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The other day we posed Thika residents to give reasons why they thought the town was losing its vibe as a business hub to smaller towns in the periphery and these were some of their responses…

1. Business premises (shops/stalls) are very expensive … Rents are overrated

2. The cost of running businesses in Thika is very high due to the general administrative neglect, punitive county levies and double licensing

3. Very uncouth county enforcement officers who harass traders for very flimsy reasons and out to solicit for bribes

4. Unregulated hawking and informal business structures and makeshift “hotels” are everywhere within town forcing potential buyers off the set walking pavements and verandas thus keeping them away from shops

5. Since hawkers don’t pay any licenses or rent, customers wait for them in the evenings to buy what is sold in regular shops at a lower prices thus killing formal/regular businesses.

6. The town is inaccessible (traffic jams) from all directions especially during the peak hours making it very difficult to get in or out of town for business

7. The growth of e-commerce/e-selling has affected many businesses that basically depend on physical sales since many people have opted to buy goods/services online

8. The satellite villages that entirely depended on Thika in the yesteryears for most goods and services now get them at their own backyards

9. Traders in Thika exaggerate prices (overpricing) forcing many people to source goods/services from Nairobi or elsewhere

10. Inadequate parking spaces due to poor planning and infrastructure maintenance thus congesting and chocking the town. Almost every parking space is "Reserved" or serve as a matatu/tuktuk/taxi/bodaboda stage, forcing potential buyers to seek goods/services elsewhere where there is parking

11. Poor lighting in very many parts of town exposing traders and customers to cases of insecurity especially in the evenings and at night

12. The growing numbers of street children/families in many parts of the town have become a security threat and now turning the town to a gangsters den…

With these and many more factors, Thika town will continue losing its cutting edge as a business hub and attract less and less business opportunities unless the residents and their leaders rethink about their town planning and organisation.


  1. On planning and organisation of the town,another entry point from Muranga-Nyeri- Meru highway should be considered. Also Exit point from the town to Thika superhighway. Thika town bypass from Kiganjo-Athena to Thika superhighway should be completed as soon as possible.

  2. Make Thika - Garrissa Rd up to Kilimambogo dual carriage for easier travel to Thika town. Roads are agents of development. Thika leaders at times sleep on their job. They should see the big picture.


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