More than 4, 000 traders in Nairobi are set to benefit from the newly constructed New Wakulima Market which is 99 percent complete.
The opening of the Sh800 million fresh produce market, located in Mowlem Ward, Embakasi West sub-County, is set to alleviate the problem of lack of enough selling space for traders.
Nairobi currently has 20 open-air and 23 large markets which are not enough for the huge population of merchants in the capital city.
Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) Director General Silas Kinoti said once the project is complete, it will accommodate over 4,000 traders and will help decongest county markets and increase access to quality, affordable and sustainable food.
He said the project, which is part of the dualling of Outer Ring Road project currently being undertaken by Kura, is 99 percent complete only awaiting water and power connection to be completed.
“Apart from the fresh produce market, which its construction is part of the Outer Ring project is 99 percent complete and only awaiting water and power connection, we have also improved Kariobangi Market,” said Engineer Kinoti.
City Hall is also in the process of completing the construction of three more markets including Westlands, Karandini and Mwariro set to settle more traders as the county grapples with increasing numbers of hawkers in the Central Business district.
Governor Mike Sonko has, however, raised concerns about impostors conning innocent citizens through fake sale of market spaces and issuance of stalls within the different markets in the county.
He pointed out that markets affected include the New Wakulima, Westlands Market, Karandini Market, Mwariro in Kariokor and City Park Market in Parklands.
“We would like to notify the general public, that there are fraudsters and conmen siphoning funds from innocent citizens through fake sale and issuance of business stalls in various markets within the county.
“Any persons who have fallen prey of the fraudsters have been advised to report their grievances to the nearest police station, Director of Criminal investigations or the county offices for necessary legal action,” said Mr Sonko.
However, this is not the first time that the public are being conned in the ‘promise’ of market stalls.
Last year in October, Nairobi County Assembly Trade committee chairman Charles Thuo had raised similar concerns where residents were being blackmailed into giving money to have market spaces reserved for them.
Mr Thuo specifically mentioned the New Wakulima Market where the committee visited and found some residents camping at the entrance, claiming they had paid in order to be allocated space inside the market.
He said that the only way to deal with the issue is by setting up a joint committee to come up with a list of traders who will be allocated spaces as well as establish the mechanism by which traders will be selected and how the markets will be operated.