Kiambu County Governor Kimani Wamatangi Monday commissioned the newly constructed Gitaru Market in Kabete Sub County.
The new facility with a capacity to accommodate 700 traders was a project of the previous administration which had stalled four years after its launch.
The Governor, through the Department of Trade, Industrialization, Tourism and Investments picked up the construction of the market last year and extended the project to increase the market’s capacity.
“Initially Gitaru Market was contracted to cater for 500 traders but now it can accommodate about 700 traders, we had to consider egg sellers who were left out of the plan who conduct their business outside the market in the scorching sun and also deal with the rains,” Wamatangi said.
The Governor added that his aim is to refurbish and construct modern markets in the region to improve the trading environment and ease traders’ congestion.
“We are committed to investing in market infrastructure, capacity building, and empowerment of small and medium-sized enterprises as these will help increase revenue uptake,” the County boss stated.
He further vowed to ensure that all markets earmarked for construction will be properly designed to accommodate more traders and attract customers.
“This is a win-win situation, the County to increase markets and this will double or triple the number of traders who in return will pay taxes to the administration,” he said.
On his part Kiambu County Executive Committee Member for Trade, Mburu Kangethe lauded the project saying the market will help to solve hawkers’ problems and reduce the crime.
“I am encouraging the youth to take advantage of these modern trading spaces and engage in business and help in revenue generation and shun from alcohol and drug abuse and become better citizens,” Kangethe said.
He added plans are underway for construction of a carwash in the market to create jobs for the youth.
The area Member of County Assembly Jane Thogori assured the traders that together with the existing market committees, she will ensure that the stalls in the market are allocated to rightful beneficiaries in a free and transparent manner.
“I want to assure residents and traders that the allocation of stalls will be transparent and only genuine traders will get spaces in the new facility. I am also asking the Governor to consider constructing a second market to accommodate even more traders,” the MCA said.
The Governor also mentioned several ongoing projects in the area, including the construction of the Ksh50 million Gitaru Level Three Hospital which will offer outpatient services, a 10-bed general ward, a 16-bed maternity ward, a theatre and a laboratory.