By Chege W. Chege (firstname.lastname@example.org)
||The Thika MADARAKA Market that is used by at least 5,000 people per day has been closed temporarily. The market was closed on Friday, 15th May, 2020 after 2 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Thika Sub-County, Kiambu County.
Speaking to Chania FM, Kenya correspondent, the County Trade Executive Committee member, Kigo Njenga said the closure was to pave way for another round of fumigation in the market. He also confirmed that the decision to close one of the two major markets in the sub-county was arrived at after two truckers, who had interacted with the locals, tested positive for Covid-19.
The two are a truck driver and his conductor. They have been transporting food items between Tanzania and Kenya and may have been in close contact with the local residents without observing the mandatory self-quarantine period.
“They have been transporting food items from Tanzania to this market and may have interacted with traders and locals in the larger area of Makongeni, Thika. There are others who migrated from Eastleigh in Nairobi County to this area and they have been buying items while interacting with traders in the area,” Mr. Kigo further added.
Great Surprise to Traders
The move to close the market comes as a shocker to over 5,000 people who use the market on a daily basis. The traders who deal with perishable goods are, especially not happy with the move as they claim that they should have been allowed some more time to clear their stock.
A trader, Rehema Ngomi, 78, sells tomatoes in the market and has expressed her concerns, too. She decries the move saying she is poised to lose a lot during the closure period.
“Tunahesabu hasara kubwa sana. Sasa imenibidi nihamishe bidhaa zangu nikauzie kwa nymba, na nyingine zinakaa zitaharibika tu.” Lamented Rehema.
“We are counting huge losses. I have been forced to relocate all the items I sell to my house, most of which cannot last for long,” Rehema said.
This is the second time that the market is being closed after it was closed first in March after the virus was confirmed in Kenya and fumigation exercises started immediately. Fencing of the market among other renovation and improvement activities will also be carried out during the closure period. Mr. Kigo said that the market will be re-opened once the committee certifies that everyone is safe.