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Arua vendors demand training on use of utilities ahead of UGX 24Bn market commissioning

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Market vendors in Arua city have tasked the city authorities to train the traders on the usage of facilities in the new market ahead of its commissioning next month.

The 24 Billion Shillings market was constructed under African Development Bank funding through the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program-MATIP II. It comprises of toilets, showers, modern oven kitchen, baby care rooms, electricity among others and is expected to accommodate 4,000 vendors.

Nelson Dada, the chairman of General Arua Market Vendors Association says since most of the vendors have not been used to such facilities, there is a need for training of all the vendors on the usage of the new facilities to avoid misuse when they move to the new market. Dada also noted that the vendors are pondering to have at least one exchange visit to already commissioned markets in Gulu, Lira, Soroti or Mbale to learn on the best practices.

He also says that the vendors will require negotiations with the city council to agree on what amount to pay monthly to the council as revenue for use of the new facility.

The vendors have been zoned and allocated according to the items they deal in for easy location by the customers.

Christopher Daniel Kawesi, the town clerk Arua city says they will ensure the central business district of Arua is kept clean and those found misusing the facility will be punished. Kawesi however expresses worry about looming congestion in the new market due to traders from the neighbouring countries of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.

He adds that due to the overwhelming demand for space from traders from the neighbouring districts, priority will be given to market vendors whose income is moderate.

Current statistics indicate that the day population in Arua town is over 800,000 people which puts pressure on the few utilities in the central business district but this reduces to 300,000 at night.

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