NAIROBI, KENYA: Business owners along Jogoo road Nairobi are now calling on the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to evict unlicensed traders who have encroached on the public road.
Robert Nganga, an entrepreneur who operates from Uchumi House, Jogoo lane, Jogoo road, on Thursday decried the encroachment of the road reserves and even pavements by hawkers and other unlicensed traders, saying they had taken up space meant to be used by motorists.
Nganga explained that the traders had blocked the intersection connecting Jogoo road and Jogoo lane and this was only a recipe for disaster.
“The traders are operating on space meant to be leeway for motorist joining or veering off Jogoo road and by doing so they present a huge danger. If a motorist is not observant he or she could cause an accident due to the confusion,” said Nganga adding that the traders had also contributed to traffic snarl-ups in the areas.
“I am calling on the relevant county authorities including the police to intervene and remedy the situation.”
He noted that he had taken up the issue with the authorities numerous times but no action was taken.
A spot check by the Standard revealed that a section of traders had set up structures on the adjacent sewer lines. Along Jogoo lane, motorists had also illegally parked by the roadside leaving little or no room for navigation.
Makongeni DTO Inspector Ahmed Sirat, however, said that the police had taken up the matter and efforts were ongoing to clear the traders from the roads. He however expressed frustrations that the traders kept coming back even after they had been forcefully evicted from the area.
“This is not the first time that we are dealing with this issue of obstruction caused by the hawkers and traders. We have been asking them to leave only for them to come back. They now pose a danger not only to themselves but to motorists as well,” said Sirat.
The officer said that he is also in the process of reaching out to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) so that the police can deal with the issue collaboratively.
“I am appealing to the NMS to consider working with the police so we can streamline the operations of traders and hawkers along Jogoo road and if possible relocate them to other trading areas,” he added.
The Nairobi County Government has in the past waged war with traders who had encroached on public space and public utilities, ordering for the demolition of the structures.
Due to the limited trading spaces in the designated markets, however, the traders troop back to the streets and roadsides. This has led to the frequent standoffs between the county authorities and the hawkers.