The Lilongwe City Council plans to construct a multi-storey market infrastructure that will accommodate as many as 5,000 vendors at once the deputy Mayor of the City Akwame Bandawe has said.
Bandawe is leading a team of the Lilongwe City Council officials to a four day interaction with the authorities of Ugandan Jinja Municipal Council and the Kampala City Council.
The meetings, courtesy of the World Bank is aimed at spearheading improved development plans by Lilongwe by mirroring the success of Uganda in improving its cities.
Mayor Bandawe and his LCC delegation toured the Jinja Central Market that was first constructed in 1932 and was gutted down by fire twice.
The rehabilitation of the market cost the Municipal Council $10million which the African Development Bank (ADB) funded. It serves 10,000 people every day.
The facility has several bank agencies, a pre-school for children whose parents are vending, restaurants and clean sanitation.
“As a delegation are very impressed with the facility for traders here. We need to go on the drawing board and see how we can have a high rise facility like this which will accommodate more people, improve sanitation and secure both the traders and those buying,” said Bandawe.
Lilongwe City Council has of late been struggling to accommodate thousands of vendors in more decent markets due to capacity problems.
There have been persistent running battles between the law enforcers and the vendors as part of clearing the streets. It is estimated that the Malawi Capital has over 8,000 vendors dealing in merchandise and food sales. Without formal established market enclosures, the council lose out on revenue as the vendors challenge the legality of collecting the same.
Reeling from under collection of city rates due to high rate of default, the council now looks forward to other stakeholders and the private sector players to sanitize the Capital City.
“Our traders need decent places to trade. They need a more dignified location to do their business, it’s not right to see women and children filing up the streets in hot weather and rain in the name of doing business, these are the plans we must quickly get down to and create a massive market that will be a land mark in the Capital City,” said Bandawe.
LCC Chief Executive Officer Richard Hara said the multi storey market facility was in the city’s recently launched development plan which was unveiled to business community and other stakeholders.
“Our directors, senior management team and other stakeholders will soon meet to see that the plan comes to reality. This will help us deal with the street vending problem once and for all,” said Hara.
Last year in July, the Lilongwe Tsoka Flee market which is the biggest in the City was gutted by fire where merchandise worth billions of kwacha went up in flames as security and government officials suspected arson as the cause.
President Peter Mutharika who visited the burnt market suggested that the Capital City needed a high rise market facility that could accommodate more traders, ensure safety and security of users.
The Lilongwe deputy mayor and his delegation have toured Kyanja Agriculture Resource Centre under the Kampala Capital City Authority, a major recycling plant in Kampala where liquid waste is recycled into clean water and used again by the communities.
The Lilongwe City is home to over 1.5 million people according to academic stasticians. About 800,000 people flock into the city every day for work and business.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :