A whooping 2400 prospective traders want to be allocated stalls at the magnificent modern market located at the heart of Kikuyu Town of Kiambu County.
Unfortunately, the market is expected to accommodate only 550 traders, most of those who were operating in the old market.
The market is situated opposite the offices of the Deputy County Commissioner (DCC).
Construction of the new market stands at 99 percent complete and could soon be open to the public after the anticipated official launch by the President.
Upon occupation, the market is expected to aid in decongesting Kikuyu town, thus providing a hub for commerce in the area.
It will also generate revenue and assist the County Government to supervise the traders in an organised manner.
Following a verification exercise of the project, the incoming director of the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) Michael Gacheru on Tuesday, observed that only sockets and lights on the top floor were yet to be fitted.
While briefing the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) at the Kiambu County Commissioner’s boardroom, Mr Gacheru said there was clutter at the back of the site and a leaking roof that required fixing prior to the handover which is long awaited by the enthusiastic traders.
During the meeting it was agreed that the official handover and opening be delayed until all pending works and other issues are resolved.
The project, funded by the World Bank, costs a total of Sh. 281 million and is being undertaken by the State Department of Housing and Urban Development. Construction commenced in June 2018 and was expected to be completed in May 2019.
However, the contractor has received a paltry Sh. 62 million for the work, a delay which has at times led to the contractor denying officers access to the site to check on the progress, said Mr Gacheru.
He further told the committee that an existing planning department office which was on the site prior to the construction, had halted site modifications.
The County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga instructed Nairobi Metropolitan Support Programme (NAMSIP) officials to ensure that the said dilapidated office is refurbished by the contractor and fenced off as per the initial agreement.
Mr Wanyanga noted that the office had been constructed through donor funds and: “We cannot allow an agency to destroy and abandon it.”
Other challenges bedeviling the infrastructural development include lack of safe-keeping facilities since the partitioning of the stalls did not factor areas for traders to secure their goods.
Additionally, lack of adequate fire suppression system as well as unclear modalities of compensation to the traders. Every trader was to be given a stipend of Sh. 10,000 to facilitate their relocation but it is not clear whether this commitment was documented.
By Lydia Shiloya