Home News Gikomba Market on the verge of being Demolished Tomorrow

Gikomba Market on the verge of being Demolished Tomorrow


Gikomba Market to be Demolished Tomorrow

In a significant development affecting Nairobi’s largest informal market, Gikomba traders have been issued with a notice of demolition. The notice, delivered late yesterday, has caused a flurry of activity as traders scramble to save what they can of their livelihoods.


The notice, issued by the Nairobi County Government, reads in part: “This is to inform all traders at Gikomba Market that the market will be demolished tomorrow. Seventy percent of the market is situated on riparian land, which is reserved for public use and is not meant for any form of development.” The announcement has been met with mixed reactions from the market’s numerous vendors and shoppers.


Gikomba Market, known for its vibrant atmosphere and wide variety of goods, including second-hand clothes, shoes, and fresh produce, has been a cornerstone of Nairobi’s informal economy for decades. However, its location has long been a subject of controversy, with environmentalists and urban planners pointing out the market’s encroachment on riparian zones. This land, meant to serve as a buffer to prevent flooding and maintain natural waterways, has been increasingly occupied by informal structures.


“This demolition is a necessary step to protect our natural resources and ensure sustainable urban development,” a representative from the Nairobi County Government stated. “While we recognize the economic importance of Gikomba Market, the encroachment on riparian land cannot continue unchecked. We are working on plans to relocate the affected traders to a more suitable location.”


The news has sparked concern among the traders, many of whom have operated in the market for years. “This market is our lifeline,” said John Mwangi, a long-time vendor of second-hand clothes. “We understand the need to protect the environment, but we need to be given more time and assistance to move. We can’t just pack up everything overnight.”


Efforts to address the concerns of the traders are reportedly underway. The county government has promised to provide alternative sites for relocation, though details of these plans remain unclear. “We are in talks with various stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition for the traders. We urge everyone to cooperate and understand the broader benefits of this initiative,” the county government representative added.


As the deadline looms, the atmosphere in Gikomba Market is one of urgency and uncertainty. Many traders were seen hastily packing up their stalls, while others continued to serve customers, hoping for a last-minute reprieve. The demolition of Gikomba Market marks a pivotal moment in Nairobi’s urban development, raising questions about the balance between economic livelihoods and environmental conservation.


The outcome of this demolition and the subsequent relocation efforts will be closely watched by both traders and city planners, as it sets a precedent for the management of informal markets in Nairobi and beyond.

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