NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – The government has ordered Nairobi’s popular Burma Market to remain closed until it meets the required standards of cleanliness.
Speaking after an inspection of the market, Chief Public Health Officer Kepha Ombacho said although effort was made to clean up the market, there was no proper drainage in some areas while others still did not have doors in their toilets.
Burma was shut down indefinitely last week, after it failed to observe the expected hygienic standards.
“The stalls have been done but of course there are individuals who have not done them. The way we have handled the matter is that if the slabs were done, we would have continued the closure of stalls which had not been cleaned thoroughly but as it is, the work on the pavements and the drainage have not been done to our standards,” Ombacho said.
“We also need a bit of ballast put in the place where waste is disposed.” Ombacho further pointed out that stern action will be taken against any traders found selling their produce on the roadsides.
“I am hearing that traders are selling meat outside on the side of the road and I want to tell them that I have noted this and anybody found doing this will be arrested,” he said.
The meat traders had resorted to selling their produce on the side of the road as the market was out of bounds.
Speaking to Capital FM News, the traders said that they were incurring huge losses as it is less profitable to sell the meat on the streets than in the market.
They stated that they had thoroughly cleaned up the market and it should be opened as soon as possible so that they can continue etching a living in a safe environment.
They said that the closure was impacting them negatively.
“There is no money so now I am only eating mandazis. I am not at work now and I am just sitting idle like that and I have children who depend on me,” one of them stated.
“We have a problem here. We work here and now that it is closed, my children are suffering. I have not paid their school fees so they are staying at home. Even there, there is no food and I do not know what to do,” another said.
“This is where we gain our livelihood and now it is closed and I am at a loss of what to do,” he pointed out.
“I have thoroughly cleaned up my stall but the area outside here is what has not been done. What are we supposed to do and yet we are really suffering?”