Livestock markets in Kajiado closed

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The livestock market at Il Bissil town.

Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku has ordered the closure of all livestock markets along the Kenya- Tanzanian border for the next 14 days.

The move follows the discovery of two cases of COVID-19 in the County, which have been traced to Tanzania.

Lenku who was speaking in Kitengela town Friday said the proximity of the county to Tanzania which has recorded a high number of positive cases puts it at risk necessitating the closure of the markets to curb the spread of the virus.

Last week, sale of livestock from Tanzania was banned in all Kajiado markets as traders had complained that Tanzanian nationals were still accessing markets with their cattle through illegal routes.

“We have closed all markets along the Kenya -Tanzania border for 14 days starting with the Ilbissil Livestock Market. This  is in a bid to curb the spread of corona virus. As you know two new cases were reported in the county and both of them were traced to Tanzania,” said Lenku.

Traders at the Il Bissil livestock market however opposed the move to close the market saying that their livelihoods would be affected by the closure.

John Ngaur, a trader said he depends on the market to earn a living from the sale of livestock and the closure would affect him financially.

He urged the Government to instead increase surveillance at the border and illegal entry points so as to prevent livestock from Tanzania from getting into the market.

“The move to close the markets will affect us greatly. We are pastoralists and depend on livestock to earn a living. What the government should do instead is tighten security at the border and all `panya` routes to prevent Tanzanians from accessing our market,” said Ngaur.

Margaret Wambui, another trader at the market also opposed the closure adding that the livestock market is one of the biggest in the county and its closure would result in loss of income for many residents.