Hawkers and traders operating at the Dedan Kimathi Kamukunji Stadium in Nyeri town will be given first priority when the county government begins the process of allocating market stalls at the newly constructed Asian Quarters bus terminus.
Nyeri Deputy County Commissioner, Joseph Mwangi has said the terminus is set for operationalization early next year and the process of allocating slots to the traders was underway.
He said that he has held a series of meetings together with the County Executive Committee in Charge of Trade, Diana Kendi to strategize on how to move the traders and public service vehicles from the Nyeri Central Business District as a way of easing congestion.
“Our first target will be traders at the Kamukunji stadium and I would like to appeal to them not to resist the transition,” Mwangi said.
The relocation exercise, which will be conducted jointly by the National and County government, is expected to affect over 1,000 traders who are currently operating from the three bus terminus at the heart of the Nyeri CBD.
The county government has insisted that hawkers who sell their wares along Gakere road would also be factored in once the county embarks on its plan to decongest the CBD.
Construction of the Sh 600 million Asian Quarters bus terminus was jointly funded by the county government and the World Bank under the Kenya Urban Support Programme.
The bus park is said to be one of the largest termini hubs in the country hosting over 590 stalls, three eateries, 36 bus ticketing points, cyber cafes and over 200 parking bays.
Some of the notable amenities in the multi-billion bus park include a fire sub-station, bank ATMs, a police post, a power sub-station, a garage, an open air market, shops and an ICT Centre.
The county government in 2020, set up stalls at the Kamukunji grounds to allow hawkers who previously operated in Gakere and Kamukunji roads prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic to continue with their work.
Some of the affected traders were opposed to the arrangement as they argued that the stadium had little foot traffic.
The shift to the stadium has also affected national day celebrations. Since their resumption in June this year, the County has for the last three occasions been forced to host the events at the DEB Muslim Primary school grounds.
Speaking during the 59th Jamhuri day celebrations at the DEB Muslim Primary in Nyeri, the deputy county commissioner also reassured the traders of a smooth transition to the new terminus, adding that the stalls will be assigned fairly.
“The stalls will be allocated in a transparent manner and I also urge you to take advantage of this opportunity because there are limited stalls available,” said Mwangi during the recent Jamhuri Day Celebrations.
By Wangari Mwangi