By Shadrack Musumba
Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu has assured business people and traders of the county will continue open up more business spaces and creating a conducive environment for young entrepreneurs.
The Kananu said the ongoing opening of markets in conjunction with the national government is part of the efforts being put in place to ensure businesses remain afloat while creating new opportunities.
She said this after county officials led by Commerce Tourism and Cooperative CEC Winfered Gathangu, together with a team from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Presidential Delivery Unit and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) conducted an official inspection of the newly opened Gikomba market (Quarry market) which was funded by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development at a cost of Kes.554M and is set to benefit 1,000 traders.
The six storey market building block has a capacity of 308 stalls with a decanting site with 200 open spaces for various business activities.
“Many youths, low-income earners and women have been rendered jobless without income. Populations and families living mainly in low-income settlements are experiencing profound financial and social distress, which has secondary health and safety impacts. Gikomba market has offered our youth a lifeline whereby they can continue to earn a living despite the pandemic and therefore are able to provide for their respective families. One of my long term vision and mission is to ensure the young men and women who are small scale business owners in this city are fully supported.” Said Kananu.
Gathagu Winfred said the inspection was to ensure that all the traders allocated business spaces had settled and conducting business as per set regulations and specifications.
“I am happy to see traders in a safe environment enjoying fruits of the Government. This market provides a safe haven for traders who were used to experiencing perennial fires which used to interrupt business activities and livelihoods.” Said Gathagu.
The market which is 80% complete has been in operation since March 2021 and will help to decongest the Gikomba market for phase two construction of more trading spaces within the market that is currently under way.
Gikomba is part of the new markets re-erected which include Mwariro, Westlands, Karandini and New Wakulima which have been constructed at a cost of Sh2.2 billion.
The market has a borehole to supplement the existing water supply with underground and overhead water storage tanks, ample parking, perimeter wall, multipurpose hall -lactation room for mothers and toilet facilities in each floor.
It also has power supply with independent supply (metered) for individual stalls, more holding area for fish and second hand traders.