Traders in Gongini township of Magarini Sub County, Kilifi County, have a reason to smile after the county administration unveiled a spacious new market at a cost of more than Ksh 32.8 million.
The facility was officially opened by Governor Amason Kingi on Friday, bringing an end to years of suffering that had seen traders sell their merchandise in makuti-thatched shacks and tents.
The facility, whose construction began in the 2017/2018 financial year has a capacity of 146 stalls, which include 114 grocery shops, 15 fish shops, eight eateries and nine general shops
Governor Kingi said he had decided to construct the market following an outcry from traders who were operating in the open, while some were using tents.
“Despite the fact that Gongoni is the main trading centre for Magarini constituency, traders have not had a good place to carry out their businesses as the market built by the defunct County Council of Malindi was too small,” Mr. Kingi said.
During the function, the Governor announced that his administration would initiate other development projects including the construction of the Mambrui-Karibuni Villas-Posta road within the 2020/2021 financial year.
He also said his administration would make 250 desks to equip 12 classrooms recently renovated by the Magarini National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) before September this year when schools are expected to reopen.
The Governor at the same time said his administration would build a fully equipped Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centre at the Mapimo Primary School in the 2021/2022 financial year.
Kingi who also inspected the school project accompanied by Magarini Member of Parliament Michael Kingi, said he was determined to give the school a facelift, saying despite it being the second largest in the county, most of its buildings were in deplorable conditions.
“In the coming financial year, we have earmarked Sh25 million to extend the cabro road to the Gongoni dispensary as well as jump start plans to have the Mjanaheri-Ngomeni road improved to bitumen standards,” he said.
He noted the County Government would sink boreholes at the market as well as install floodlights to enable traders conduct business even up to late night.
The Governor said talks were underway between Kenya and Italy with a view to signing an agreement that would see the Italian government release funds for the construction of the Mjanaheri-Ngomeni road.
He said the Italian Government, which operates the San Marco Space Centre in Ngomeni, had promised to build the road and a hospital and that talks were still ongoing between the Ministry of Health and the office of the Attorney General with a view to having the agreement signed.
He however said his government has set aside Ksh11 million in the 2020/2021 budget to improve the road and make it vehicle friendly pending funds from Italy.
“I promise you that your MP and I will push for the agreement to be signed so the road can be fixed, but before that happens, my government has already set aside Sh11 million in the financial year that begins in July this year for work to commence,” he said.