, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – The Nairobi County Government has waived accrued rates amounting to Sh34 million for jua kali artisans at Kariokor following a fire that razed their stalls and property last week.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Governor Evans Kidero stated that this is part of efforts to help the over 300 affected traders recover, as they lost property worth over Sh100 million.
Kidero indicated that the waiver which takes effect immediately is part of City Hall’s commitment to improve the living standards of Nairobi residents.
“Our colleagues who are running the jua kali industry in Kariokor have been faced with a burden of having to pay rates. Rates together with penalties to date stand at a little bit over Sh34 million. I am happy to announce that the normal legal processes have been instituted so that these rates can be waived,” he said.
He further pointed out that the County Authority will be liaising with the traders to explore ways of setting up modern structures which can be used to improve service delivery.
“We will be having a meeting with them this week to see how we can develop the sheds to modern structures which can be used by them to give the necessary quality services that their customers need and demand. I want to express my sincere sorrow for the loss they incurred when they had a fire,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the jua kali artisans are still counting their losses after a fire destroyed more than 300 vehicles in a garage.
According to the chairman of Ziwani Jua Kali Engineering Works Association John Maina, the fire started at around 11.30pm on Friday owing to an electric fault at a nearby workshop.
He stated that the fire spread fast due to plastics bags and chemicals used in the workshop therefore burning all vehicles that were there for repair.
He said that some of them have loans that they need to repay and it is hard for them to recover without the support from government and well-wishers.
He added that they had no insurance for their business and that is why they were appealing for help.
He indicated that about 10 vehicles were set to be collected by their owners but were burnt beyond repair and further blamed the fire fighting team in the county for arriving at the scene late and without enough water.