Document Sample
29/04/03 Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi   Town Clerk of Nyeri     He is one of the key persons
         P.O. Box 180,           Municipal Council       in the market project and
         Nyeri                                           has been involved since its
                                                         inception by being the
                                                         overall           grassroots‟
                                                         coordinator, Chairman of all
                                                         meetings       and      local
                                                         representative of the Central

29/04/03 Ms. Mary K.M.           Purchasing Officer of   She is in-charge of all the
                                 Nyeri Star Restaurant   purchases of foodstuffs and
                                                         other requirements for the
                                                         restaurant. She is also the
                                                         person who manages the
                                                         boarding     and     lodging
                                                         facilities.  The restaurant
                                                         neighbours Soko Mjinga
                                                         Market and all its foodstuffs
                                                         are bought from this market.

30/04/03 Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi   Town Clerk of Nyeri     He is the major contact
                                 Municipal Council       person     who      “knows
                                                         everything    about     the
                                                         project” according to the

30/04/03 Soko Mjinga Market      Officials and           The officials and members
         Stakeholders            members of the Soko     of the Committee come
         Committee               Mjinga Market           from the local community,
         P.O. Box 180            Stakeholders‟           they are Stakeholders of the
         Nyeri                   Committee               market and own market

                                                           stalls. The Committee is the
                                                           co-manager of the market
                                                           and represents all the
                                                           Stakeholders    in       the
                                                           Council‟s meetings on the
                                                           market project.

1/05/03   Mr. Stephen Githinji   Committee Member        He lives in the neighbouring
          P.O. Box 180,          of Soko Mjinga          community         of      Nyeri
          Nyeri                  Market                  Municipal Council and owns a
                                 Stakeholders‟           market stall. He has been
                                 Committee               involved in the project since
                                                         its inception and sells potatoes
                                                         in the market.

1/05/03   Records file titled    Official records file   It is the official and
          “Soko Mjinga Market”   for the Soko Mjinga     unreferenced file with details
                                 Stakeholders            about the project. It is kept at
                                 Committee.              the offices of the Markets

2/05/03   Mr. G. Kiguta          Social Welfare          He is the Council‟s handy
          P.O. Box 180           Officer of the Nyeri    person      in    mobilization
          Nyeri                  Municipal Council       activities. He is also the link
          0722 863992                                    between the Council and the
                                                         Soko Mjinga Stakeholders
                                                         Committee. The Council‟s
                                                         Management, due to his hard
                                                         work, has approved his
                                                         request for further studies for
                                                         the degree of Masters in
                                                         Social Science.

2/05/03   Files Reference Nos.   Official files of the   The files are kept at the
          NMC/CON/70 and         Nyeri Municipal         Council‟s offices and contain
          NMC/KMRP/111/642       Council on the          both the open and confidential
                                 Market project          correspondences              and
                                                         information about the market
                                                         project.      Some of the
                                                         information relates to number
                                                         of    market      Stakeholders,
                                                         financial profile of the project,
                                                         key persons, dates of the
                                                         project and all activities from

                                                    inception to completion of the

3/05/03   Group of 12 Cart      Cart Pullers        They are normally stationed at
          Pullers                                   the three entrances of Soko
                                                    Mjinga Market ready to be
                                                    hired by the Market business
                                                    people and consumers to cart
                                                    goods in and out of the market
                                                    since vehicles are not allowed
                                                    inside the market. The cart
                                                    pullers appeared to be in the
                                                    age of 20s and 30s and earned
                                                    their living through cart

3/05/03   Ms. Elizabeth Njeri   Committee Member    She lives in the surrounding
          P.O. Box 180          of Soko Mjinga      rural area and owns a stall in
          Nyeri                 Market              the market.         She sells
                                Stakeholders        vegetables and fruits.

4/05/03   Group of 17 Hawkers   Hawkers             They operate outside Soko
                                                    Mjinga market and their wares
                                                    include foodstuffs, second
                                                    hand clothes and small items
                                                    such as sweets and house
                                                    wares. They are pushing to
                                                    have stalls in the market and
                                                    argue that the market‟s
                                                    management harasses them

5/05/03   Ms. Catherine         Vice Chairlady of    She is now the recognized top
          Nyambura              Soko Mjinga         official of the Committee
          P.O. Box 180          Stakeholders        because the Chairlady does
          Tel: 4693             Committee           not attend the Committee
          Nyeri                                     meetings and matters relating
                                                    to the market due to the
                                                    conflict with other members
                                                    and the officials of the NMC.

