Exit the goat auctions, enter meat hawkers


By Alex Kiprotich

As the country is treated to macabre scenes

outside Kenya Meat Commission of carcases, a small town is enjoying a boom.

A visit to the centre along Nakuru-Kabarnet Road, which is characterised by rusty-iron-roofed houses during weekends, is like visiting a car showroom.

Vehicles of different makes are parked along the road as motorists tour several butcheries to buy meat of their choice.

Koriema is a meat market for most hotels in Nakuru.

Koriema has become popular for urban dwellers travelling from upcountry. The name refers to the place and goat meat.

Most hotels that serve high-class clients in Nakuru have also included in their menu ‘Koriema’. The meat is known for its succulence and salty taste that makes it possible to be eaten without salt.

Mr John Chirchir, a resident of Koriema, says the goats feed on local medicinal plants. Chirchir says the salty taste is due to the saline soils.

Meat taken raw

"This place is famous for goat meat that has become a hit with travellers to Nairobi, Eldoret, Kabarnet, Nakuru and Kabartonjo," he says.

Unlike other roadside selling points, Koriema meat is packed and taken away raw," he said.

A butchery owner Francis Kelelwa says annual Kimalel goat auction in the 1990s popularised the place.

Kelelwa says the auction, which was always presided over by former President Moi is two kilometres from the centre.

He says the auctions stopped when Moi retired, but goat meat lovers still visit the place.

"Many prominent people still come to buy meat or goats," he says.

Though the centre has only seven butcheries, up to 50 goats are slaughtered on weekends. And to ensure clients get the taste of fresh meat, it is not refrigerated.

"We do not refrigerate because we sell everything," says Willy Ng’eny. He says Sundays are the busiest days.

One ardent customer, Mary Mulievi from Moiben, says a friend introduced her to Koriema meat and she still frequents the place. "The meat is sweet and succulent," she notes.

Mary says she adds little salt because the meat is naturally salty.

"For people who do not use a lot of salt, you do not need to add any and especially to roasted meat," she said.

Here meat is hawked like fruits. Photo: Boniface Thuku/Standard

Another customer, Peter Kimaiyo, says he buys the meat for his family.

"Meat from Koriema is of high quality and delicious."

He says even without value addition, it is a hit to meat lovers. But Kimaiyo, who is a soldier, says the butcheries need to improve how they handle meat.

Proper hygiene

"They need to ensure that their environment is clean because most of the times, they deal with so many customers and proper hygiene must be maintained," he says.

Former area councillor Richard Chebon says goat meat from the area is a favourite of many families.

"Goats from the region are famed for their taste because they are bred on saline soils," he says.

Linah Kimoi says the centre expanded fast during goat auctions, but the pace has gone down. She says the Government should reopen the auction to uplift livelihoods.

She says commuters cannot sustain the more than 10,000 residents. "Each family has at least 30 goats and we need a market for our livestock," she says.

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