Sunday, August 10, 2014 

$13m Jinja market close to completion

EXCITEMENT: The contractors say much of the civil works have been done and what remains mainly involves such things as electrical fittings. COURTESY PICTURE

JINJA, Uganda – The construction of the new central market in Jinja Municipality is expected to be complete by the beginning of October 2014, 

The Ush 36 billion (about $13.7 million) Jinja  market is expected to accommodate about 4,500 vendors. Many of these fomerly used to operate in the old market which was constructed in early 1932 

Vambeco Enterprises Construction Company are the lead contractors for the project in the eastern Uganda town, 50 kilometres from Kampala.

According to Ronald Mugabi, a company official in charge of the works, Vambeco will hand over the market to the vendors on October 4th but the official handing over to government is expected to be on October  7th. 

“Ninety five percent of the construction works has been finalized. As the company in charge of the construction, we have finished roofing concrete works and plumbing. What we are going to do during the remaining  period, is to work on the second phase which includes fixing lighting  and external works,” he said.

Mugabi told East African Business Week the company has covered 55% external works, 45% painting and 55% on terrazzo works.

“We expect the remaining work to be completed by the end of September. Our main interest  is to see vendors celebrating the Independence Day in the new market,“ he said.

Vambeco won the tender to construct the market in 2011. On completion Jinja market will be among the most modern.

The project is under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme.

The project is being funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB). 

The main objective of the construction of the modern  market in the formally industrial centre of Uganda, is to improve  the working environment for the vendors in Jinja town  and also creating additional space for the traders.

Apart from the Central Jinja Market, other markets in the same project component include Wandegeya in Kampala, Port Portal in western Uganda, Gulu and Lira all in Northern Uganda and Hoima Central Market.

Public market facilities in most African cities tend to be old and dilapidated or relatively new but inefficient structures with inadequate stalls for traders. Most of the central markets built during the colonial era lacked adequate storage and other trading facilities. 

The ground floor of the multi-storey markets was usually designed to accommodate traders in farm produce, but was often allocated to traders in manufactured goods who altered the design of the stalls to meet their needs.

By Samuel Nabwiiso, Sunday, August 10th, 2014