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Traders count losses as morning fire ravages Gikomba market

Traders at Gikomba have today woken up to news of a fire ravaging a section of the market. Witnesses say the fire started at 3am, engulfing many structures at the cereals and mitumba sections opposite COTU offices at the said market.

Emergency response teams and firetrucks from the Nairobi County were mobilised and sent to the area in a bid to curb the fire from spreading further and causing more damage. Traders have been left to count losses as they rummage through the debris hoping to salvage anything of value.

This is not the first time that a fire has mysteriously engulfed Gikomba market, resulting in loss of property and sometimes even loss of life. In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a probe into a mysterious fire broke out in the same market at 3am on October 6, 2017, destroying millions worth of property.

The fires occur regularly, and hardly a year passes without news of another fire engulfing the largest air market in Nairobi. Traders have often blamed the frequent fires on land grabbers and encroachers keen on edging them out of the market to develop multi-storey business buildings. Conflict between the traders, tenants of county houses in the nearby Gorofani estates and the said land grabbers is largely believed to be the reason of the fires.