Boom for traders in Lamu as Eid nears

Muslim faithful during Ramadan in Lamu town. FILE/PHOTO.

Lamu,KENYA:It’s a boom for traders and business owners in Lamu as the Holy month of Ramadhan winds up this week.

Business had especially been bad at the beginning of the month of Ramadhan since most were fasting and as such the sales for foodstuff and general commodities was at its lowest.

However many re now positive of good returns attributed to the end of the holy month with hoteliers,retailers,grocers and boat operators looking forward to fruitful times ahead.

Resultantly, the number of traders operating in Lamu town had especially grown considerably spilling the surplus numbers from the market into the streets.

The county government has now been forced to allow traders to operate outside the municipal market including at the Mkunguni Square against the regulations of the National Museums of Kenya-NMK.

Mkunguni Square is only used for public meetings and gatherings.

However Lamu NMK Principal curator Mohamed Haji said the Square was open for use during Ramadhan and six days after, after which the traders will be required to pack out.

“We aree giving traders an exception just because its Ramadhan after that,they should leave the Square,”said Haji.

Lamu County CEC for Tourism Dismas Mwasambu said “We understand at this particular time,space at the municipal market is less and that’s why we are being lenient.

Boutique owners are also among those reaping high since muslim faithful always throng shops to purchase new cloths to Idd celebrations.

Bus owners are also making a kill a people scramble to travel in and out of Lamu to join their loved ones in marking Idd.

Said Swaleh,a driver on the Lamu-Mombasa route said  “Since this week begun, the number of passengers has increased. We have many people coming to Lamu from Mombasa, Malindi, Mambrui and other places to join friends and family for Idd. Others are leaving Lamu for other destinations. Business is really good.

The narrow alleyways in Lamu are now swollen with human traffic mostly between 5pm to around 9pm when the muslim faithful have broken their fast.

Hotelier Salim Bunu says “As we mark Idd we also mark the beginning of the high season for tourists to throng here and we are therefore looking forward to real business and making some cash from it.

The high season starts in July where many hotels that had closed down for the last three months due to low number of tourists begin to pick up.