5/05/03   Ms. Mary Mwihaki       Committee Member     She has been involved in the
          P.O. Box 180           of Soko Mjinga       project since its inception but
          Nyeri                  Market               was elected in the Committee
                                 Stakeholders‟        recently. She is a Stakeholder
                                 Committee            owning a stall. She is very
                                                      vocal on the problems
                                                      affecting the market.

6/05/03   Ms. Serah Wangai       Vice Secretary of    She appears to be the
          P.O. Box 180           Soko Mjinga          spokesperson       of    the
          Nyeri                  Market               Committee and averagely
          0722 692896            Stakeholders‟        educated judged from her
                                 Committee            spoken English. She accuses
                                                      the Chairlady of illiteracy,
                                                      ignorance and old age and
                                                      wants fresh elections of the
                                                      post of Chairlady.

6/05/03   Ms. Margaret Wanjiru   Former Treasurer     She owns a stall in the market
          P.O. Box 180           of Soko Mjinga       and was involved in the
          Nyeri                  Market               alleged illegal transfer of
                                 Stakeholders‟        Stakeholders‟      Shs110,000
                                 Committee            from their Bank Account to
                                                      that of the Nyeri Municipal

7/05/06   Group of 12 Business   Business People      They operate in the open
          People                                      space of Soko Mjinga Market
                                                      because they have no stalls in
                                                      the market.

7/05/03   Mr. Stephen Mwangi     Market Stakeholder   He owns a stall in the market
          Ndegwa                                      and claims like many others
          P.O. Box 474                                that he has been able to
          Nyeri.                                      educate and take care of his
                                                      family through the market‟s

7/05/03   Group of 6 Business    Business People      They operate in Nyeri‟s Open
          People                                      Air    Market     which     is
                                                      unhygienic and the users want
                                                      good shelters to protect them
                                                      from rain and mud.

8/05/03   Group of 6 Business     Business People   They operate at Nyeri‟s
          People                                    Mudavadi Market, which
                                                    looks clean and has sheltered
                                                    stalls. Goods of all types are
                                                    allowed for sale in the market
                                                    and the stall fees are
                                                    considered fair.

8/05/03   Mr. Peter Miano         Photographer      He is acquainted with the
          P.O. Box 851                              market project because he has
          Nyeri                                     clients in the market. He
                                                    earns his living through the
                                                    photography business. He is
                                                    based right inside the Central
                                                    Business District. He wishes
                                                    to see the Soko Mjinga
                                                    Market expanded in size and
                                                    its in ways broadened and
                                                    murramed to reduce mud.

8/05/03   Group of 15 consumers   Consumers         They form part of the over
          of Soko Mjinga Market                     500 users of the market. They
          services and goods                        mainly visit the market for
                                                    purchase of foodstuffs in
                                                    wholesale and retail. They
                                                    wish to see shelters in the
                                                    open space of the market and
                                                    were     happy     with     the
                                                    Minister‟s directive to abolish
                                                    the payment of toilet fees.

Discussions with various stakeholders are recorded below from the narratives that they gave
about the project.

1. Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi, Town Clerk of Nyeri Municipal Council

   DATE: 29/04/2003
   TIME:  14h30
   VENUE: Town Clerk‟s Office, Nyeri Municipal Council

   We arrived at the premises of Nyeri Municipal Council a few minutes after 14h and headed
   straight to the Town Clerk‟s office because we knew where it was located and we also
   thought that he had crucial information about our study on Soko Mjinga Market Project. Our
   main intention of the time was to book an appointment for an interview with himself and
   some of his officers and for his office to make arrangements for our study.
   At the Town Clerk‟s office, we found two secretaries who appeared to be very busy with
   work but who proved to be very welcoming to us. We identified ourselves and one of the
   secretaries remembered having met Dr. Peter M. Lewa sometimes back while the latter was
   on official business. We then expressed our intension to meet the Town Clerk.

   We were invited to chairs as we waited for the Clerk to clear with the earlier visitors and his
   officers who had arrived before us. The secretary, however, informed him that he had more
   waiting visitors coming from Nairobi. The Clerk cleared with the earlier visitors and buzzed
   one of the secretaries to allow us in his office.

