DISASTER MITIGATION IN INFORMAL MARKETS: A CASE OF TOI MARKET, NAIROBI

"ABSTRACT"
"Informal markets form part of the informal urbanization and arise as a result of failure of the formal economy to absorb the growing numbers of job seekers. The existing legislation does not effectively address the problems of Kenya’s informal economy, largely for lack of political will and serious commitment by policy-makers. The traders have to come up with the spatial organization of the markets on their own. In most cases the trading spaces utilized by informal traders lack adequate infrastructure facilities, and are often inadequate to accommodate the high demand for trading space. This has left the traders exposed to disasters such as fire outbreaks, flooding, poor solid waste management and poor sanitation."
"It is these challenges which necessitated the following study to investigate the challenges faced by traders in the informal markets in terms of mitigating the above mentioned disasters and the various solutions which have been implemented in various cases. With Toi market as the case study, the study looked in to the disaster mitigation strategies incorporated in the market and the evident shortcomings. The study draws effective mitigation strategies to curb the problem of fire outbreaks, flooding, poor solid waste management and poor sanitation for future informal sector development."
"Through literature review, poor infrastructure and space use conflict were found as the factors contributing to disasters in informal markets. The various solutions drawn from different desk studies involving informal sector development included effective storm water management, effective and sustainable sanitation, resolving circulation conflict, fire safety measures in markets and effective solid waste management. These were used as the variables for the analysis of Toi market."
"The fieldwork analysis of Toi market highlighted that the traders had various disaster mitigation strategies incorporated in the redevelopment of the market after it was razed down by fire in 2008. However, majority were not up to the required standards or were not implemented resulting to a disaster prone environment which is not legible for business."
"To mitigate this problem, the author proposes the following strategies; strict enforcement of activity zoning regulations, barrier free walkways, segregation of vehicular and pedestrian movement, a construction technology which promotes fire safety, effective and sustainable sanitation, effective storm water management."

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