Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika Drives Market Development Across the County
Written by Jeremy Ogolla
Nakuru Governor H.E. Susan Kihika has initiated numerous projects and activities in various departments such as Trade, Health, Education, Agriculture, Economic Planning, and Resource Mobilization to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and achieve the strategic objectives outlined in her manifesto.
For instance, the Department of Trade, Tourism, and Cooperatives is currently undertaking a variety of development activities within its jurisdiction including the construction and development of markets. These market projects involve the creation of stalls, sheds, kiosks, and modern market designs.
Governor Kihika’s agenda is to promote trade and business growth in all 11 Sub-Counties by equipping each market with essential amenities that foster an enabling environment for traders and contribute to economic growth.
The Department includes the Directorate of Trade, which is responsible for ensuring that the markets are constructed in alignment with the Governor’s agenda. The Directorate has taken measures to design and construct the markets in a way that meets the needs of thousands of full-time traders across the County. The designs cater to various types of merchandise, including foodstuff, hardware, textiles, and readymade materials.
County Trade Executive Member, Mr. Stephen Kuria, believes that the construction of markets will greatly benefit trade in Nakuru County, which is experiencing rapid growth, noting that a significant proportion of the labor force, both in rural and urban areas, relies on trading as a means of livelihood stating that markets play a crucial role in the economic activities of many residents in Nakuru.
A status report released by the Directorate of Trade outlines the completed projects, ongoing projects, and those yet to be initiated. This includes projects initiated by the previous administration which have been completed.
Some of the completed projects include the Gilgil Mtumba market shade (Gilgil Ward), Fish market stalls (Olkaria Ward), open-air market (Viwandani), Burma stalls (Kivumbini), market sheds at Polepole Centre, Kahuruko, and Moimoi (Waseges), Aharuka market (Kabazi), Njoro market sheds (Njoro), and the Naivasha Municipal Modern Market.
Overall, these initiatives aim to support economic growth, enhance trade, and provide a conducive environment for traders in Nakuru County.
The new market, which is ultra-modern, was built at Kshs422.4 million and was officially opened by President William Ruto and Governor Susan Kihika. It can accommodate over 600 traders.
The market in Naivasha consists of 89 lockable shops, with 33 of them equipped with roller shutter doors. It also includes a cold room and CCTV surveillance, benefiting traders, farmers, and fishermen in Naivasha and the surrounding areas.
In Gilgil Ward, the traders at Gilgil Mtumba market now have a safe and suitable environment to operate in. The County Government provided them with a complete market shade, and the traders expressed their gratitude towards Governor Kihika.
In Njoro Ward, the completion of Njoro Market brought relief to the residents. The project had been long-awaited, as the market site had become a dumpsite, causing pollution. The Trade Executive, Mr. Kuria, inspected the completed project and assured the traders that it would soon be officially opened by Governor Kihika. The market aims to improve food handling and hygiene standards, as well as provide protection from the sun and rain for the traders.
Trade Chief Officer Samuel Ndegwa mentioned that there are various innovative ideas and designs available for market sheds, stalls, and kiosks. The County administration aims to provide standardized and comfortable sheds and stalls to attract more traders to operate in the markets.
The rehabilitation of the Muricho market toilet in the Visoi ward is halfway complete, and the construction of youth lockups in the Gilgil ward is 70% complete. In Kivoronjo center, Solai ward, the construction of market toilets and lockups is near completion at 80%.
Looking ahead, in the financial year 2023/2024, the County administration plans to invest millions of shillings in starting the construction of new market projects. This is in response to the increasing population and the resulting shortage of market stalls and sheds in other parts of the County.