An early morning fire has destroyed several structures at the cereals and mitumba sections opposite the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) offices of Gikomba Market in Nairobi. A trader said: “I got a call from my colleague who told me that the market was on fire. Upon arrival I saw that everything was engulfed in fire and there was nothing much we could do. The county fire fighters arrived at around 6am and they are still trying to put the fire out,” said Mutinda Nzioka, a mitumba trader.
Firefighters worked as business people scavenged through the debris for property they could salvage. Fire incidents have become frequent in the popular market in recent years, sometimes leading to deaths.
Complaints have included congestion, lack of space for fire trucks and sometimes lack of water. In February, a section of the market was razed down by an early morning fire which destroyed stalls with shoes and apparel. The cause of fire was not immediately established.