Kerugoya fruit vendors elated after moving to modern market

Traders who have been hawking fruits around Kerugoya County Referral Hospital are now a happy lot after the County Government moved them to new modern market sheds.

The market sheds that have space for about 30 traders have brought great relief to the vendors who have had to brave harsh weather conditions as they carried on their business. Some have had to endanger their lives as they crisscrossed the busy highway hawking their fruits since they had no designated area to spread their commodities.

Grace Wanjiru who is the Chairlady of the Kerugoya Hospital Market, says that the traders are now able to conduct their business irrespective of the prevailing weather conditions.

She noted that the new market does not only shield them from rains and sunshine but it has also high standards of cleanliness, a factor that makes it more attractive to customers.

Wanjiru thanked Governor Anne Waiguru for answering their prayer for a conducive work environment. She said that the traders now look forward to the opening of new Level Five Hospital that is expected to have a lot of traffic since it will be serving more than 600 patients on a daily basis.

The fruit market mainly targets people visiting the hospital as patients or those going to see their admitted kin at the facility. The state of the art hospital has a 342 bed capacity, an ICU, a HDU, surgical and general wards, a cancer center and an oncology ward among other amenities.

Agnes Wanja, another trader at the market stated that they earlier used to spread their wares under some trees that were opposite the hospital and they lived under constant harassment by the government for selling from non-designated spaces.

Besides, they used to incur losses since their fruits could quickly wither or rot during the hot weather or get muddy or spoilt during the rainy seasons.  She noted that for the first time in the town’s history, fruit hawkers now have a decent market that is clean and safe under all weather conditions.

Elsy Gaki, said that during the rainy season, the traders had to wear gumboots in order to navigate the makeshift market and crisscross the streets in search of customers. At times they could use umbrellas to shield their fruits but it would not help much and they had to incur the cost of replacing worn out umbrellas from time to time.

She said that women can now comfortably wear sandals and go on their business, noting that customers are now frequenting the market since it is clean and attractive.

“Each of the trader has adequate space which has well-constructed shelves for both storage and display of their fruits”. She said.

The market sheds compliment the town’s beatification program that has seen to construction of cabro paved car parking, non-motorized transport ways and storm water drainage system all which have given a new face to Kerugoya Town.  In 2021, the county government also completed the construction of Kerugoya modern fresh produce market that accommodates about 1,200 traders who previously operated in an open air market.

The projects are part of an elaborate plan initiated by Governor Waiguru to improve the county’s urban infrastructure as an enabler to socio-economic development and improved livelihoods for all the residents. The projects aim at turning the urban centers into economic hubs by improving trading experience through provision of conducive environment for transacting business.

  

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