Nakuru County to build Sh249m market for fish traders

RIFT VALLEY |

Traders sell fish to motorists along the Naivasha-Nakuru highway near Kinungi trading center [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

For decades, the sight of people hawking fresh fish along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway has been common and some of the fish sellers have been maimed or killed by speeding vehicles.

Many fishmongers have also been arrested by public health officers and their catch confiscated.

And to address the safety of the fish sellers as well as that of consumers, Nakuru County government is partnering with Eastern Africa Grain Council, to construct a Sh249 million fish market along the highway.

The first phase of the market, to be located at Karai, about 10 kilometres from Naivasha town, will be completed by the end of the year.

Janet Ngombaku, from the Eastern Africa Grain Council, said the project was part of their mission to facilitate the trade of food in the region.

She said they plan to put up what she termed a 'smart market'. The market will be served by solar energy and there will value addition before the fish is sold, said Ngombaku.

“The contractor is already on the site and we expect the first phase of the market to be ready by December 31.”

Ngombalu also said that the modern market would have storage facilities and Covid-19 protocols will also be observed strictly.

Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja, in whose ward the market is, said fish traders have been killed and others maimed along the highway.

"This will now be a thing of the past as the fish traders will now operate within the market that will also benefit vegetable sellers from neighbouring areas," said the MCA.

"The contractor has promised to work within the set timelines. We have also agreed that at least 70 per cent of the jobs that will be created by the construction will go to local youth."

Naivasha sub-county administrator Samuel Wamae said they will ensure fish hawkers are given priority when distributing stalls. “The first phase will benefit those selling fish along the highway,” Wamae said. 

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