How ban on scrap metal has affected Kenyan households

How ban on scrap metal has affected Kenyan households

Scrap metal dealers in Kenya are now pleading with President Uhuru Kenyatta to lift the ban on scrap metal business since they depend on it for their livelihood.

The traders say the ban has threatened their livelihood as they depended on the business to place food on the table, pay rent and educate their children.

Mary Muthoni, a mother of four children says the ban belittled them and made them feel that they were culprits of vandalism.

She says they are ready to be supervised by security officials every time they bring new stock to prove that their business was clean.

 “I feel like I am carrying the cross of the culprits of vandalism. We are ready to work with the government and have our trucks inspected before transporting our goods to the markets,” she said.

Ms. Nimo Hassan, another single lady says she depends on the scrap metal business to educate her children saying since the ban a week ago, she has suffered losses.

“The business was shut without any notice leaving us to suffer. If a notice was given earlier, I would have prepared myself to venture into another business,” said Ms. Hassan.

Her business is now forced to accept other materials like cardboards and plastics, which are less profitable.

Nicholas Wambua said he has opted to sell cabbage and potatoes as his five year venture on scrap metal has been banned.

“I have been working in this business for almost five years and now I am forced to sell cabbages and potatoes to survive. Unfortunately, there are other small traders who can’t afford to venture in an alternative business,” said Wambua.

However, some town dwellers have welcomed the president’s move to ban scrap metal business saying the dealers have destroyed infrastructure, hence compromising development in the country.

Solomon Naanyu cited property including road signs, waste bins, road rails, railway lines, electrical cables among others have been severely destroyed by the scrap metal dealers.

President Kenyatta banned any exports or dealings in scrap metal after the increased incidents of vandalism that affected the Kenya Power Company transmission cables causing hours of  nationwide blackout.

The president said the industry will remain closed until such a time when proper guidelines would be put in place to regulate the sector.

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