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Nairobi County government to spend Sh4.2b on expansion of markets

NAIROBI
By Josphat Thiong'o | June 3rd 2015
A section of Kangemi market in Nairobi. The Nairobi county government is set to expand the market and 42 others at a cost of Sh4.2 billion. [PHOTO: DAVID NJAAGA/STANDARD]

The Nairobi county government is set to invest Sh4.2 billion in expanding old and setting new markets.

County Executive for Trade Anna Othoro said yesterday the expansion targets 43 existing markets in the county and putting up 10 new ones.

“The county government has received Sh2.7 billion from the World Bank, Sh800 million from the African Development Bank and it has set aside Sh700 million that will go towards the expansion of markets in the county,” Ms Othoro said.

Othoro said Sh2.7 billion would go towards rebuilding Jogoo Road, Kangemi and Muthurwa markets. A further Sh800 million would go towards building of another market on Outer Ring Road near Kariobangi.

According to the executive, the county would require an additional 47 acres to put up more markets to accommodate all hawkers.

EXTENSIVE DAMAGE

“We are planning to put up 10 additional retail and wholesale markets and are currently looking for land. We are also seeking to employ alternative building methods by using new technologies to ensure that the markets are put up within minimal time,” said Othoro,adding:

“What is holding us from launching the ground breaking ceremony for the operation is the current heavy rains. We hope to be done with the expansion and putting up of more markets within the 2015/2016 financial year.”

Othoro also said one of the greatest challenges the county was facing was the frequent fires that had caused extensive damage to the markets with close to 8,000 traders being affected.

“We have so far lost six markets to fires in the recent past which include Gikomba, Karen, New Ngara (Nyayo), Kibera, City Park and Kawangware markets which by value of the land they were sitting on, were worth Sh2 billion,” she said.

HAWKERS ARRAIGNED

The executive further urged traders in the county to take up insurance policies for their stock because the county government only insures the buildings used as markets and not the stock.

Meanwhile, 200 hawkers and their customers were yesterday arraigned before court for selling and buying goods at undesignated areas within the Central Business District.

Othoro said all hawkers were expected to be around markets and not putting up structures within the CBD. This, she said, was not permitted by law.

“All hawkers from the streets, apart from the newspaper vendors, will have to go. The issue we are currently experiencing is hawkers putting up structures on the road leading to both human and vehicle traffic. We are also working on reducing the operating hours of the newspaper vendors,” she said.

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