Kajiado county government on Tuesday demolished all illegal extensions stalls on the periphery of Kitengela market to pave way for its fencing.
Eastern end of Kitengela market on October 2.
As the county trimmed the illegal extensions that had already eaten off three roads rounding the market, traders complained that World Bank flash lights put up to enhance security in the market place at night ceased operation almost two years ago.
“We are happy that the county is planning to fence this market but our worry is the security of our wives operating in there after 6pm. The market become dark at sunset and without lights rapists can take advantage of the darkness and rape female traders,” said Peter Kinyanjui, a cereals dealer in Kitengela market.
Kajiado East Sub County Administrator, Justus Metito, said he is aware that the flash lights meant for the market ceased operation due to a ‘technical’ problem.
“We are aware of that problem and we are looking in to that in short course. We are also preparing to put a periphery fence around the market which will help us control illegal extension of stalls into the service lines,” said Metito.
[VIDEO] The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Side of Kitengela Town Roads, Market
Metito said some of the traders had extended their stalls to water drainage lines hence blocking water from flowing out of the market place.
The traders in the market raised several issues regarding the finances used in the construction of the market in early 2016 after clashes erupted over space ownership of stalls in September 2015.
The local Maasai community had taken on others they accused of dominating stall ownership in the market.
Former governor David Nkedianye ordered at the time that the management of the market be put under the locals and a few ‘outsiders’ to oversee fairness in the distribution of stalls.
The clashes left scores of business people injured and displaced from the market.
The business community questioned remarks attributed to Trade and Culture CEC Jackline Koin regarding the amount of money that have been spent in the expansion of markets in the county.
Michael Kamau claimed Kitengela market was constructed with the use of old iron sheets by the traders themselves while the county only did the ground leveling.
“They keep telling us that they spent millions in the construction of the market in Kitengela and yet we bought our own materials,” said Kamau.
But Kitengela Ward administrator Susan Simayo said the county government only spent about Sh6 million in the leveling of the market.
As regards the poor state of the roads in the backstreets of Kitengela, Simayo said allocation of finances have been set aside for them in this year.
Some of the roads in the backstreets have deep pools of water that can submerge small cars and every time there is a shower, residents are forced to leave their cars along the highway so they can walk home on foot.
Koin in June had said expansion and modernization of Markets in Kajiado County has been pegged as one of the pillars to encourage development and drive trade in order to create jobs and boost trade.
In a statement to Kajiado residents and the country at large in the commemorative Devolution conference address she said the county will work with development partners to expand trade through markets.
“Since 2013, the county Government has invested Sh250 million in construction and modernization of 14 markets, before then, these markets were characterized by congestion and overflow of traders on streets and pavements however today, our new markets have provided a critical link between producers and consumers,” Koin said.
Koin had said Kajiado Market is now fully rehabilitated to cater for the growing middle income population.
She said Kimana market in Kajiado South is also complete and has two sheds with 222 shops, while the Embulbul Market in Kajiado North has two sheds and 18 shops. The markets cost Sh12 million and Sh20 million respectively.
The Isinya Market is complete with 48 stalls and 1 shed, saving residents long journeys to Kitengela Market, said Koin during her address.
Several other open markets such as Entasopia and Mile 46 will be upgraded to have shades to attract more traders and protect produce from harsh weather and theft, she said.