(21/03/2018, Marsabit) Miraa vendors protested over police early today over police harassment and arrests for using the banned plastic paper bags in Marsabit Town.
This follows the arrests of several women and the consfication of their wares by enforcement officers.
The women decried the manner of arrests saying that the police officers were corrupt and that they demanded bribes from those they arrested. This claims were however refuted by the officers.
The women said that they were in great need since their sources of livelihood has greatly been affected by the paper bag ban.
Miraa which is a perishable commodity can only be sold in nylon paper bags and any alternative bags diminishes their quality.
In a lament filled protest the women said the government policies targets all the kind of trade that women in their demographic can undertake are illegal and have all been banned. They mentioned brewing alcohol, vending firewood and charcoal burning as some of their previous sources of livelihood that were banned.
They unanimously appealed to the county governmemt and their leaders to assist in helping them pursue an alternative source of income.
Some of the Miraa selling women are also divorced and while some are single mothers. They mentioned this as another factor that further marginalizes them.
Paper bag ban in Marsabit has not been effectively enforced as the porous Ethiopian border keeps replenishing the diminishing paper bag stock.