President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday said the government will take action against any individual who breaches guidelines given by the ministry.