The Flower Vendors Associations in collaboration with the Kenya Flower Council joined forces to send a message of being ‘proudly Kenyan’ as the during this year’s Valentine’s Day. With the ‘proudly Kenyan ‘stickers the florist carried on with what they do best during the special day for lovers.
Though not very rosy for them after the County Government of Nairobi denied them waiver for the high fees they pay daily, the florists decorated Nairobi streets with red roses. According to Mr. Simon Mwaura, Chairman FVA, most of the florists were not able to mount tents and tables since they could not afford the fees which were too high for them.
The KFC CEO Mrs. Jane Ngige said the decision was made without considering that the vendors have been instrumental in branding Nairobi as the capital of the world’s best flowers on a day considered the best trade day for one of Kenya’s most valued exports.
The County government raised fees for Valentine’s Day tents and display tables from Kshs 500 to Kshs 2340 and Kshs 2925 respectively totaling to Kshs 5265 per day. This means Nairobians who have become accustomed to buying fresh flowers for the day will pay more.
Mrs. Ngige says the flower tents have been giving Nairobi a major facelift of beauty on Valentine’s Day and it is sad that this has been taken away from them. ‘Connecting the local people with flowers has been achieved through the Valentine’s Day flower tents and increased local consumption of a commodity that is viewed largely as an export crop. Showing flowers on Valentine’s has led to an increase in local sales and awareness. These gains will be eroded by the decision to charge the vendors more.
Last year, flower vendors displayed peace messages at the tents contributing to the peaceful voting process. This year, they were planning to do ‘proudly Kenyan’ stickers as part of the flower sector contribution to the national good.