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Moroto traders decry delay in completion of main market

Moroto Municipality Market vendors have expressed disappointment over the delayed completion of the main market.

Moroto market is being constructed under the government’s Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Program (MATIP), with funding from both government of Uganda and the Arab Bank of Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). 

The new market being constructed by Ambitious Construction Ltd will have shops, stalls, open spaces, toilet facilities, parking and ramps for easy access by people with Disabilities (PWDs).

The project, which is being supervised by the ministry of Local Government, will be handed over to the Moroto Municipal Authority upon completion and is expected to house 4,000 traders.

Construction works on Moroto market commenced two years ago and were due for completion in December last year. However, close to a year later, works are still ongoing, something that has not gone down well with the traders.

Namboze Alifa, one of the traders, said that the Town Clerk of Moroto Municipality, Isaiah Tumwesigye had promised traders that the market would be complete and fully operational between September 1 and December 2019, but that is yet to materialize.

“We are wondering what’s going on. Nobody has explained why the market has taken so long to finish, or when it will be completed, and yet we are losing our products to thieves every night,” she said.

Simon Wamuno, the vice Chairman of Moroto Municipal Traders Association affirmed that the delay in finishing the facility was exposing traders to losses from burglary.

“Most of our traders operate from mud and wattle houses which thieves easily break into and steal from. We had hoped that if the construction of the market is done quickly we would not continue to incur losses,” he said.

But Robert Kairu, the Moroto Municipal Engineer, urged the traders to be patient and allow the contractor complete all the work.

“It’s true the completion of the work has been a little bit delayed but it’s in the final stages. I appeal to our traders to be patient,” he said.

According to Kairu, after completion of the market, the Municipal Council will remove evict all the container-shops from the major streets of Moroto.

“We have very many containers that are being used as shops in our streets, but as soon as this market is completed, we shall push everyone into the market and no more containers will be allowed in the town,” he said.

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