Kenya: Gikomba Market in Nairobi on Fire, Again

What remained of Gikomba market around Majengo area after the April 10, 2019 inferno.

A section of Gikomba market in Nairobi is, once again, on fire.

Witnesses told the Nation that the Wednesday morning flames broke out at around 4am at Line 42, near the bridge.

The inferno razed stalls with shoes and apparel, with tens of traders waking up to the sting of huge losses.

By 6am, several emergency teams including firefighters from the Nairobi City County, were battling to put out the flames.

The fire comes barely two months after traders lost property of unknown value after night flames gutted several stall on February 7.

Gikomba market, the biggest open-air market in the country, has suffered numerous fires recently that even caught the attention of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

On October 6, 2017, Mr Kenyatta ordered police to investigate the cause of a fire that destroyed property worth millions at the market on that day.

"The incident has displaced many traders from all over the country and investigations should be launched to find the culprits and action be taken against them," he said then.

None of his directives to forestall future fires has ever been implemented.

The biggest recent fire was in June 2018 that claimed 15 live and razed property worth millions at the Kwa Mbao section.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko promised to form a multi-agency team to investigate the cause of the fire.

Nothing has ever been heard of it.

Five months later in November when a larger section of the market was destroyed in another fire incident, authorities blamed it on arsonists.

More follows.

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