Kirinyaga County Government has launched a rehabilitation programme for all markets to ease accessibility and create a conducive environment for traders.
The programme involves grading, murraming of access roads and grounds, and improvement of drainage system targeting about 43 markets.
Out of this, already 15 markets located in major towns have had their grounds paved with cabro while the rest which are located in trading centres are set for murraming.
Governor Anne Waiguru says the programme seek to enhance accessibility to the markets and provide a conducive environment for business.
“This programme aims at creating a conducive environment for traders to sell their goods and provide services while easing local farmers the burden of transportation,” said Waiguru.
The market rehabilitation programme has coincided with the ongoing Nyorosha Barabara Mashinani project that is projected to cover more than 500km roads across the county in the current financial year.
The markets and roads rehabilitation programme are utilizing new technology to enhance durability of rural access roads and market grounds across the county. The technology involves use of a mixture of hardcore and quarry dust as the main building materials as opposed to the usual murram that was previously used.
Waiguru said accessibility of markets is key to agriculture production as farmers requires good roads to get their produce to aggregation centres where they can sell.
Already, Kagio fresh produce and Wanguru markets have been murramed.
Traders have lauded the initiative saying it will help attract more people to the markets.
Wang’uru market chairman Charles Maina said with the rehabilitation of the market, it will be easy for more farmers and traders to come to the facility.
“We are grateful that our markets are clean and the county government has consistently ensured that we have a conducive environment to do business,” he said.
“Previously, it was difficult to access the market because they were very muddy particularly during the rainy season. Now I am relieved that pushing my ‘mkokoteni’ will be simpler and I will be able to make more trips and so earn more money,” said Dickson Kariuki, a ‘mkokoteni’ pusher.
Kagio market Secretary Mary Nyawira said traders appreciate ongoing initiatives by Governor Waiguru’s administration to build more markets for traders.
She said traders will continue meeting their obligation of paying necessary trading fees to the county government because there was value for their money.
Nyawira said during the rainy season, sometimes it proved difficult for traders to display their wares on the soggy ground.
“The rehabilitation of the market is a good gesture by the county government and we can see our money is being spent well,” said Nyawira.
County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Cooperative Development, Trade, Marketing, Tourism, Industrialization and Enterprise Development Calbert Njeru said the markets are well maintained but due to the heavy traffic, the ground becomes soggy during rainy season.
Njeru said for durability of the grounds and the access roads, the county is utilizing new technology of a mixture of hardcore and quarry dust to murram the facilities.
He said the accessible and well-maintained markets will open and open spur economic activities.
“With the improved access roads, ground and drainage system, our markets will, problem issue shall now be more accessible and conducive for people to trade in,” said Njeru.controlled together with market flooding.” Calbert Munene, County Government Minister of Trade and Industry mentioned.
Njeru said the county government is building more markets for farmers to aggregate their farm produce for sale.
Kiine Ward Member of the County Assembly (MCA) Geoffrey Murimi said the programme local leaders will continue to work closely with the executive to ensure smooth implementation of projects.
Furthermore, the initiative seeks to relieve the strain on local farmers by establishing a direct market link. This innovative strategy will cut transportation costs while ensuring fresh food arrives at the market on time, conserving quality and optimizing farmers’ income.