Omuthiya-Kapana vendors trading at Omuthiya’s famous Omatala market have bemoaned the dirty state of the marketplace where scores of people make a living selling roasted beef.
The bad situation, they attested, has deterred potential customers who consider the meat to be unhealthy.
Hence they avowed their support for a new market that the town council intends to build.
“Business for us is not going so well because people get discouraged when they want to buy meat as the environment looks dirty and they feel the meat is suspect. Hence we are pinning our hopes high on the envisaged market that will have structures where we can even store our products, as opposed to now whereby we commute to and from home with the meat,” said Nangula Titus.
Most of the vendors at Omatala operate from an open area outside the designated space as the place is overcrowded and cannot accommodate all of them. Omatala has been termed the jack all of trades due to it selling all sorts of traditional products.
The high influx of vendors from other towns are said to exacerbate the mess as the market is already crowded. In addition, marketers are saying there is a reduction in business mainly due to oversupply.
“In general business is going well but the only challenge is people from far coming to sell outside the market, hence this blocks customers to come inside to view and perhaps buy our products,” said Athanasius Nghufilwapo, one of the vendors selling clothes at the market.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Omuthiya Town Council, Samuel Mbango, says due to financial constraints the planned construction of a new market will not commence this year.
“What we have budgeted for is to fence off the area and then level it. Funds are not enough, but we will proceed when we secure sufficient funds.”
He added: “We have tried in vain over the years to secure finance but to no avail. Our hope was with the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development – we have for three years now submitted our proposals but to no avail, so we will just have to keep looking.”
The council now intends to relook the plan and come up with a new one, he said without revealing the financial implications of a new plan.