The government has injected billions of shillings in the construction of seven modern markets in Kiambu county in efforts to boost trade as well as improve living standards of small-scale traders.
Three of the markets have been completed, among them Kikuyu, Ruiru and Kihara. Others like Juja and Githurai are nearing completion while plans to kickstart the construction of Wangige and Madaraka market in Thika are at top gear.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro while commissioning the construction of Gatukuyu market in Gatundu North Sub County said the markets will help the traders make a living as well as spur the economic growth of the county through revenue collection.
He said they are expecting Sh800 million from the national government for the construction of Madaraka market in Makongeni estate in Thika and Wangige market in Kikuyu Sub-county.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta committed to the construction of the Madaraka market in Thika which serves thousands of traders from the county as well as parts of Ukambani, Garissa, Murang’a and Kirinyaga. We also hope to get funds for the construction of a market in Wangige whose population is quite high due to the ongoing construction of the Western bypass,” said Nyoro.
The Sh500 million Githurai market, home to over 10,000 traders will accommodate 2,000 shops and stalls though there is a plan to construct another market in Jubilee area estate.
The Sh281 million Kikuyu market can accommodate 540 traders while Sh171 million Kihara market that has two storey building has 365 stalls.
Nyoro said once completed, the markets will provide a ready market to the several agricultural products in the County as well as the neighboring ones.
“Traders will be empowered to make a living. The markets have good lighting such that they can operate day and night. We expect traders to make money while in comfortable environments,” he said.
On the Gatukuyu market, the Governor said they will first put shades to protect traders from vagaries of weather as they come up with a masterplan to construct a modern market.
The market, he said, will be fully equipped and they will push for a Huduma centre to be opened in the building to help residents to access government services closer to them. The market shade will be completed in six months.
By Lucy Lumumba and Muoki Charles