The county government of Kisumu has planned construction of a Sh.2.5 billion small traders’ commercial centre to house thousands of traders who were displaced during the recent demonstration of structures erected on Kenya Railways land.
The County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o said the ultra-modern centre will accommodate 10, 000 traders to end the menace of hawking and erection of makeshift structures by the traders in the lake side city.
Speaking to the media in his office on Wednesday, Prof. Nyong’o said the structure will be equipped with ablution blocks, sheds, restaurants and social amenities to ensure that the traders operate in a conducive environment.
The County government, he said was in talks with the Kenya Railways Corporation to hand over part of the land repossessed during the first phase of demolitions to pave way for construction of the centre.
“We have formed a joint task force that is looking into all grabbed Kenya Railways land which we seek to repossess and use for development,” he said.
Once constructed the centre will be one of its kind in the region and will offer a long lasting solution to the challenges facing small traders in the area.
The County government was in the process of completing construction of 500 sheds behind Jomo Kenyatta Sports Grounds to accommodate some of the displaced traders, added the governor.
Additional funds, he said, have also been factored in this financial year’s budget for modernization of existing markets among Jubilee and Kibuye to absorb more traders.
The Director of Communications in the office of the Governor, Aloice Ager said the county government plans to undertake construction of the commercial centre in collaboration with development partners.
He said the proposal has been shared with various partners expressing optimism that construction will begin soon.
The Kenya Railways embarked on demolition of illegal structures on its land two months ago to pave way for the expansion of Kisumu port.
It is estimated that over 3, 000 traders were displaced during the demonstrations which are set to be extended to other parts of the city.
By Chris Mahandara