• The Sh30 million market is the second largest to be built by the Kilifi county government after Mtwapa market.
• Governor Kingi said his government will pave the pathways with cabro and sink a borehole to ensure that the market has regular supply of clean water.
Magarini traders have welcomed the new market at Gongoni as it will save them the inconveniences associated with open-air markets.
The Sh30 million market is the second largest to be built by the Kilifi county government after Mtwapa market.
It is spacious, allowing both traders and their customers to keep social distance as per Covid-19 guidelines.
Traders have been operating under pathetic conditions, especially during rainy seasons and sunny days.
Governor Amason Kingi, who officially launched the market, said traders will operate their businesses in a conducive and safe environment.
Kingi said his government will pave the pathways with cabro. A borehole will be sunk at the market to ensure a regular supply of clean water.
"Gongoni market had challenges. The market was small with many traders. The situation was terrible during rainy seasons," the governor recalled.
The traders said the market was long overdue and thanked the county government for it.
Coconut seller Ruth Kombe appealed to the county government to erect a shed for coconut and cassava traders since they had been left out.
She said they operate under worn out tents and which do not protect them from rain.
"We thank the governor for building the market but as coconut traders we want him to build a hall for us so that we get a conducive area for work," Kombe said.
Kenga Chome said of the past: "As fish traders, we had no storage. We were forced to sell immediately as fish rotted under the hot sun, causing heavy losses."
They used to dry fish to preserve it due to the lack of storage facilities.
Namisi Mwarabu was happy to get space at the new market. However, she complained that the new market rates were exorbitant. "We urge the county to reduce the rate from Sh850 per month," she said.
County chief roads and public works officer Kennedy Kazungu said they are investing heavily on infrastructure to ensure rural people enjoy the benefits of devolution.
"In the coming financial year, several projects, including the tarmacking of rural roads will be undertaken," he said, adding that new markets will be built along the way.
- mwaniki fm