The County Government of Kisumu has embarked on construction of a Sh79 million ultra-modern market at Otonglo in Kisumu West Sub-County.
The project sponsored by the World Bank under the Kenya Urban Support Project (KUP) is set to accommodate 500 small scale traders once completed.
Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o said the project was in line with his government’s plan to grow the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) sector to propel the economy of the lake side county.
Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony for the project at Otonglo on Monday, Nyong’o said the project will significantly improve the business environment at the urban centre which sits on a major highway to Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
His government, he said, has completed four similar markets to accommodate traders who were relocated from various trading zones in the city.
Construction and modernization of Kibuye market, which is the largest in East and Central Africa, he added, was on course and will accommodate more traders once completed.
Prof Nyong’o said the national government funded Uhuru Business Park that was near completion and will accommodate 10, 000 traders once officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta in April.
The Governor said the county government was also in talks with development partners to secure funds to modernize and expand Jubilee market to accommodate more traders.
“Our resolve to put up these ultra-modern markets is a clear testimony that my government is committed to growing the SME sector. This is why we are relocating the traders affected by the operations to new grounds as they await the reopening of Uhuru Business Park, Kibuye and Otonglo,” he said.
Nyong’o lashed out at politicians opposed to the transformation saying the move to relocate traders from the streets targeted to make Kisumu a great city with ultra-modern spaces for traders to sell their wares.
Speaking during the same occasion, Kisumu Acting City Manager Abala Wanga said the city had 28 markets out of which 12 have been grabbed.
Wanga who has been spearheading demolitions on public land in the city said the purge will continue until all grabbed land is repossessed adding the City Management Board shall put a caveat on all public land in question to bar the Lands office from demarcating or issuing title deeds.
“The Kisumu Lands office has messed up this city. We are going to write a protest letter to the National Lands Commission to have the officers in charge removed,” he said.
by Sophy Adhiambo/Chris Mahandara