Excitement As New Fort Portal Market Opens

6844 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
The market commissioned by Vice President Edward Sekandi cost 11.4 billion shillings. It is one of the seven markets countrywide that are being rebuilt under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme (MATIP-1) – a multi-million dollar project supported by the Government and the African Development Bank.

There was excitement in Fort Portal as the newly constructed Mpanga Market was commissioned today.
 
In 2010, more than 500 traders were relocated to a makeshift market to pave way for construction of the market, one of the largest markets in the region.
 
The market commissioned by Vice President Edward Sekandi cost 11.4 billion shillings. It is one of the seven markets countrywide that are being rebuilt under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme (MATIP-1) – a multi-million dollar project supported by the Government and the African Development Bank. The other markets are located in the towns of Lira, Gulu, Mbale, Jinja, and Hoima.
 
The market, which will accommodate about 1,200 vendors, will house food stalls, bars and restaurants, banks, clinics, salons, fruit and vegetable stands, butcheries and a day care centre. It consists of 400 stalls, 218 lockup shops and 700 pitches.
 
The sight of filth, garbage and flies which was common in the old market will be no more. The new market is cemented, well paved and with functioning drainage system. There are more than 50 toilets and clear dumping sites for plastics, foodstuffs and medical waste, assuring customers of better sanitation and hygiene.
 
David Mugume, a trader says that since the market is spacious it will attract many customers and increase the income of the traders. Mwesige says the old market was attracting few customers because of congestion and poor hygiene. 
 
//Cue in: “A good facility will…
Cue out: …from the market.”//
 
Ruth Basemera, another trader says she hopes that the cost of a stall at the new market would be affordable to vendors, since the market is intended for the poor people.
 
Willy Magezi, the Local Council 3 Chairman for East Division in Fort Portal Municipality, says the new market will generate revenue for the division. Magezi says for the two years the market has been under construction, the division has been finding difficulties to generate income, since the traders were few.
 
//Cue in: “Two and half years…
Cue out: …of the division.”//
 
The town clerk Fort Portal municipality, Edward Lwanga, says they estimate the market to fetch annual revenue of 1.3 billion shillings, which will strengthen the revenue of the municipality. The revenue will be shared between the municipal council and East Division.  Lwanga also says management and maintenance of the market will be under the municipal council to ensure sanitation and orderliness.
 
According to Lwanga, the vendors in the old market would be given first priority in the new market, when it formally starts operating in January 2014. He says the municipal executive committee, technical staff and the market management committee are yet to meet and agree how much vendors will pay and who will occupy which specific areas in the market.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.