Kiambu will build a Sh300 million five-storey modern market set for completion by end of 2020, deputy Governor James Nyoro says.
He said the funds are available and land had been secured in Kiambu town. The contractor expected to be picked through competitive bidding. The market will have the capacity to hold 800 traders.
It is set to have five different trading segments — hardware, greengrocers, cereals, textiles and electronics subsections.
This will ease congestion in the streets of the town where formal traders had been complaining of obstruction by hawkers.
Kiambu has been facing challenges in maintaining law and order as well as the free flow of traffic due to rapid growth.
Mr Nyoro said major towns in the county now require storied buildings for markets and vehicle packing spaces, citing Thika, Kiambu, Ruiru and Githunguri as those in urgent consideration.
Kiambu expects the market will also help fight a situation where wholesalers have been recruiting hawkers to retail merchandise.
“You have a wholesaler who offloads his/her merchandise to the market as a retailer outlet.
“Those in this practice ensure that their retail prices are lower since they play to the wholesaling profit margin hence bringing in market imperfection for the genuine retailers who had bought merchandise from the wholesalers,” he said.
Mr Nyoro said plans were underway to seek partners in developing structured markets, saying small-scale traders contribute to 80 per cent of all trading activities in the county.
The deputy governor said the county plans to develop at least 100 open-air markets by end of 2021 and establish a revolving kitty to fund start-ups.