   Mr. Gikuhi was very delighted on seeing us and stood from his chair to meet and shake our
   hands. He invited us to chairs and alluded to Dr. Lewa‟s sentiment that it was long time
   since they met last during an earlier study involving Nyeri Municipal Council. They briefly
   touched base on this earlier study and after introductions; Dr. Lewa informed him that this
   time round it was a slightly different study that had taken us to Nyeri. A lot of paper and
   files in the in and out trays of the Clerk‟s office indicated that he was busy. He later
   informed us that he was preparing to leave for an internal meeting.

   We explained the purpose of our visit and study and that we wished him to be one of the
   study respondents by virtue of his role and knowledge on the market project. He accepted to
   our request but pointed out that the interview could only be possible after 18h if we did not
   mind since he was attending a meeting from 15h. He said he was delighted that we were
   interested in the market that “ was a combined effort of the people and the government of
   Kenya through World Bank’s funding. All the partners were involved as equals and
   consulted each other through out. I was also personally involved in all the processes
   leading to the establishment of the market and hence I believe I know the market well.”
   We agreed that we could meet him at the Green Hills Hotel over a cup of coffee. We
   exchanged our cell phone telephone numbers and agreed that we would meet the following
   day in his office at 08h30 should the 18h meeting fail.

   Before parting, we gave the Town Clerk copies of the Case Study Methodology Briefing
   Note and work sheet in order for him to familiarize with the information we required through

   the interview. We also informed him that we would need to peruse through the relevant files
   on the project kept at the Council‟s office, interview some of his officers and take
   photographs with him and these officers the following day. We also requested him to use his
   officers to notify the members of Soko Mjinga Stakeholders Committee that we would be
   meeting them in their office the following day. He agreed to our requests and called one of
   his officers Mr. G. Kiguta to his office, introduced him to us and asked him to provide the
   relevant files and information when we come for them. He also sent Mr. Kiguta to notify the
   Committee. We then thanked the Town Clerk for welcoming us to his office, Municipality,
   the market project and for agreeing to all our requests. We parted and agreed to meet later in
   the day. It later turned out that the meeting the Clerk was attending was prolonged and he
   was unable to meet us that evening. We telephoned to meet him the following day, which we
   did, and the meeting turned out to be extremely informative.

2. Ms. Mary, Purchasing Office of Nyeri Star Restaurant

   DATE: 29/04/03
   TIME:  16h30
   VENUE: Nyeri Star Restaurant (Purchasing Officer‟s Office)

   We went to the Nyeri Star Restaurant as we were sourcing for good lodging facilities in
   Nyeri Town. The restaurant is located on the eastern part of Nyeri Central Business District
   and it neighbours among others, Soko Mjinga Market and Batian Grand Hotel. On entering
   the restaurant, we saw a lot of saw dust (from timber) poured on the floor of the entrance on
   the ground floor of the building (the restaurant has a car park inside and 3 storeys). The saw
   dust was meant to reduce mud carried by people‟s shoes as they entered the restaurant since
   it was muddy outside due to heavy down pours (rains). All the corridors of the restaurant
   were decorated with growing plants in pots and tins. Some signboards in the restaurant
   indicated that the premises housed a ladies‟ hair saloon and a Bus Booking Office. The
   influx of people in the restaurant showed that it was a popular joint. It later turned out to be
   true because of its proximity to the main bus and taxi stages.

   We were then led to the office of the person in charge of boarding and lodging facilities on
   the first floor by a security guard. We found a slim, medium height, brown, spectacled
   young lady in her late 20s or early 30s who wore perm hair. The lady looked cheerful as we
   greeted her. She also greeted us in turn and asked how she could assist us. We informed her
   that we wanted to know the prices and availability of lodging facilities should we consider to
   lodge there the following day. She gave us the restaurant‟s accommodation and food prices
   and all the options offered.

   While still conversing, we spotted a hall where people were taking drinks and meals on the
   same floor near her office. We also spotted the restaurant‟s kitchen directly opposite her
   office. Outside the kitchen were bags of SukumaWiki, cabbages and potatoes and there were
   people peeling the potatoes. We got interested to know the menu of the restaurant. The lady
   started by mentioning “Mukimo”, that is, a meal of pounded potatoes sometimes mixed with
   beans and green or dry maize. She also mentioned “Githeri”, that is, a mixture of maize and
   beans and sometimes mixed with Sukumawiki, cabbages and carrots. These signified the
   common foods in the local community.

