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September 22, 2018

Wakulima market traders to be moved, make way for overpass

Marikiti  traders protesters block Haile Selassie Avenue during a protest they held after their chairman was arrested by police on 12th.July.2018./EZEKIEL AMING'A
Marikiti traders protesters block Haile Selassie Avenue during a protest they held after their chairman was arrested by police on 12th.July.2018./EZEKIEL AMING'A

The more than 2,000 traders at Wakulima market will be relocated to allowfor the construction of an overpass to reduce traffic jams.

The overpass will link Enterprise Road in Industrial Area to the CBD at Haile Sellasie Avenue where Wakulima market is located. It will be a dual carriageway.

The pathway, also called the viaduct — a long bridge-like structure carrying a road or railway across a valley or other low ground — will fly over the railway yard at the Nairobi Central Railway Station.

The multibillion-shilling project will be funded by the Japan International Corporation Agency and implemented by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority.

The county government has acquired 5.4 acres from the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme in Muthurwa for construction of a new market for the traders.

Trade executive Allan Igambi said Kura engineers and the county were finalising designs for the market before the tender is floated and awarded.

VISION 2030 PROJECT

“We expect to start construction either late this year or early next year so that we allow the overpass to be constructed,” he said.

Besides funding the construction of both the market and the viaduct, JICA will also meet the Sh1.8 billion expense for the acquisition of the land.

“Because we have acquired the land and unless we have the market ready for people to move, we will not be able to begin the construction of the road,” Transport executive Mohamed Dagane said.

Dagane told the Star that the viaduct is one of the Vision 2030 projects captured in the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan aimed at decongesting the city.

He said not the entire Wakulima market will be affected “but we feel the remaining part will be eaten away with time. So we saw it fit to relocate the entire market.”

“This is a project intended to ease the movement of vehicles or traffic into and out of the CBD,” he said.

The project, will ease traffic on Bunyala Road, Uhuru Highway, Ladhies and Jogoo roads.

These are the key roads that serve many Eastlands residents.

According to Dagane, the project will begin in the 2019-20 financial year upon completion of the new market and relocation of traders.

The new market will have ample parking for vehicles ferrying fresh produce from upcountry.

In a statement, acting Kura director general Silas Kinoti said feasibility studies, environmental and social impact assessments and the ongoing Resettlement Action Plan are being done by JICA.

“So far, consultations have been held with stakeholders including Muthurwa Estate residents as part of the ongoing RAP process,” Kinoti said.

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