Nairobi County government is set to open five new markets with a capacity to accommodate more than 7,000 traders, with the county promising fair allocation of the new market spaces.
The traders will be able to access the five new markets, located in different sub-counties in Nairobi and have been under construction for the past two years, by the end of the year.
Nairobi currently has 20 open-air and 23 large markets which cannot accommodate the huge population of merchants in the capital city.The markets include Westlands Market, Karandini Market, New Wakulima Market along Kangundo Road, Qware Road Market and Mwariro Market.
According to Nairobi County Director of Markets and Trading Services Fredrick Ndunyu, the markets are 99 percent complete with the markets boasting modern features including both retail and wholesale requirements.
“For instance, the new look Mwariro market will have a generator, underground water tank, a borehole, fire extinguishers, eateries, modern stalls, CCTV cameras for security, parking spaces and toilets for use by the traders,” said Mr Ndunyu.
The Karandini and Mwariro Markets, which are partnership projects between the World Bank and City Hall with the former pumping Sh650 million, can accommodate close to 3,500 traders.
Karandini Market, located next to the Meteorological Department in Dagoretti Corner, has over 400 spaces and most of the work has already been done.
On the other hand, Mwariro Market is set to house more than 3,000 traders after 500 new trading spaces were added to the market located in Kariokor, Starehe sub-County.
Mr Ndunyu said that families and traders who were affected during the construction of the market will be given priority during allocation of stalls once the project is unveiled.
“A total of 17 families were affected while 24 traders were moved to pave way for the construction of the new market. All the affected were compensated with the traders were promised priority in allocation of stalls,” he said.
The director said that Westlands Market, which has been undergoing renovation by the national government and the county government, will accommodate over 3,000 traders who previously occupied the market but were displaced during construction.
Another big market is the New Wakulima Market in Embakasi West sub-County which the director said is 99 percent complete with the only challenge to its total completion being an illegal building around it but consultations with the owner are ongoing.
The opening of the Sh800 million fresh produce market, a project between the county and the African Development Bank, can house more than 3,000 traders. The market also comes with 370 new lockable stalls.
The market has already faced numerous challenges with city residents claiming of being conned by impostors selling spaces at the market.
In October 2018, the County Assembly Trade had raised concerns that the public are being blackmailed into giving money to have market spaces reserved for them.
However, City Hall made it clear that no one had been sent to collect money from residents on its behalf.
On the new look Qware Road Market in Gikomba, which has been undergoing renovation, Mr Ndunyu said the market will accommodate more than 600 traders with priority given to 81 traders who were displaced when the market burnt down.
“After considering the 81 as a priority in allocation of spaces, the rest will be subjected to vetting in a fair process,” he said.
Mr Ndunyu added that two other markets expected to be completed soon are City Park Market in Parklands and Karen Market while plans for a modern market in Dandora Phase 1 is underway.
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