The spotted large number of bags of foodstuffs prompted us to know where these
commodities were obtained or purchased from. The lady informed us that they were
purchased in wholesale from Soko Mjinga Market. She also mentioned that small quantities
of commodities such an onion was purchased on retail prices. We informed the lady that our
mission in Nyeri was to study Soko Mjinga Market and that we needed to know the name of
the person involved in the purchase of these food stuffs so that he/she could give us some
information about the market. The lady identified herself as Mary A.N and that she was the
purchasing officer of all requirements of the restaurant. Attempts to know her other names
failed because she said she liked using the one name with the initials A.N. We requested her
for an interview and consented but indicated that we had to be brief because she was going
away to replenish stock. We assured her that we would be brief since we also had another
appointment at 18h.

Mary is a Kikuyu by tribe and lives in the surrounding community. She commutes (to her
work station) from home everyday unless heavy workload delays her until after 22h when
she is forced to spend the night in the restaurant. She was very happy with the market which
she described as a “community project which Iam convinced has helped better the lives
of our people by raising their incomes, creating employment and providing a place
where many people get their food requirements.” In relation to the restaurant, the market
offers several advantages. The market is near her restaurant and therefore it is cheap
transporting the purchased commodities. After the purchases, she hires a cart puller at a
lower fee to ferry the commodities to the restaurant. The wholesale facility in the market
enables her to purchase at lower prices thus increasing the profit margin of her employer.
The market also easily provides all the foodstuffs required by the restaurant thus cutting on
the cost that would be incurred in acquiring them from the source in the rural areas of the
district or from the famous Karatina Wholesale Market. Mary observed, “ The biggest
benefit of the market to the businesses around is its nearness. We do not incur huge
transport costs because the market is near us and also because many cart pullers came
to operate when the market opened. They provide a cheap means of transporting goods
purchased from the market.”

Mary knew Soko Mjinga Market when she was still a young girl in the early 1980s. The
market was then an open-air market, which was very muddy and unhygienic especially
during rainy seasons. Although during those days the market‟s commodities were slightly
cheaper than in the other markets in town, some people feared the mud and opted not to visit
it for purchases. Mary commended the present market design as appropriate in terms of the
climatic and environmental conditions. The design shelters the users and the commodities
during adverse weather conditions. The iron sheet roofs shelter people and commodities
from rain and excessive sunlight and heat. The concrete slab of the market‟s floor keeps
commodities and people away from mud during wet seasons. The refuse chamber and toilets
helped to improve hygiene and guard against disease outbreaks in the market. The perimeter
wall ensured the safety of goods left in the market while the three exits of the market helped
to reduce the congestion of people and commodities when leaving and entering the market.

Mary believes the design was copied from Karatina and Mudavadi Markets, which she had
visited. She proposed that the same design be applied to Nyeri‟s Open Air Market, which is
currently unhygienic and unkempt. She said that the design was cost effective and easy to

implement because it used local and cheap labour and materials such as sand, stones and iron
sheets and bars, which were easily and locally available. She observed that all the labourers
for Soko Mjinga were sourced from around and the contractor was also from the surrounding
community because he lived a few kilometers from Nyeri town.

Asked what the market project is an example of, she said that market signified a community
initiative because all the initial users of the market came from the local community and
united and contributed their money to build the market. The market also signifies the
important role played by cost sharing policy. On the uses of the market, Mary proposed that
the market diversifies its commodities. The current practice of selling only foodstuffs drove
most customers to the other markets, which offered a variety of commodities. Mary said,
 “ The only shortcoming of the market is that it does not offer non-food commodities
and this drives some of its potential customers to other municipality markets which are
diversified in the sense of the products they sell.” She also believed that the size of the
market was small when compared to the number of people who are seeking market business
opportunities. She said it should be expanded to accommodate some of the hawkers selling
outside and near the market.
According to Mary several factors are behind the success of the market project. The Kikuyu
tribe is enterprising. This has made the market thrive. The local community is also
hardworking and produces a lot of food commodities, which are sold in Soko Mjinga and
other markets. The community is mainly agrarian and that is why the market is able to get
supplies from the surrounding and at lower prices. Unity (that is “ngwataniro" in Kikuyu) is
a cultural value in the area and that is why the locals united and contributed for the project.

Ms. Mary said the project would not have been possible without the major financial
contribution of the government. The local community is poor and could not afford the total
cost of the project. The political environment during the inception of the project was also
conducive and helped to make the project a reality. The then ruling party‟s urge to win
support from the predominantly opposition zone in Nyeri town drove KANU‟s government
to initiate the project.

