The untold story of Gikomba market fires


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Over the years the market has faced many challenges including rumors of possible demolition and competition from Chinese traders but the fires have caught the public eye the most.

Gikomba market, the perfect example of how hardworking Kenyans can be, currently has over a thousand traders. Without a doubt the market supports so many families and offers employment to many in the country since it acts as a “depot” of second hand clothes, cereals, kitchen stuff, you name it.

Records have it that the market has burned over 10 times now and with a pattern. Every year the market suffered from this.

Everyone talks about how this fires have only affected a part of the market, how investigations are being carried out to avoid future happenings of the same, how there were no casualties and more. While all the above is good news no one talks about the families affected, the real value of the property damaged, the actual causes of the fires, just to name but a few.

No one talks about the emotional, psychological stress the affected go through or how long it takes for the traders to bounce back on their feet.

The investigations about the actual cause(s) of the fires seems to hit a dead end. Does it mean that future occurrence of the same should be expected or is unavoidable? Should traders remain in fear unknowing of when the next one will strike. Have enough resources been allocated to these investigations? Is there information being held back?

What would you do if you woke up one morning only to find out that the company you had invested all your money in was in ashes and was not insured? Which gets me thinking maybe there should be an affordable insurance company for such matters, covering fires in markets. I just gave you a business idea, welcome.

I got this from twitter earlier today. This guy is clearly in pain, not physical pain though. How and where do you start from here? It’s so sad. Take a look;

Word out there has it that the fires are caused due to business rivalry (or you can call it unhealthy competition), and disputes or is politically associated. No one knows for sure. Maybe the investigators will dig deep into this and lay bare their findings.

Over the years traders have been complaining how it really takes long for the fire response team to help in reducing the damages done. Maybe the poor roads and congestion are a factor to consider in this hence should be dealt with accordingly.

With the already tough times due to Covid-19 how long will it take for the affected traders to get back on their feet? Kindly if you know a way you could help, stretch your helping hand.

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