An early morning inferno has left Gikomba market traders in agony after property of unknown value was reduced to ashes.
The fire razed a couple of shoe and apparel stalls but no casualties have been reported.
According to the Kenya Red Cross, emergency responders are already at the scene of incident.
A section of Gikomba Market is on fire.
Response teams are at the scene. Updates to follow. pic.twitter.com/rKST9qVCFM
— Kenya Red Cross (@KenyaRedCross) February 1, 2020
The cause of fire is yet to be established.
In 2019, Kenya’s largest open-air market went up in flames at least three times.
The last incident took place in August when property estimated at Sh100 million was destroyed.
The county government is currently building a market for the traders. This the Mike Sonko led government has said, will help end the perennial problem.
Section Of Gikomba market on fire. [Courtesy]The fires have in the past been blamed on business rivalries while others note that they are just mere smokescreens.
Four years ago, it was said that the market was deliberately set on fire to flatten Gorofani Estate which was then earmarked for redevelopment through the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan (NIUPLAN).
It has also been said that there has been bad blood between the traders and youths linked to Pumwani Riyadh Mosque.
The mosque apparently owns part of the land on which Gikomba market stands.
The youths have in the past blocked lorries supplying materials.
“They claimed the county estate had invaded a section of their land. They even started putting beacons, but police thwarted the move,” a resident told a local daily.
In 2018, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko called on the DCI to look into the recurring fires.
“My administration together with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations is probing the incident to ascertain the cause of the fire as well come up with long term solutions to the perennial fire disasters at Gikomba Market,” said Sonko.
The findings are yet to be made public.