BUL-BUL: Absent Bul-bul Market Traders Risk Losing their Stalls

The Bul-bul market which was funded by the County government of Kajiado and one of the flagship projects of the former Kajiado County Governor Nkedianye, is not attracting enough business.  A large number of the stalls remain empty with only a fraction of the market operational.  Mr Ng’ang’a who is the chairman of the market traders,  told our reporter he is concerned over the high number of empty stalls. He further said, there are traders who despite owning a stall in the market, choose to sell their products within Bul-bul streets because there is more business out there than in the market.  The availability of goods in the streets could be one of the reasons why customers don’t bother going to the market.

The construction of the controversial stalls cost the owners Ksh12,000 each according to Hon. Njogu

Our reporter also spoke to some of the traders who sell their goods within bulbul streets to understand why they choose to do business there.

Irene who sells sukumawiki and spinach said “I own a stall in the market but choose to sell in the streets because I make more money here.  Very few people visit the market”

Vivian who sells fish said “I applied for a space within the market unsuccessfully.  There are stalls in the market but you have to rent from the allocated owners.”

Jacob who sells sweet potatoes said “I just started trading here a few weeks ago, I have no idea there is a market in Bul-bul.  I just found other traders in the streets and joined them”

Bul-bul Market Chairman Mr Ng’ang’a

Other traders operating in the streets alleged the stalls were not allocated fairly and further alleged non traders were allocated space.  They further claimed the non-traders are making profits by renting out their spaces in a public funded facility.  The market chairman responding to the allegations of unfair allocation said the allocation was done fairly with all stake holders involved.

Oloolua MCA Hon. Njogu (File Photo)

Oloolua MCA Hon. Njogu responding to our reporter’s queries over the above concerns, said his office together with Kajiado County Trade Ministry and bulbul market traders will be holding a meeting on Thursday June 14th 2018 at 9:00am in Bulbul Market.  The meeting will address the above concerns and any other concerns which may threaten the success of the market.

Hon. Njogu further said very soon no wholesalers will be allowed to retail goods anywhere near the market since a wholesaler is supposed to supply goods to retailers only.  He further said the county government enforcement team will ensure all traders operate within the market for the sake of fairness.

An empty Stall within the Market

In regard to some stall owners renting them for a profit in a public funded market, Hon Njogu said legally there should be a market master in the market who ensures fairness in stalls allocation and to ensure traders are not exploited.   The county government has so far spent Ksh35 million to construct phase one and two of the market.

Elizabeth has worked has worked a tailor for 19yrs. She would like to see more foot traffic into the market.