Mary felt that Soko Mjinga market project had helped to better the lives of members of the
local community by raising incomes, creating employment opportunities and providing easy
access to food requirements. She said that Cart pullers earned income through their self
employment, her employer kept her on the job due to good business, the market‟s traders
were able to help their families from their business proceeds and the market provided food to
the Nyeri Municipal dwellers. She also gave other useful information on the basis of the
checklist. As we were winding up the interview, Mary‟s younger sister who was a student of
Information Technology at the Kenya Technical Training College in Nairobi visited Mary.
Mary‟s sister said she liked Soko Mjinga market because of its hygienic conditions and
proper arrangement of food commodities, which are easily identified from a distance. She
said the market needed to be expanded to accommodate more traders and also diversify the
commodities to include non-food stuffs. She feared that the management of the “market
will collapse because I heard that the Municipal Council had taken it over. This was a
sure way to disaster because it would interfere with the corruption free management of
the market by the community.” We requested to have their photograph but they declined.
Mary said she was in a hurry to replenish the restaurant‟s stock. Her sister said she doubted
our study to be a police investigation and did not wish to be followed to give more details.

   Our persuasion that it was not a police investigation yielded no results. We thanked them for
   their time and cooperation and we moved away for the 18h appointment with the Town

3. Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi, Town Clerk of Nyeri Municipal Council

   DATE: 30/04/03
   TIME: 08h30
   VENUE: Town Clerk‟s Office Nyeri Municipal Council

   We arrived at the Nyeri Municipal Council premises at O8h15, parked our car at the visitor‟s
   parking and went straight to the Town Clerk‟s Office. We found that Mr. Gikuhi had already
   arrived in the office to attend to the urgent and priority assignments before we arrive for the
   interview with him. His secretary informed him that we had arrived and at exactly 08h30, we
   were invited to the Clerk‟s office. After greetings, the Clerk explained to us why he could
   not meet us the previous evening. He also informed us that he had looked at the copies we
   had given him and that he would try to narrate the project‟s story from initiation to operation
   based on his knowledge and experience as the main person behind its implementation.

   Mr. Gikuhi began by saying that today‟s Soko Mjinga Market was improved on an existing
   market. An open-air market by the name “Soko Mjinga” existed near the Kamukunji
   Grounds in early 1980s. The market was on a Government-owned land, which the Nyeri
   Municipal Council later negotiated and possessed it. The market had been started by a few
   women who were selling potatoes and operating unofficially. The market was said to be very
   muddy and unhygienic during rainy seasons and some people tended to avoid it. During the
   same period, the market became popular to customers due to its low priced potatoes and
   other farm produce, a factor given more impetus by Kenya‟s shrinking economy and the
   consequent reduced purchasing power in the late 1980s. The Nyeri Municipal Council
   realized the market‟s potential. The Council formalized and regularized it as a Council
   market, fenced it and began to collect revenue from the produce sellers. The driving force
   behind the formalization of the market was the Council‟s felt need to serve the local
   community in the marketing of the community‟s farm produce.

   The market‟s condition deteriorated further due to heavy rains and increased activity leading
   to its temporary closure by the Department of Public Health on health grounds. The market‟s
   users demonstrated in the streets of Nyeri Town to compel the Council to improve it. The
   closure and demonstrations intensified the need for better market structures and in the 1990s,
   the Council spent its funds to install few temporary market shelters.

   In the 1990s, the Government of Kenya initiated reforms in the Local Government with a
   view to improving its efficiency and benefits to local communities. Reforms targeted
   transport and infrastructure facilities. The Kenya Local Government Reform Program
   (KLGRP) was therefore launched in 1997 and through the Kenya Urban Transport and
   infrastructure Project (KUTIP), eleven towns in Kenya were identified for modeling where
   Micro projects costing about 6 million shillings would be undertaken. The projects were
   intended to give immediate benefits to local Stakeholders. The micro projects were to be co-
   funded by the World Bank through the Grants Fund Account of International Development

Association (IDA) and the local Stakeholders. The former would contribute at least 90% and
the latter 10% of the total cost of the project. Nyeri Municipality was selected to be one of
the modeling towns because of its success in previous related projects. It was a requirement
to qualify for a KUTIP project that the proposed project be people-driven and involve
participation from a cross section of Stakeholders and partners. Respective Council‟s were
therefore required to identify Stakeholders and partners to the communities‟ own identified

