NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s largest open air market, Gikomba, located
in downtown Nairobi was on Friday dawn razed to the ground
following a huge inferno suspected to have been started by
The inferno that lasted hours
destroyed property worth millions of dollars while disrupting
livelihoods of small scale traders who eke out a living from
selling second hand clothes, groceries and electronic gadgets in
Nairobi County leaders led by the Governor, Gideon Mike Mbuvi,
oversaw efforts to extinguish the raging inferno in Gikomba
market that is popular with low income urban dwellers.
Mbuvi promised assistance to second hand clothes dealers
affected by the dawn inferno in the expansive open air market.
No casualties were reported by midday on Friday when the fire
was contained by disaster response teams from the national and
The Nairobi County Police Commander, Japheth Koome, told
reporters that a combined team of firefighters drawn from
National Disaster Management Unit and the county government had
managed to extinguish the inferno in Gikomba market.
"We have managed to contain the fire that broke out in
Gikomba market early this morning.
"Firefighting equipment and
personnel have been deployed to prevent spread of the inferno to
neighboring commercial buildings," said Koome.
Small scale traders operating in Gikomba market stared at a
bleak future as the inferno razed down goods worth millions of
dollars in stalls made of timber and iron sheets.
Jane Nzuki, a second hand clothes dealer told reporters that
she lost 100,000 U.S. dollars when fire razed her stalls located
inside Gikomba market.
"The fire has already cast a dark spell on my future and that
of my children.
"It has destroyed my entire stock which was
awaiting delivery to customers in many parts of the country,"
Gikomba market has been grappling with a spate of fires
incidents blamed on business cartels or criminal groups.
The open air market suffered a raging inferno in 2015 that
affected 10,000 small scale traders.