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Five city markets in Nairobi County to be unveiled by end-year

By Josephat Thiong'o | June 15th 2020

The new look Mwariro market which has the capacity to hold more than 300 traders is set to be open by end of year. [Josphat Thiong'o, Standard]

Five new markets with a capacity to accommodate approximately 9,000 traders are set to be open by the Nairobi County Government by the end of the year.

The markets that have been in construction for the past two years are spread out across the capital city and are meant to give traders in the streets decent and ample operating space.

The markets include Westlands Market, Karandini Market, New Wakulima Market along Kangundo Road, Qware Road Market, and Mwariro Market.

This was revealed by Nairobi County Director of Markets and Trading Services, Fredrick Ndunyu who observed that the markets were 99 percent complete and they had been installed with features to accommodate wholesale and retail businesses.

“The features in a market like the new look Mwariro market include a generator, underground water tank, a borehole, fire extinguishers, eateries, modern stalls, CCTV cameras for security, parking spaces and toilets for use by the traders,” said Ndunyu, while presenting a status report on Nairobi markets to Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

He revealed that 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, hence the construction of new ones.

Mwariro and Karandani markets have the capacity to accommodate more than 3500 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 be able to accommodate more than 400 traders with construction works nearing completion.

Families that were relocated for the construction of the market to take place will also be given priority in occupying the market spaces once 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 further brought to the fore that the New Wakulima Market in Embakasi West sub-County was 99 percent complete and the remaining part had stalled due to an illegal building around it. The county government has however entered into negotiations with the owner.

The Sh800 million fresh produce market has been fitted with 370 new lockable stalls and will be able to accommodate more than 3,000 traders. It was constructed through a partnership between the Nairobi County Government and the African Development Bank but has already had its fair share of problems even before it is unveiled.

In 2018, the County Assembly trade committee had raised a red flag after it emerged that residents were being conned by unscrupulous individuals selling spaces at the market. The County Government however stepped into the aid of area residents.

Westlands Market has been undergoing renovations jointly by the national government and county governments and will be able to house more than 3,000 traders. Priority will be given to the traders that previously occupied the market before being forced out for the construction to happen.

Additionally, Qware Road Market in Gikomba which has also been undergoing renovation will play host to more than 600 traders with priority given to 81 traders who were displaced when the market burnt down.

“After considering the 81 as a priority in the allocation of spaces, the rest will be subjected to vetting in a fair process,” Ndunyu said.

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