After decades of living in darkness and having only to rely on moonlight, residents of Magunga, Suba South constituency, have finally ‘seen the light’.
This is after a market lighting project saw streetlights get installed in the area known for its bad roads.
The project came barely a month after the area hit the headlines for its poor state of roads.
“We were in news for the wrong reasons just the other day, and this is a good response from a local leader,” said Cosmas Komalla a local.
The lighting project elicited debate online with area residents, mostly youth, discussing the project on Facebook. The excitement was brought about by the fact that government projects have never been forthcoming, leaving residents wondering if indeed they have elected leaders.
Residents took to social media to shower Gwasii South Ward MCA Ajimba Ayieta with praise for his good job.
“Thank you MCA for shaming the devil,” posted one Stephen Bukende, a resident of the area.
But speaking to Standard Digital on phone, Ayieta downplayed locals’ reaction.
“It is my job to help traders by creating a conducive environment for doing their business,” he said.
“The people have a right to be happy. This is something we have been working on, and I am happy it has helped to improve the lives of our people,” said Ayieta
He said the project was long overdue following the recent launch of the market by the office of the Woman Rep.
“We lobbied for the market from the office of Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, who agreed to put up the market. We, however, realised that without proper lighting, locals will not get the full benefit of the market,” he said.
He praised the national government and Kenya Power and Lighting Company for making sure the project took off and urged locals to be patients as they lobby for more projects.
Ayieta said more transformers will be installed in the market to make sure there is constant power in the area.
“Kenya Power has agreed to install more transformers in the market so that we don’t get power disruption,” he said.
He said the new kiosks around the market and the FOSA bank all constructed by the Homa Bay County Government will benefit from the lighting project.
“Both Trade and Energy departments are keen on this project,” said Ayieta.
He cautioned residents against attacking leaders for some alleged failures in championing development projects in the area.
“Some people want to look at it in terms who has failed to do what and where, that is not the point, let the support us as we strive to lobby for projects.”
The project has seen the shopping centre get over 30 street lights, making the place safe trading.
Some of the locals have said it will help the market grow and reduce cases of insecurity which have been reported in the past.
“We can now sell our wares without fear of any insecurity, this will help us get money in our pockets,” Joyce Opala one of the traders told Standard.
Others posted pictures of the streets lights on social media and urged their MCA to bring more projects.
“We also want to feel like we are part of the bigger Kenya in terms of development, let them also loom at the road networks in the area so that our people can travel to the market with ease,” said Eric Odindo.
Akinyi Onyango hailed the project but challenged the MCA to lobby for roads so that goods can be easily transported to the market.
“This is a good gesture, but let the leaders also bring us good roads, we have become the laughing stock in social media as the only constituency without a tarmac road, said Anyango.
Traders can now operate at night after the street lights started working on Friday, December 20.
Magunga market has 60 cubes and drawers in which traders can keep their goods.