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Busy highway offers livelihood to Malaba dwellers

Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 12:06 | By
An aerial view of a section of Malaba town.PHOTO/PRINT

A section of Malaba residents living on the busy Kanduyi-Malaba Highway are making a livelihood out of the heavy traffic jam at the Malaba border point.

The increasing number of hawkers in the past month is a game-changer for many businesspersons, shifting to mobile hotel services being provided to truck drivers.

A survey by KNA has seen more than 60 per cent of the shop vendors turning to mobile operations, which has in turn employed more youths who act as brokers, linking up traders and truck drivers, who are the main customers.

Kenneth Okoit, who offers cleaning services on the trucks, revealed that with heavy traffic, he is able to make over Sh2,000 daily from washing trucks which are cleaned while still in the traffic jam. “On a good day, we get more than Sh2000 just from washing trucks; we charge between Sh350 and Sh400 per truck, depending on the size of the outside body wash,” said Okoit.

The carwash services have kept more youths busy, thus reducing cases of unemployment and crime within Malaba and the adjacent towns of Kocholia, Lukolis, and Osere city.

Malaba One Stop Border Post clears over 2000 trucks on a daily basis, making it the busiest gateway from Kenya to other East African countries in Africa.

As the hawkers are smiling and earning, the business owners and retailers have complained of poor sales as the drivers are not purchasing from them since the hawkers are offering services to their doorstep along the highway.

Most of them have been forced to offer employment to some youths to hawk their products in order to cope with the stiff competition accrued from the hawkers.“These people are paralysing retail shop services, as we can hardly sell in recent days.

They have earned trust from truck drivers, and they are now even hawking Mpesa services, yet we pay rent and licenses,” lamented one of the shopkeepers.

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