Traders in Bomet town will benefit from the upgrading of stalls at the main market in a Sh58 million program funded by the World Bank.
The World Bank is funding the project under the Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) and is being implemented by the Bomet County Municipal Board.
It comes three years after another company, Patience Services Limited, laid cabro blocks in a different section of the market meant for fresh farm produce dealers for Sh14.3 million. The project was also funded by the World Bank under KUSP.
The county government relocated hawkers from the site in 2018 to pave the way for the construction of the modern market stalls, which are expected to be handed over in a few weeks.
“We are modernizing the market to ensure small-scale traders, especially those supplying and selling fresh farm produce, can conduct their business with ease,” said Deputy Governor Shadrack Rotich, who doubles up as the Lands and Urban Planning executive.
Open stalls will be used by traders dealing mainly in textiles, while lockups will be allocated to those engaged in other businesses.
Mr Joel Maritim, the chairman of small-scale traders at the market, said the upgrade was welcome as it would create more space for traders. “We welcome the move to make the operating environment for us easier as it would attract more customers,” Maritim said.
Trucks delivering goods to the market used to get stuck in the mud at the market in rainy seasons, and cabro blocks will now ease transportation.
“We are looking forward to using the facilities because traders who operated from open-air spaces had to close their businesses during rainy periods,” said Ms Beatrice Langat, a trader at the market.
Muddy pavements also impeded the movement of customers. The market has been fenced off, with entry and exit points, while traders were allocated modern stalls.
Reports also indicate a truck mounted with a skip loader will also collect garbage from the market and adjacent trading centres, promising a cleaner environment for traders and residents.
By Lamech Arisa