There was celebration among traders in Homa Bay after the newly constructed modern market was officially opened for use.
The traders who had stalls and those in the open air market are set to start their trading activities in the multimillion project funded by the World Bank in conjunction with the National Government which was constructed at a cost of Sh117.8 million.
The traders were excited as they started their business activities in the market with over 400 stalls allocated to some of them by the Department of Housing.
However, the opening of the market came with challenges since it could not accommodate the more than 2000 traders as the majority of them were left without space to conduct their businesses.
Chairman of the Homa Bay County Traders Geoffrey Okoth said that the division of the spaces within the market was not easy as some traders were left without a space to operate in.
“Traders who were moved from the old market were to be given the first priority during the allocation but that was not possible since many were left out,” he said.
This forced a number of Civil Societies to file a case in court questioning the criteria used in the allocation of the stalls which left many traders stranded. They claimed that the distribution of the stalls was done in an unfair manner.
Okoth appealed to the traders to be patient as they await court ruling in June and assured that their stalls were still available and would be issued to them upon the ruling.
Okoth asked traders to shun giving bribes to anyone in exchange for a space within the market.
“If you give out money to anyone and still lack space, don’t blame the market master or the Ministry of Housing,” he warned.
By Okeyo Lucy