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Babu Owino's statement over Gikomba fire

Martin Murigi
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A section of Gikomba market burning on Wednesday night. [Source: Wahinya Charlie/Twitter]

Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino has blamed the Nairobi City County government and State Department for Housing following Wednesday's inferno at the Gikomba market in Nairobi.

Owino sympathised with traders who lost their properties during the night fire but noted the loses could have been avoided had the relevant authorities kept their promises of refurbishing Kenya's biggest market.

In 2018, the national government in collaboration with the county government pledged to construct a Sh3 billion market but the project has not started.

"Traders in the expansive Gikomba Market have continuously lost their livelihoods every time there's a fire outbreak which must come to an end," he said in a statement on Thursday.

Owino added: "It still baffles me why the National and County governments have not honoured their promise of reconstructing the market by establishing permanent structures."

The ODM MP noted that fire outbreaks in the market, which is home to over 40,000 traders, have increased in the recent past and challenged those responsible to come up with a lasting solution.

"There has to be a permanent solution for the tragedy to secure the lives and source of income for the hardworking Kenyans otherwise the traders will keep losing property under the watch of irresponsible leaders," the first-time legislator added.

Wednesday's fire incident becomes the eighth in a span of four years.

Police and the Red Cross have not reported any injuries.

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