The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Petrol and Gas Traders Ordered Off Lamu Island

Petrol and gas dealers in Lamu town have been given up to December to move their businesses to the mainland by the county government. The dealers were given an option of operating from boats in the Indian Ocean.

Addressing residents at Mkunguni Square on Wednesday, Lamu Governor Issa Timamy said the petrol and gas businesses pose a great threat to the security and well being of the residents on the island.

He said such businesspeople have selfish interests. The island has in recent days witnessed fire tragedies especially in shops that sell petrol and gas. On the night of May 24, a store that sells petrol and gas at the seafront went up in flames after being set on fire by unknown arsonists.

The fire destroyed property worth more than Sh8 million. Fire incidences on the island have proved difficult to manage due to lack of fire engines on the Island. Timamy said he will tackle the issue to stop fire disasters.

"The fire incidences are disheartening. All petrol and gas dealers in this town should ensure that they either move their businesses to the mainland or operate on boats in the ocean by December," said Timamy.

He warned that those who shall be found carrying out their businesses near residential premises will be prosecuted and their licences cancelled. "As per now, we are not issuing licences to fuel dealers. We will also not renew current licenses next year," Timamy said.

Meanwhile, the county government is in the process of buying fire engines to put out fire when disasters arise. Timamy said the engines will arrive on the Island in three months.

"In the coming three months we shall have fire fighting equipment in this town to ensure cases of fire are quickly and swiftly dealt with before they damage property as has been the case," Timamy said.

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