Traders operating on the busy Nairobi-Nakuru highway have urged the respective county governments to construct toilets to improve hygiene.
Addressing the press at Soko Mjinga market, they said despite the area being the country’s agricultural hub, users of the highway and traders are forced to relieve themselves in the bushes posing risk of contracting waterborne diseases.
“The population of this open market has rapidly grown over the years but the challenge of lack of toilets has remained unresolved. Sometimes we are arrested by Kenya Forest Service wardens when they find us relieving ourselves in the forest. At times, we part with Sh1,500 to buy our freedom,” said Daniel Muchina, who is a farm produce vendor at Soko Mjinga open market.
Other affected areas include Kijabe junction, Uplands junction, Nyambari, Kinari and Gichengo where defecating in bushes is now the norm.
Milkah Wangui, a trader for more than 30 years, said that despite being loyal in payment of taxes, the relevant authorities have given them a deaf ear.
However, Kiambu KFS ecosystem conservator Paul Karanja said the Ferdinand Waititu-led government has already made a request to have the idle land on the highway taken by the county used for construction of modern markets and toilets.
He said for the county to acquire forest land for other purposes other than afforestation, it has to apply to the chief conservator of forests and authorisation including requisite documents issued.
Kiambu Environment Executive David Kuria said that the county was aware of the problem adding it would be resolved soon.