With the anticipated partial funding, the Nyeri Municipal Council (NMC) undertook
mobilization and sensitization sessions in the Open Soko Mjinga Market through the
Department of Social Services. The sessions were intended to identify Stakeholders to the
micro projects. The local community became a major Stakeholder and the NMC became a
partner and generated a list of 23 projects which they wished to undertake. Some of the 23
projects included water supply, electricity supply, open and closed markets and health
centers. After a series of evaluation meetings organized by the NMC, Stakeholders
generated reports on all projects and then prioritized them. The current Soko Mjinga
wholesale and Retail Market topped the priority list to become NYERI MICRO PROJECT
NO.1 titled “The upgrading of Soko Mjinga Market”. GATH CONSULTING ENGINEERS
selected by the Ministry of Local Government for the micro projects helped in the
prioritization, and costing of the project. On completion, the market was thought to serve
more people than the other projects. It would also offer market to local produce which
lacked market. The project would be installed on an existing one thus absorbing little funds
when compared with totally new projects which required more than the anticipated funding.
The market would be a universal project while the others were only region specific.

Following the selection of the project, Stakeholders conceived the kind of upgraded market
they wanted. They conceived a closed market with a perimeter wall, open but roofed market
bays/stalls, concrete ground floor slab, toilets, refuse chamber, a store and administration
office and paid workers employed by the Stakeholders. The workers would include a market
cleaner, toilet cleaner, watchmen, revenue collectors and market master. The perimeter wall
was thought to safeguard goods left in the market at night and would act as a windbreaker
during windy times. The open stalls would enable customers see displayed commodities
from afar. There would also be the use of natural light instead of electricity during the day.
The rood cladding would protect and shelter the market users and commodities from excess
direct sunlight, heat and rain. The concrete floor would guard against muddy grounds
especially where goods are displayed. The toilets and refuse chamber were for hygiene
purposes and would guard against disease outbreaks. The store would be used for the
markets equipment and luggage not paid for at the gate (i.e. gate fee). The revenue collector,
market master and the Stakeholders Committee would use the offices.

Donor funding was only available to formally organized groups. A total of 205 Stakeholders
drawn from the larger community and especially from the open air Soko Mjinga market
therefore organized themselves and formed the Soko Mjinga wholesale Market Self Help
Group in mid 1997. The group was non-political and was registered with the NMC and the
Nyeri office of the Department of Social Services in the then Ministry of Culture and Social
Services (registration number NYI/REG/CD/A/7483). The group generated its Constitution
to guide the conduct of its member and its activities in the proposed new market affairs. Five
office bearers (that is, chairlady, vice Chairlady, Secretary, vice secretary and Treasurer) and

four other members were elected democratically to form a Committee that would represent
the 205 Stakeholders. Led by the chairlady Hellen Muthoni (who is still the chairlady), the
nine Committee officials became the Soko Mjinga Stakeholder working Group (SMSWG) in
the Nyeri Micro Project No.1.

The formation of the Self Help Group was followed by the formulation of a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU). At the grassroot level (level (that is, Municipality level), the
Stakeholders formulated and presented a draft document of the MOU to the NMC. Meetings
were then organized jointly by the NMC and the SMSWG to discuss the MOU.
Representatives of the NMC, Stakeholders and Gath Consulting Engineers attended the
meetings. A Secondary Memorandum of Understanding (SMOU) and its addendum were
finally signed between the NMC (represented by Town Clerk Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi and
NMC Treasurer Mr. George N. Maina) and the Stakeholders (represented by SMSWG
chairlady Hellen Muthoni and secretary Mr. David Kuria). The two documents outlined the
obligations of each party (NMC and Stakeholders) to the proposed project. Important was
the opening of two Bank Accounts called Welfare account and Stakeholders Account where
monies for different purposes would be transparently banked.

Mr. Gikuhi noted that the Town Clerk (himself), Mr. George N. Maina, Hellen Muthoni,
David Kuria and all the 205 members of the Self Help Group were key individuals at the
initiation stage. The key organizations were NMC, Soko Mjinga wholesale Market Self Help
Group, Gath consulting Engineers and the Central Government/Ministry of Local

There were several problems at the initiation stage. Some members of the Local community
were suspicious of the intentions of the NMC to have the market‟s form upgraded. They
thought the Council would charge extremely high market fees for the new facility.
According to the Clerks‟ language, “Some prophets of doom argued that the Council was
using the Stakeholders to attract donor funding for its projects and thereafter abandon the
same projects”. Some community members shied away from the project‟s discussions and
argued that it was not their responsibility to put up a market but the Council‟s. This culture
of dependency led to a low registration of 205 Stakeholders against over 500 market produce
sellers. However, the NMC assured the Stakeholders that they would own the project from
initiation to operation. This helped to reduce the problem of suspicion and low participation
from the community.

