Kenya: City Hall to Avail 53 Hawker Lanes in CBD, Traders to Operate From 5pm - 10pm

3 February 2023

Nairobi — City Hall is now at advanced stages towards availing 53 hawker lanes in Nairobi's Central Business District, as part of measures to regulate the trade in the city.

Business and Hustler Opportunities County Executive Rosemary Kariuki on Friday told Capital FM News that they are in final stages of contracting so that the lanes can be put up in the shortest time possible.

According to Kariuki, the total number of hawkers registered with her department stands at 6,000.

"We are at the last stages of awarding a contract to fix the lanes. In roughly 30 they should be ready," CEC Kariuki noted.

Kariuki however noted that the hardest part is having the hawkers comply, given their history of being resistant despite being harassed by the city council askaris.

The plans to introduce hawker lanes were announced by Governor Johnson Sakaja December last year, with his plan being to have each hawker assigned a number and their exact point of trading.

This numbering and site allocation is also part of the County's plan to have hawkers clean up their areas of operations so as to keep the city clean.

The Governor noted that his plan is to create an enabling business environment , and at the same time ensure that the city is clean and orderly.

The Governor also convened a meeting with hawkers where they deliberated on issues surrounding their trade, including harrasment and confiscating their goods by enforcement officers.

City residents have for long been complaining over the increased hawkers menace in the CBD, as most pathways are blocked as early as 12 am, making movements impossible.

Last year in July Governor Sakaja was forced to ban hawkers from conducting footbridges, and promised to create spaces to enable their trade without blocking public utilities.

The other concern has been littering of city streets by the hawkers, who leave huge heaps of litter at the end of their business and also enabling illegal dumping.

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