Nairobi Hawkers will soon be allowed to sell their wares in pop-up markets
Hawkers in Nairobi will soon be able to sell their wares in pop-up markets in designated areas in the capital at least twice a week, if a draft law before the Nairobi County Assembly is passed.
The proposal is contained in a Bill – Nairobi City County Pop-Up Markets and Street Vendors Bill, 2019 – by nominated MCA Mbugua Kabiru.
The Bill wants the county executive to introduce pop-up markets for use by hawkers in areas to be gazetted in the capital city.
“The Bill will allow for trade zones to be identified and specific operation times communicated to the traders to avoid confrontations with the authorities. This means different markets dealing with home appliances, electronics, farm produce, and art would be operational on different streets on different days,” said Mr Kabiru.
According to the Bill, the regulation of the pop-up markets will be vested on a Pop-Up Markets Department domiciled in the executive wing of City Hall, whose mandate will be to regulate when and where the markets can operate.
The Bill which is in the First Reading stage, explained that with the pop-up markets, the county government would also be able to designate specific areas for specific type of goods ranging from agricultural produce to clothes and even electronics.
The MCA Kabiru-Bill also wants the county to license the traders for easier identification as well as seeking the introduction of penalties for those operating outside the designated trading zones.
It also talks of setting up of specially crafted structures such as tents would be set up in the designated areas where the traders would operate, with the Aga Khan Walk parking grounds being a prime target. The structures are aimed at protecting the hawkers from harsh climatic conditions.
The Bill also aims to protect the famous Maasai Markets at the Supreme Court ground as well as cushion itinerant traders who are victims of extortion and harassment from County authorities and administration police.
Early this year, a similar Bill was tabled in the Senate calling for the designation of vending zones in all the 47 counties in the country with the aim of protecting the livelihoods of the itinerant traders.
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood) Bill, 2019 proposed that each county government come up with a street vending zone plan and submit it to the county assembly for approval. The plan will contain data of all existing street vendors and potential areas where they can operate from within the county.