Among the Stakeholders, there were wrangles and struggle for leadership positions in the
Stakeholders Committee. The positions were viewed as prestigious and leading to increased
recognition in the community. Others thought that the positions would have financial gains
which turned to be the contrary leading to dormancy and misconduct among some elected
officials. To minimize the infighting, Stakeholders were advised to adhere to the stipulations
of their Self Help Group‟s Constitution.

The production of the project involved resource mobilization, formulation of the project‟s
design and the actual building construction. The SMOU guided the funding process. The
World Bank through the Government gave 6 million Kenya Shillings, the NMC gave
KES3,648,000 in kind and the Stakeholders contributed 1 million Kenya shillings. The
Stakeholders prepared a budget for the project with the assistance of NMC and the

Consultant‟s professional officers. The project was estimated to cost about 10 million
shillings (inclusive of duties and taxes). An Account was then opened and managed by
KUTIP‟s Project Manager (PM). The PM was to liase with the Consultant in all issues of
payments/expenses for the project.

The Stakeholders assisted by Engineers and Architects of NMC and the Consultant generated
a list of three different designs. A design that conformed to factors considered during
conceptualization of the market was selected. The design was thought appropriate and
adaptable to the local building traditions/trends, climatic conditions, and the use of local
labour, materials and technology and ease of maintenance. The Stakeholders thought that
Karatina and Mudavadi markets were appropriate designs to be replicated. The selected
design was also cost effective and admired by the town‟s dwellers and users who also
proposed that other open air markets follow suit.

To pave way for the actual construction, contractors for the project were identified. The
NMC became a subcontractor in its contribution in kind. A main contractor (MC) M/s P.T.
Ndegwa & Sons Contractors, a locally based Building and Civil Engineering contractor won
the contract aft tenders for the works went through a tender Board. The original contract
price was KSH..7,677,551.60 with a completion date of 24th May, 2000.

The users of the open air Soko Mjinga Market were relocated to a temporary market called
Soko Huru in order to allow the contractors to start construction work. A groundbreaking
ceremony was conducted by the then Minister for Local Government Prof. Sam Ongeri on
27th October 1998. The NMC completed its initial groundwork in early 1999 and the
Stakeholders certified the works accordingly. The main contractor took over the site in late
1999 and engaged local labour. He also used locally available materials such as sand, stones,
cement, steel bars and galvanized iron sheets available from local hardwares. The
Stakeholders and NMC officials to ensure that they were done as per specifications of the
Contract Agreement inspected all the works on a daily basis.

The Contract Agreement was reviewed in early 2000 to include new works such as
construction of office Block, Refuse chamber and store (termed Part B) and more additional
works on Part A (that is, perimeter wall, walkways, access roads and market bays). In
accordance with Articles 21 and 20 of the conditions of Contract, the original works and the
additional works were inspected and certified as being free of all contractual defects and
complete respectively on 14th September, 2000 at a revised final contract price of
KSH.7,661,104.60 excluding the costs of contribution in kind. The formal handling over of
the project to the NMC and Stakeholders by the MC was done on 27th April 2001. The
official opening of the market was conducted by the then Minister for Local Government
Uhuru Kenyatta on 24th May 2002.

Key individuals at the production stage included Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi (Town Clerk), Mr.
George N. Maina (NMC Treasurer), Mr. Mark Nderitu (NMC works Officer who inspected
construction works daily), Engineer Nguiguti (NMC Engineer incharge of NMC
subcontract), Ms. Hellen Muthoni (SMSWG Chairlady) and Mr. David Kuria (SMSWG
Secretary). Key organizations were NMC, Soko Mjinga wholesale Market Self Help Group,
Gath Consulting Engineers, Central Government World Bank and M/s P.T. Ndegwa and
Sons Contractors.

Problems during the production stage included the delay in the completion of the project due
to delay in the prequalifications of tenders; delayed part payments to the MC due to
prohibitive bureaucratic process at the Employer‟s side and unacceptable workmanship to the
concrete louver block works and fitted weak listerns which were however rectified later.

