Nakuru County invests Sh2 billion in market constructions

Wakulima market

Traders go about their business at Wakulima Market in Nakuru City on November 29, 2023.

Photo credit: Boniface Mwangi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Hundreds of traders have already occupied the Naivasha Wholesale Market.
  • New five-storey market in the city is expected to house more than 4,000 traders.

Hawking along the Nairobi-Nakuru-Eldoret highway may soon be a thing of the past for hundreds of traders as the Nakuru County government channels over Sh2 billion into market construction and refurbishment.

Among the markets being constructed is the Naivasha Wholesale Market that is about 95 per cent complete, with a budget of Sh600 million.

There is also the modern market in Nakuru City that is currently under construction at a budget of Sh600 million. A Sh240 million fish market in Naivasha is also in the pipeline.

The construction and sprucing up of markets is taking place across all the 11 sub-counties in the county. 

For years, traders have risked their lives on roadsides to make ends meet. Many have lost their lives in the process, underscoring the urgent need for safer trading environments.

Hundreds of traders have already occupied the Naivasha Wholesale Market which is being constructed under the Kenya Urban Support Programme. 

While officially opening the market a few months ago in the company of Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika,President William Ruto said the national government will support the county to construct more markets.

“The national government has set aside at least Sh2 billion in the 2023/2024 financial for the construction of markets. All chartered and proposed municipalities in Nakuru County will benefit from the kitty,”said President Ruto.

“We want to construct modern, clean markets where our traders can go about their business in a conducive environment. We have talked with the World Bank and they have given us funds,” Ms Kihika said.

According to Trade executive Stephen Kuria,the markets projects are part of a plan to increase business opportunities,spur the region’s economy and create employment opportunities.

The ongoing construction of a market and bus terminus on Landhies road in the city has also raised hopes for thousands of traders from the nearby informal settlement areas of Kivumbini, Bondeni and Kwa Rhonda and those who have been operating along the busy Nairobi-Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

The five-storey market will house over 4,000 traders and is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Next to the market will stand the bus terminus that’s expected to host at least 450 vehicles.

In an interview with the Nation, several traders expressed optimism that the market and terminus will boost trade in the area.

“For long we have depended on the already congested Top Market and the Wakulima wholesale and fresh produce markets in town. The new market will now provide us with enough space to do business and uplift our living standards,” said Hellen Otieno from Bondeni.

The county expects that the fish market to be constructed in Karai area will end the unhealthy fish hawking along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.