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Traders ordered to relocate from buffer zone

Fish traders who have been erecting temporary structures at Soko Matope along Marachi buffer zone in Busia County have been ordered to demolish the structures immediately.
Speaking to the representatives of the traders at the County Commissioner’s boardroom on Tuesday, Busia County Commissioner Jacob Narengo said the team had not met the requirements as agreed between them and the National Government Administrative officers.
“The construction works have to stop immediately as we plan to have a round table discussion on the way forward,’’ Narengo said.
Narengo added that the land parcel belongs to the national government and had been earmarked for the construction of the Jumuiya market and therefore has to remain intact.
Busia County Police Commander John Nyoike pointed out that the traders did not follow the laid down procedures yet certain individuals were already invading the public land.
Nyoike told the traders’ representatives to advise their members to relocate peacefully instead of waiting for security officers to evict them.
He noted with concern that some unscrupulous people had already taken advantage of the situation and were allocating plots to some unsuspecting traders.
The chairman of Busia Cross Border fish traders Francis Aketch however requested the County Commissioner not to demolish the structures arguing that they had pumped a lot of money in constructing the stalls.
Aketch denied having been informed about the seven-point requirements read to them by the County Commissioner during the Tuesday meeting.
“We attended the December 4 meeting but were told to get out at some point as the County and National Government officers discussed those requirements,” he said adding that no further communication was given to them.
He pleaded with the government officials to grant them time until Thursday this week so that they can meet the requirements.
Before relocating to the place, the traders were required to serve the County Security Committee with a copy of contract on renovation of the fish market ,clearly stipulate the grace period, provide a plan on how to secure the place, provide minutes indicating how the traders were planning to relocate, provide a list of all stall owners and their details, provide a plan from Public Health and ensure that the established relocation list is coordinated by the Assistant County Commissioner 1 of Busia Municipality and the County Director of fisheries.
The move is to pave way for the construction of a modern fish market funded by World Bank through Kenya Devolution Support Programme at a cost of Sh 60 million.
Construction of the proposed market facility is expected to take 6 months.
By Salome Alwanda

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