Mpeketoni traders threaten to stop paying taxes over unhygienic conditions

Mpeketoni traders threaten to stop paying taxes over unhygienic conditions

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Traders at Mpeketoni. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: Traders in Mpeketoni have given the county government of Lamu seven days to clear out pilling garbage from the Municipal market, failure to which they will stop paying taxes for the same.

The garbage at the market square has been piling uncollected for months and the traders are now worried that the dirt might cause an outbreak of serious dirt-related illnesses.

Speaking on Wednesday, the traders accused the county government of neglect and laxity for failing to ensure hygiene at the market.

The now say they can no longer carry out their normal activities at the market following the pungent smell emanating from the area.

The market is home to over 500 small scale traders who mostly trade in groceries, cereals and other common services.

The traders also want the county government to speed up the construction of the new market since the current space was limited and congested and that many of their products were going stale as a result.

They said the market also lacked a proper drainage system hence leading to accumulation of sewage and all manner of dirt around and within the market and that the situation has been made worse by the onset of rains.

They swore not to pay municipal taxes till the market is cleared off the dirt and garbage.

“We can’t work in such conditions anymore. There is dirt and sewage everywhere .Customers no longer come here because of the garbage.This is tperfect breeding place for cholera and typhoid and the likes unless something is done soon by the county government,”said Julius Kimotho.

When contacted,Lamu County Health Director Mohamed Kombo blamed the situation on the lack of a common dumping site in the town.

He said there was nowhere for the cleansers to dump the dirt once they collect it but was quick to add that the county government was aware of the issue and would soon have it addressed.

Kombo said the county government had already dispatched two garbage collection tractors and an adequate number of dust bins to help rectify the situation.

“I want to appeal for collective efforts from all traders to help us clear out garbage from the market. As it is with the rainy season, it’s tough if we will chose to leave the task to the cleaners alone,” said Kombo.

Last year,the county government launched the construction of a Sh.30 Million modern market which is still under construction in the town.