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One the streets in Kisii town. [Courtesy]

Traders want the county to repossess grabbed public land in the town and take them to such land

Kisii County operations department face an uphill task in relocating more than 20,000 traders occupying walkways in Kisii town ahead of Madaraka Day fete.

The county is grapple with reorganising the town that has in the past 10 years seen the number of traders, boda boda operators, and human traffic surge before the June 1 fete to be hosted in Kisii town.

A committee chaired by Public Service executive Edina Kangwana will also have to get space to accommodate more than 4,000 vehicles during the celebrations.

Already there are plans to improve Getembe, Nyanchwa and Kisii Primary schools’ playgrounds to be used a sparking space during the event.

SEE ALSO: Coronavirus: Kisii county launches three-week fumigation exercise

At the completion of construction, some 15 years ago, the rich in the town allocated themselves the shops leaving out the poor to struggle with the rising rent.

Walter Kiyondi, traders’ representative has told the County Government to repossess some of the public land grabbed within the CBD and allocate it to the traders.

“They must create an alternative, let them open up the filthy and abandoned backstreets. As well as improve on infrastructure within the CBD if indeed they intend to decongest the town.”

Both the political leadership, Chamber of Commerce and locals agree that they need to find a quick solution and save the town from the impending menace.

Individuals mostly councilors of the defunct municipality have grabbed unoccupied public land in Kisii town and put up kiosks that they rent out to traders.

SEE ALSO: Traders stare at losses as Daraja Mbili closure effects begin to bite

Shades and kiosks that were put up by the Municipal Council in the town’s main bus terminus were taken over by unscrupulous county officials who rent them out to needy traders between Sh8,000 and Sh30,000.

On Wednesday when he met traders at the Kisii Cultural Hall, Governor James Ongwae said planning and decongesting the town must be done in a consultative manner with all stakeholders brought on board.

“There is no doubt that some changes have to be effected as we host the rest of the Country for Madaraka Celebrations. We have to re-carpet the roads and allow for the improvement and expansion of the walkways.

Ongwae has already directed that all buildings including Government structures in the town be repainted in the next 30 days.

The town’s Urban Engineer Harun Oyaro, said the municipality board has so far received Sh164 million Word Bank infrastructure funds.

SEE ALSO: Ongwae shuts busy Daraja Mbili market over coronavirus

“All the projects funded in this programme are priority based and have been designed to immediately create positive impact on the people.”

With the Sh204 million Daraja Mbili market yet to be completed, the county government is between a rock and a hard place as it tries to figure out how it will carry out the reorganistion and decongestion plan.

The market was designed to accommodate 700 traders and 7,000 others including customers, porters, transporters, suppliers and attendants.

Kisii County Commissioner Stephen Kehara said the contractor has already been paid Sh145 million according to the report he received in his office a month ago. The report says the project is at 80 per cent complete.

Kisii town James Ongwae Madaraka Day

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