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December 19, 2018

Muthurwa Market set for fresh revamp, hawkers to be given priority

A file photo of traders selling mfruits next to a pile of garbage at Muthurwa market in Nairobi.
A file photo of traders selling mfruits next to a pile of garbage at Muthurwa market in Nairobi.

Muthurwa market will be built a fresh through a partnership of Nairobi county and the national government.

The promise has been made before, the grand goal being ending the hawkers menace.

Although the time frame has not been set, consultations for the fresh work started last week.

In 2006, the then Local Government Minister Musikari Kombo commissioned the construction of Muthurwa in an attempt to control hawking and traffic congestion.

But instead of the envisioned 24-hour market - complete with basic facilities such as water, restrooms, lighting, a hospital, a police station, multi-storied stalls, a banking hall and an administration office - the location turned filthy.

Nairobi Director of Markets David Githaiga explained that a plan started in 2014 stalled due to political interference.

Githaiga said Muthurwa is one of several markets that will be developed under the World Bank plan.

"Muthurwa Market was meant for hawkers but it does not meet standards so the county proposed its fresh development," he told the Star by phone on Tuesday.

He said that after the revamp, hawkers and other business people will use it round the clock.

Read: Give us better spots then we'll leave city centre, say hawkers

Also read: Cartels run Muthurwa Market, say ward reps

Last week, officials from Governor Mike Sonko's government met Muthurwa Market Committee Members and project consultants at City Hall for discussions on improving its status.

City Hall is planning another meeting on ensuring the success of the project and cost projections.

“The consultants are on the ground carrying out the Resettlement Action Plan which covers affected persons, vulnerable groups, infrastructure and other matters," Githaiga said.

The Director could not confirm the budget but in 2014, Sh150 million was set aside for the market. The World Bank pulled out after resistance.

On the bus terminus at Muthurwa, the official said it will be factored in at the design stage.

Hawkers will be given priority in the allocation of spaces once the market is completed.

More than 7,000 traders operate at the neglected market characterised by open sewers and garbage pile-ups.

More on this: Muthurwa market contractor seeks Sh290 million

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