Sad week for traders

Fire break out that destroyed stalls in Gikomba Market

Traders at Korogocho in Nairobi are sadly counting losses after yet another fierce fire emerged through the open air market on Thursday night.

The flames damaged stalls and goods of unknown value to ashes.


Stall in Gikomba Market Destroyed by Fire
Stall in Gikomba Market Destroyed by Fire

Mr Nicholas Mwange, the treasurer of the market, on Friday told sources that the fire broke out a few minutes to 10pm.

He said the flames started in the central section of the informal market, which has shanty eateries and kitchens.

“We suspect the owner of the restaurant forgot to douse the flames before leaving,” he said.

Witnesses said the inferno spread quickly, flattening the tin stalls and destroying stock.

Mr Mwange said more than 100 stalls with vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, cabbages and other stocks of potatoes and bananas were destroyed.

Korogocho Senior Chief Nyabuto Omachi said 120 traders were affected by the fire but there were no casualties.

“No one was here when the fire broke out. No one sleeps here, except the watchmen,” he said.



The mysterious fire was contained an hour later through combined efforts of traders, residents, firefighters from the Nairobi county government and the Kenya Red Cross.

Korogocho market has over 5,000 traders and mainly serves estates in Nairobi’s Eastlands, including Kariobangi, Dandora, Baba Dogo, Buruburu, Huruma and Kiamaiko.

Mr Mwange, the treasurer, appealed for assistance in restoring the business premises.

The blaze came barely a day after another fire disaster at Gikomba market left 15 people dead and about 70 others hospitalised with burn injuries.

Traders’ wares estimated at millions of shillings were also destroyed when the 2.30am inferno tore down hundreds of stalls at the market.

The cause of the fire at Gikomba is also yet to be established.

A government multi-agency disaster management team started investigations on Thursday even as traders blamed it on arsonists.