Goods worth millions of shillings were destroyed after a fire razed stalls at Taveta market in Taita Taveta County.
The fire started on Saturday night and residents spent the whole night putting it out.
The market hosts traders from Kenya and Tanzania.
The traders said they lost property worth millions of shillings.
They said they are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire but suspected an electric fault.
Trader Meshack Kodawa said he lost his investment of five years.
“I don’t know when I will recover from this. I am currently servicing a loan which I recently took to restock my shop. I may not recover from this loss any time soon,” he said.
Lack of firefighting equipment hampered well-wishers’ efforts to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to other kiosks in the market.
Trader Lydia Kiteto said the huge fire would have caused less damage had firefighting equipment been available.
“My shop has been razed down to ashes. I don’t know where I’ll start from because this was my only source of income,” she said.
Food kiosks, butcheries, electronic shops and clothing stores were destroyed.
Taveta MP Naomi Shaban said the county government should have better emergency response mechanisms.
Speaking when she visited the scene, Dr Shaban said she would help in the reconstruction of the kiosks.
“I know you encountered huge losses in yesterday’s fire incident so my office will help where it can,” she said.
Also present was county executive for Devolution and Planning, Ms Janet Oben.