Governor Nyong'o defends eviction of hawkers from Kisumu town centre

Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyongo
KISUMU, KENYA: Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong'o has defended plans to evict hawkers from the central business district ahead of November 2021 African cities summit.

Nyong’o said the county had secured 23 acres parcel from Kenya Railways for the establishment of a market to house the hawkers.

Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony of the county’s new Health Executive Professor Judith Miguda-Attyang and county attorney Victor Obondi on Tuesday, the governor said the relocation was aimed at sanitising growth.

“Hawkers are on the streets because of lack of proper establishments for their operation and we are going to offer them just that,” he said.

He said even the roadside market near the main bus park had only thrived and posed public health and other risks due to halted plans to expand existing Jubilee, Kibuye and Otonglo markets.

The donor-funded projects, he said, had delayed due to obstacles mounted by the traders but would soon be completed to offer space for those operating from the roadsides.

Nyong’o defended move to demolish temporary roadside structures to pave way for city beautification, saying there was a need for order.

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The plan falls within a World Bank-funded Sh250 million project geared at boosting the lakeside town’s outlook ahead of a major African cities conference in 2021.

In the project, the CBD will be redesigned that no vehicles will be allowed to access Kenyatta Avenue, Oginga Odinga and Ang’awa streets - forming a triangle

City manager Doris Ombara said World Bank funds would be used to modernise Kisumu into a walking and healthy millennium city.

It will see an upgrade to the city’s drainage, which was built in the 1930s by colonialists when the population was about 50,000 and now has grown to over one million.

Heavy rains flood Kisumu in sewer water due to the clogged system, posing health risks.

Ombara told those who have encroached on road reserves and sewer lines to move out to allow the city's major facelift.

Nyong’o, however, warned cartels duping traders into erecting such structures with a view of collecting money from them. He said populist self-interests would not be tolerated, adding that provision of such services was the sole mandate of the city manager.

He said there were individuals already receiving money under the pretence that they could help traders secure slots at the proposed market “with the aim of creating chaos.”

Traders evicted from Kenya Railways land to pave way for the expansion of the Kisumu port are among those eyeing space at the new market after running losses.

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Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong'oWorld Bank