At least 15,000 vendors will have better working conditions and modern facilities by 2013 after government completes the first phase of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program (MATIP-1).
Yasin Sendaula, assistant commissioner Urban Inspection in the ministry of Local Government, says a total of 14,814 vendors will benefit from the initial phase of the project.Wandegeya, Jinja, Gulu, Lira, Mbale, Hoima and Mpanga markets will be covered in this reconstruction stage. Twenty-six markets will be constructed by the end of the project in 2016.
Sendaula disclosed last Friday that the government has already secured Shs 123b from the African Development Bank and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa to fund the first phase of seven markets. According to the architectural plans, redeveloped markets will be equipped with facilities such as fire detective systems, cold rooms, banks, clinics, basement parking lots, community halls, daycare centres and electronic price/advertising boards.
“The existing markets were constructed in the 1930s, so they no longer meet the current standards,” Sendaula said.
According to the arrangement, all registered vendors in the aforesaid markets are required to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with urban councils in respective areas before the construction kicks off next month. The vendors will find alternative workplaces thereafter and return after two years when the new markets structures are ready.
Sendaula said they expect vendors to have signed the agreements and moved to temporary work places by August 31.The project will provide relief to market authorities and hope to vendors, following uncontrollable fires in the recent years that have gutted merchandise and property worth billions of shillings.
Sendaula also explained that the markets considered for the first phase of the project had proper vendor managements and clear land titles. “We have given the others time to sort themselves out for the next phase,” he said.