Five new markets with a capacity to accommodate approximately 9,000 traders are set to be opened by the Nairobi County Government by the end of the year.
Construction of the markets has been going on for two years and they are spread out across the city. The markets will offer traders ample space away from the streets.
They include Westlands market, Karandini market, New Wakulima market on Kangundo road, Qware road market and Mwariro market.
This was revealed by Nairobi County Director of Markets and Trading Services Fredrick Ndunyu, who said the markets were 99 per cent complete and had been installed with features to accommodate wholesale and retail businesses.
“The features, like the new-look Mwariro market, include a generator, underground water tank, a borehole, fire extinguishers, eateries, modern stalls, CCTV cameras, parking spaces and toilets for use by buyers and traders,” Ndunyu said while presenting a status report on Nairobi markets to Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
Nairobi County has 20 open-air and 23 large markets, but they are not enough to accommodate the surging number of traders in the city, which prompted the county to construct new ones.
Mwariro and Karandani markets have the capacity to accommodate more than 3,500 traders and were constructed in partnership with the World Bank.
The new look Mwariro market has expanded its accommodation capacity by 500, meaning that it will now be able to host more than 3,000 traders, largely drawn from Kariokor. Karandini market will accommodate more than 400 traders. Its construction is nearing completion.
Families and traders forced out to allow for the construction of the market will be given priority in occupying the spaces once the markets are 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 and the traders were promised priority in the allocation of stalls,” said Ndunyu.
Ndunyu added that the New Wakulima Market, which is in Embakasi West sub-County, was 99 per cent complete and the remaining part had stalled due to an illegal building near it. The county government, however, has started negotiations with the illegal structure's owner.
The Sh800 million fresh produce market has been fitted with 370 new lockable stalls and is expected to accommodate more than 3,000 traders. It was constructed through a partnership between the Nairobi County Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) but has already had its fair share of problems even before it is unveiled.
Westlands market, Qware Road market in Gikomba, City Park market and Karen market are all due to be opened soon. The county is also putting up a modern market in Dandora Phase 1.