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Car boot traders along Northern Bypass plead with government to stop eviction

Since Covid-19 was first reported in Kenya in March this year, most Kenyans have lost their sources of livelihood.

Some of those who have been affected have since resorted to alternative ventures such as selling an assortment of products from the boots of their vehicles.

EVICTION

The Northern Bypass is a favourite location where cars laden with cereals, fruits and vegetables stretch hundreds of metres on both sides of the busy highway.

But now these traders are facing eviction.

On Wednesday, the traders along the busy road in Nairobi appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene after Nairobi County officials threatened to evict them.

The traders claim City Hall has issued them with an eviction notice before next Wednesday with no explanation or reason.

Beatrice Wanjiru, one of the traders, said she is the sole breadwinner in her household and has no other source of income. She has two children in secondary school.

“I do not have any other source of income and when the county government evicts us it will be injurious to me. I have children in secondary who depend on me because I’m their dad and mum. We stay in a rented house so if I’m told to leave the area it will be a huge burden on me. I don’t know how I will feed my children,” she said.

HARASSED

Ms Wanjiru pleaded with the government to help them sustain their livelihoods until the pandemic comes to end.

“I’m asking the government to listen to our pleas so that we can stop being harassed by county officials,” she said.

The traders said that they had been operating under the Ministry of Health guidelines as they have been observing social distancing, wearing face masks and sanitising.

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve been selling here at the Windsor roundabout, Northern ByPass. We have been selling from our cars but we have now been told to vacate the area,” another trader said.

In Nairobi’s residential areas, the number of boot sales has skyrocketed since it allows them to earn an income without the hassle of renting business premises.