Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has finalized the process of acquiring land to construct another access road to the newly built Kasubi market. KCCA hasn’t operationalized the market since its completion in May 2020 on grounds that relocating vendors would attract crowds amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The vendors could only move in small numbers because of the limited access.
In August, KCCA said vendors needed a second entry that would be safe for movement of heavy trucks and had to acquire land for the same. The entrance to be located along Namungoona road shall lead trucks directly into the market parking and offloading area.
The available entrance along Hoima road is sloppy and is close to the operating space of vendors which KCCA says is prone to accidents. Dr. Esau Galukande, the Deputy Director for Gender and Community Production in KCCA says they have concluded the procurement of extra land and are working with the contractor to deliver the new access road by the end of October.
Dr. Galukande says although the market is habitable, the second entry is needed for the safety of heavy truck and vendors.
Until works are completed, vendors shall continue operating on the road junction which exposes them to harsh weather conditions and motor accidents. It also slows the construction of the Kasubi road junction which had to be worked upon by 2018 when KCCA constructed the Bakuli-Kasubi road.
A vendor who identified herself as Nalukuuma says for more than 15 years, she has braved the scorching sunshine and rain vending Irish potatoes at the market. Nalunkuma operates just a meter from the road. She says she is anxious to relocate to the new market but is uncertain when this shall happen.
Peter Senkatuuka, another vendor also decried the harsh conditions on the roads. He asked the government to expedite the road construction work to allow them enter the new market.
Moses Buyinza, who sells matooke in the market knows about the plans to construct a second road, saying the delay is justifiable. Buyinza who represents youths on the market leadership committee says they are still faced with a tricky situation that requires them to have a 2-meter physical distance to control the spread of the coronavirus.
He however wishes that they relocate as soon as possible because they are exposed to bad weather conditions and are prone to motor accidents where they work from at the moment.
The more than Shillings 2 billion market located about a kilometre from Kasubi junction has about 15 shelters for vendors’ stalls, a police post, children centre, an office block, perimeter wall and seven 500 liter water harvesting tanks among other facilities.
Kasubi market has over 1400 vendors. However, only 800 vendors will operate in the market once they are finally allowed in because of Covid-19 restrictions according to KCCA. The vendors were asked to work out a schedule to allow each of them an opportunity to work.