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City residents lament encroachment by Gikomba traders

By LILIAN MUTAVI

Residents of estates adjacent to Gikomba Market in Nairobi have raised concern on the encroachment of their residential areas by traders.

According to some of the residents, Gikomba Market, which is the largest open air market in the country, has taken over every open space in their neigbourhood.

Speaking to Nairobi News, Mr David Dala head of Nyumba Kumi initiative at the adjacent Gorofani estate blamed the traders of constructing stalls in recreational areas and pavements.

“We are suffering as the traders have taken over all the empty spaces in our estate including playgrounds and pavements,” said Mr Dala who added that persistent fires experienced at the market have occasionally destroyed residential buildings too.

GUTTED DOWN

He said that in June, fire which is said to have started at area 42 before spreading to Gorofani rendered most of the residents homeless after the Nairobi City County refused to renovate the houses.

“Gorofani estate is the property of the City County yet they have refused to renovate the houses after they were gutted down by fire, yet they still collect rent from the homeless residents,” Mr Gala said.

Gorofani Estate phase 6, which was razed down by fire in June compromises of 15 blocks with over 16 rooms each costing Sh1,100 per month.

Another resident Josphat Kiema said that the City County government had promised to give the affected residents Sh 5million but has since reneged on the pledge.

“We have neither received any help nor the Sh5 million promised by Governor Evans Kidero,” said Mr Kiema, one of the affected residents.

However, City Hall through the communication Officer Beryl Okundi said they have already compensated the traders at the market but the residents were not considered for compensation.