Kenya: Bill Proposes Pop-Up Markets for Hawkers to Sanitise Nairobi

12 December 2019

Hawkers in Nairobi County will soon be able to sell their wares in pop-up markets at designated areas at least twice a week, if a draft bill before the assembly is passed.

The proposal is contained in the Nairobi City County Pop-Up Markets and Street Vendors Bill, 2019, by nominated MCA Mbugua Kabiru.

The bill wants the Executive to introduce pop-up markets for use by hawkers in areas to be gazetted.

"The bill will allow for trade zones to be identified and specific operation times communicated to traders to avoid confrontations with authorities. This means different markets dealing with home appliances, electronics, farm produce and art will be operational on different streets on different days," said Mr Kabiru.


According to the bill, regulation of the pop-up markets will be vested upon a Pop-Up Markets Department domiciled in City Hall's Executive wing.

Its mandate will be to regulate when and where the markets can operate.

The bill, which is in the first reading stage, explains that with the markets, the county will be able to designate areas for specific type of goods ranging from agricultural produce to clothes and even electronics.

It also wants the county to license the traders for easier identification as well as introduce penalties for those who operate outside the designated trading zones.

The bill also proposes setting up of specially crafted structures such as tents for the traders to operate from, the Aga Khan Walk parking grounds being a prime target.

The structures will protect traders and their wares from harsh climatic conditions.

The bill also aims to protect the famous Maasai Market at the Supreme Court grounds as well as cushion itinerant traders who are victims of extortion and harassment by county authorities and Administration Police.


Early this year, a similar bill was tabled in the Senate, calling for designation of vending zones in all the 47 counties in the country, with the aim of protecting hawkers' livelihoods.

The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood) Bill, 2019 proposed that each county come up with a street vending zone plan and submit it to the county assembly for approval.

The plan will contain data of all existing street vendors and their potential areas of operation.

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