XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN
rains spoil business for
upcountry open air traders
to the Kenya Meteorological
Department, Kenya is experiencing a major
rainfall season, which began in March to May
REPORT BY XINHUA CORRESPONDENT Bedah
(Xinhua) -- Traders selling goods at open air markets in
Kenya are counting losses as heavy rains disrupt business.
rains, which started late, last month, have become the traders’
worst nightmare as they keep customers away.
air markets in Kenya are popular with traders, who sell items like
fresh food, clothes, shoes and groceries. The markets are located in
every city, town and village across the East African nation.
the capital Nairobi, the open air markets are in every suburb and
are sources of most items people need for their daily use. Thus,
each day, they are usually filled to the brim with buyers.
the heavy rains pounding the East African nation have spoilt
business for both traders and buyers, with the worst hit being the
are losing a lot of business because of the rains. People are not
coming to the market to buy items due to the rains. Sometimes they
start early or during peak hours,” Gregory Wamae, a trader
dealing in second hand clothes at Mutindwa market on the east of
Nairobi said on Saturday.
the month started, Wamae said he has barely made any meaningful
business because of the rains.
rains began late last month. Then, their pattern was predictable.
They would fall late evening or at night. They did not affect us
much because of the pattern, but this month things changed. They
are coming sometimes during the day making business difficult
since we have to close business,” he said.
to Wamae, business peaks at the market mainly in the evening when
people are returning home from work.
pass by at the market to buy various items that include fruits,
fresh food and clothes on their way home from work. This usually
starts from 3 p.m. to about 8 p.m,” he said.
is this time that in the recent days it has been raining heavily in
the capital spoiling business for the traders.
want the rains to come so that people can plant crops and we have
food as a country. But they have become so unpredictable and
changed pattern. In the past, they would mostly rain at night, but
now we cannot tell. They start any time,” said Wamae.
to the Kenya Meteorological Department, Kenya is experiencing a
major rainfall season, which began in March to May.
areas in the East African nation are experiencing
rainfall of up to 100mm
a day especially Western, Central, Coastal strip and parts of
department notes Nairobi mainly experiences rains in the morning and
afternoon, which are normally accompanied by showers and
in the capital range from between 25-36 degrees Celsius during the
day and 14-25 degrees Celsius during the night. Since the rains
started, Wamae said his sells have not been surpassing 17 U.S.
has become hard to make any meaningful business. You go at the
market, spread your wares and as soon as you hope to start selling
the rains start. You then have to close your stall and wait for
them to stop. The problem is that when they start, people keep off
the market. Before the rains, I was making up to 35 dollars a
day,” he said.
similar predicament befalls traders at Gikomba, which is Kenya’s
biggest second hand items market in the capital. Traders and
consumers also visit the market to buy fresh produce at wholesale
a far, the market looks like a big pool of mud with stagnant water
at several places completing its landscape. Roads at the market are
impassable due to mud and stagnant water making it difficult for
people to access traders.
situation is very bad at the market. Business has gone down
because of the rains,” said Stephen Mutua, a trader. For traders
at the market, their plight is double fold because of the poor
are not coming here in droves only because of the rains, the poor
road network is another factor. The roads have rendered the market
impassable. They are filled with water and mud,” said Mutua.
at the market noted that customer traffic has dwindled in huge
numbers since the start of the rains, thus their profits.
a day passes without raining but the fact that the roads remain
waterlogged keep customers away. No one wants to come to a place
where they will have difficulties accessing,” said Peterson
Ngatia, a trader at the market.
the market, the poor road network has brought business for some
people who have set up stands to wash customers’ shoes and legs.
people are making good money. They wash shoes and legs of
customers coming from the market. They charge between 0.05 dollars
and 0.11 dollars depending on the shoes,” said Ngatia.
are praying that the long rain season ends so that business can
return to normal. However, it is not only the open air traders who
are crying foul, traders operating formal shops have also recorded
decline in activities because of the rains.
of the time when it starts raining, people strive to rush home,
which means they do not stay in town for instance to drink coffee
or shop,” said Nancy Adhok, who operates a clothes stall in the
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