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Nakuru’s Ksh 350M fish market stalls over contractual row

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A contractual row between Nakuru County, a development partner and a contractor is to blame for the stalled Ksh 350 million fish market along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Two years after the Karai fish market in Naivasha stalled, the row has continued to generate more heat than light with the rising cost of construction blamed for the impasse.

In the period, a section of the market located off the highway has been vandalized reducing it to a shell with fears that tax-payers could lose millions through the project.

The county government has however exuded confidence that the row will be resolved in the coming months and the market, the third of its kind in the country completed.

According to Chief Officer for Trade, Ben Sang, the county entered into a partnership with East Africa Green Council over the construction of the multi-million project.

He added that the county was supposed to cater for land, water and parking with the Council developing the market that would also host vegetable traders.

“There was a row about a boundary and later the Council and the contractor differed on the cost of construction hence the delay in completion of the project,” he said.

Speaking after touring the stall project, Sang was optimistic that the market would be completed in the next financial year despite part of it being vandalized.

Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja admitted that the delay in completion of the market had affected tens of fishmongers along the highway by exposing them to accidents.

He said that the county was seeking an extra two acres next to the market which would be used for parking by those seeking to buy fish or vegetables.

“We are concerned by the long delay in the completion of this project and we hope that the county will give it first priority in the coming financial year,” he said.

A resident Samuel Njoroge said that they were in darkness over the continued delay in the project that was started by the previous government in 2020.

“This market will offer job and business opportunities to many and we are appealing to the county to move with speed and complete it,” he said.

This was echoed by Joyce Wanjiru who said that vegetable farmers from the area had to travel to Kinungi market, kilometers away to sell their produce.

“Many youths have been killed or maimed along this section of the road while chasing fish customers and this will come to an end when the market is done,” said James Mungai.

Antony Gitonga
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