The construction of a new World Bank financed Sh700 million market in Ngong Town is set to finally take off after a deal was reached to move more than 2,000 traders from the site following a prolonged standoff over their fate.
The traders have been locked in a dispute with the Kajiado County government for months on relocation procedures, threatening the project.
They have in the meantime been operating by the road side causing obstruction to motor vehicles next to Ngong bus terminus.
The new temporary site, a three acre piece of land next to Ngong stadium, was acquired at a cost of Sh85 million. Each trader has been allocated one and half metre space at the new site, which was opened on Friday by Infrastructure CS James Macharia and Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku.
"We have asked all the traders to leave the streets and road reserves and move to the new site. We want work on the new market to start next week…once complete it will give Ngong traders a chance to feed the satellite towns in Kajiado and Nairobi" said Mr Macharia.
He told the traders to ensure they have vacated the old market over the weekend to allow for its demolition on Monday.
Mr Lenku said that as part of the relocation deal, traders at the temporary market site will enjoy a three-month exemption from paying daily access fees.
However, some traders complained of having missed spaces in the new site despite their names appearing on the original list of traders to be relocated. There were allegations that some got more than one space.
‘’Even after taking part in the balloting process I came to realise my space was allocated to a second trader who was not in the previous market. We are asking the county government to iron out these issues to avoid commotion among traders,” said Mary Nduta, a trader at the market.
The project is funded by the World Bank through the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Programme (NAMSIP).
Construction is expected to take seven months. The four storey market will accommodate more than 3,000 traders.