Mpeketoni town is set to benefit from an open air market in which the County Government has set aside Sh 33 million for the project.
The market is one of the four market projects funded by the Lamu County Government in conjunction with the World Bank to the tune of Sh 100 million to put up new infrastructure projects aimed at improving the plight of traders within Lamu’s municipalities.
Speaking at the Mpeketoni town today during the laying of the foundation stone for the project, Lamu Governor, Fahim Twaha, stated that the initiative is part of the county government’s initiatives to improve trade infrastructure within Lamu.
He stated that coupled with the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road which has already been tarmacked, the County Government in collaboration with other development partners and the National Government, were working towards creating an enabling environment for traders in Lamu.
The Governor further revealed that plans were underway to build a Sh 50 million market in Mokowe, the county’s administrative capital in a bid to further expand the burgeoning municipality.
“We are also launching boda boda sheds in Hongwe, which will benefit at least 200 boda boda operators,” he added.
Twaha also promised that Lamu Old Town market would soon be completed, promising a January completion deadline for the project that begun three (3) years ago.
Lamu Island traders have raised concerns over the pace of completion for the World Bank funded project with questions being raised as to why the project has taken too long to complete
“Funding for the project has been an issue, with several start-stop intervals to the project,” he said.
The Lamu Governor also said that the County Government was also looking to ensure the Nagele Livestock Market remains feasible and attractive for traders to buy and sell through the market.
In his remarks, the County Executive (CEC) Member for Trade and Tourism, Josephat Musembi, stated that the expansion of market stalls in Lamu, is part of County Government’s plans to address challenges affecting traders in the region.
“The county’s development budget for trade and tourism, was increased up to Sh 150 million, to improve the potential for trade and agriculture in Lamu,” Musembi said.
He further stated that the allocation of stalls within the Mpeketoni market, will be done fairly and transparently to ensure that no one misses out.
The market, once complete will have the capacity for over 3,000 traders that were initially moved to the Tiger grounds to create space for the construction of the market.
By Amenya Ochieng