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Kitgum market to be handed over end of month

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Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The construction of Kitgum Main Market is expected to be complete at the end of this month. Construction of the market under the second phase of the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Project (MATIP 2) started in June 2019 and was scheduled for completion by July 2021.

However, deadlines for the work have been extended five times because the contractor could not complete the work within the extended deadlines. The delay has largely been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alexis Alfred Abonga, the Superintendent of Works at Kitgum Municipal Council, who is also the project support officer for MATIP II Kitgum Main Market, said the final extension of the deadline for the completion of the market was made on August 29th, 2022 and he is confident that the work will be completed as work is now at more than 96 percent.

Abonga said the contractor is doing final work on the market like connecting power and compound leveling and paving of the compound, which he said was not originally in the scope of the project.

Abongo however said work on the market will continue after the handover, depending on how many defects or sloppiness are generated and snag-listed during an inspection prior to the handover.

The ongoing construction of the main market led to the creation of two markets and other roadside markets which residents said say has interfered with traffic flow and sometimes resulted in accidents.

Agnes Angee, a resident of Westland Ward in Central Division complained that the vendors such as those who sell fruits along the road leave the municipality with a mess.

“Opening the new market with help minimize the dirt left by roadside vendors in the municipality,”Angee said.

“Besides, it will minimize risks of roadside accidents,” she added, citing an incident in July when a driver lost control and rammed into a roadside market, injuring twelve women who were selling cassava.

Concy Atim the chairperson Kitgum Market Vendors Association said the completion would enable the vendors to operate in a spacious environment, saying they are currently struggling with space to display their goods.

Atim said if all the roadside markets are closed, the main market will ease access of goods to clients as vendors will be organized according to the sector, unlike now.

Atim said the market is very big and will accommodate the current vendors, including new ones who might which to join the trade. The market valued at 23.8 billion shillings is being constructed by Chinese State Construction Engineering Company Limited-CSCECL.

The market, whose construction is being funded by the African Development Bank (AFDB) is expected to accommodate more than 1,500 vendors.

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