Traders at Madaraka market in Thika town have a reason to smile following the tarmacking of a road leading to the market, the biggest in Kiambu County.
A section of traders said the poor state of the road has been affecting their business especially during rainy seasons as vehicles get stuck when ferrying products to the market.
Linet Mueni, a trader said buyers also have been finding it hard to access the market due to poor infrastructure, leading to poor customer turnout.
“Bringing produce to the market has also been a challenge. Vehicles get stuck in the mud before they can finally access the market. During dry seasons, our products get covered with dust, leading to customers rejecting them,” she said.
The Bodaboda operators accused politicians of using the road as a campaign tool and once they clinch power, neglecting it.
Stephen Kamau, a bodaboda operator said the tarmacking is a major milestone and will open up other business opportunities in Kamenu ward.
“Our motorcycles have been breaking down frequently when ferrying goods for our customers. Now, accessibility will be fast,” said Kamau.
The two kilometre stretch connects Thika-Garissa highway passing through Madaraka market and adjacent estates joining BAT-Kiganjo road at Kamenu.
The Construction is being done by Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and will help in reducing traffic jam on the busy Thika-Garissa highway.
The market serves Kiambu, Murang’a, Nairobi, Kitui and Machakos Counties. It has been at the centre of politics between Kiambu and Thika regions, and in 2017, was torched by unknown assailants believed to have been hired by prominent politicians. That time, the home of the then Kamenu MCA was also torched.
The Thika MP, Patrick Wainaina who took up the tarmacking of the road said it would help traders move their produce in and out of the market with ease.
He said the contractors have been closely monitored to use technologies that would make the road durable.
By Muoki Charles