The upgraded Soko Mjinga Wholesale and Retain Market became operational soon after its
handing over to the Stakeholders on 27th April 2001. Stalls at the new market were
transparently and procedurally allocated and used. Interviews were conducted to determine
who qualified for a stall. The Stakeholders Committee conducted the interviews and the
NMC considered whether a stall applicant had contributed financially towards the
construction of the project. At least all the 205 Stakeholders qualified for stalls. Those who
did not qualify were allowed to operate on the open space of the market. Different numbers
of stalls were allocated for cereals, cabbages, horticulture crops and potatoes. The open
space had no concrete arrangement and was used by about 300 open space sellers. Other
users of the market included officials of NMC (Such as the revenue collector) and customers
from within and without the Municipality.

Public Health Act and Market by laws guide the use of the market. Only raw food
commodities are allowed for sale in the market. Cooked food is prohibited for sale due to
fear of disease outbreaks. No use of abusive language or fighting is allowed in the market.
There are penalties for these offences which are stated in the bylaws. Fighting and abusive
language leads to three months suspension from the market. The market operates daily
although it used to operate only three days in a week (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday)
when it was opened. The Stakeholders and other traders in the market get capital for their
businesses through traditional lending called “Gobo”, Merry-go-rounds and loans from
Banks and Credit firms such as Kenya Women Finance Trust.

A market master and revenue collector undertake the NMC‟s management of the market. On
the Stakeholders‟ side, the Stakeholders Committee led by the chairlady Hellen Muthoni
undertakes management. All market matters raised by the Stakeholders to the NMC are
channeled through the Committee which in turn liaises with the NMC‟s social Welfare
Office for deliberations and necessary action.

Following the SMOU, Stakeholders employed five workers and the NMC employed four
workers to undertake maintenance of the market. The workers were to be paid from the
KSH. 12 gate fee per bag, KSH.12 daily fee for every stall and KSH. 1 from toilet fee.
However the Minister for Local Government Karissa Maitha directed in February 2003 that
the Council pay all workers and the charging of toilet fee be stopped. The toilet fee was used
for maintenance activities. The Council now keeps all the revenue and nothing goes to the
Stakeholders Account meant for minor repairs of the market. The Minister‟s directive has
negatively impacted on the efficient running of the market.

Key individuals at the operation and maintenance of the market are Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi,
Mr. G. Kiguta, Ms. Hellen Muthoni and her Committee members. Key organizations are
NMC, all private sector credit groups and Soko Mjinga wholesale Market Self Help Group.

   Mr. Gikuhi says that the operation and maintenance stage had several problems. Political
   interference was the major problem. Some Councilors interfered with the allocation of stalls
   and incited market users to violence, which caused two deaths in 2002. Mr. Gikuhi observed
   “it is sad to note that two people lost their lives in 2002 following violence resulting from
   incitement of the market’s users by local politicians who attempted to interfere with the
   allocation of stalls in the market.” Some of the users of temporary Soko Huru Market
   refused to relocate back to Soko Mjinga and engaged the police in confrontations because
   they had a backing of some top politicians. The Ministers‟ directive has also affected the
   morale of the Stakeholders who now feel cheated and powerless. There is infighting among
   the current members of the Stakeholders Committee with some rejecting the chairlady.

   Mr. Gikuhi informed us that the market was located within the Central Business District and
   that it had the potential of serving a large clientele. He commended the markets‟ design and
   argued that is was suitable for replication especially in the Nyeri‟s Open Air market. The
   market had a potential for improvement especially in terms of size because it had a
   foundation suitable for a storey building. There were plans to have out parts of Kamukunji
   Grounds to expand the market. The market project was made possible by the Government‟s
   financial contribution, the local community‟s commitment and unity exhibited by their
   financial contribution and the availability of land. The high agricultural potential of the
   district also helps the market to continue operating.

   Mr. Gikuhi believes the market has created jobs and raised incomes of the locals. He also
   believes that the high transportation costs of goods to distant markets such as Karatina have
   been reduced and the market dwellers have a point to get their food requirements easily. The
   project has succeeded in achieving its objective of marketing the local crop produce as a way
   of promoting sustainable quality livelihoods of the local community.

   Mr. Gikuhi says that he has learnt that the community must be consulted first before any
   project is launched. He observed, “If this factor is ignored, the project is bound to fail.”
   He has also learnt that some politicians build their names and support using community
   projects, a factor which sometimes kills the same projects. He proposes that political
   statements must be consulted before they are uttered to the community. Realizing that Mr.
   Gikuhi had exhausted all that he knew about the project, we ended the interview and thanked
   him for his time and informed him that we would contact him should there be any
   information. We took a photo with him and one of his officers who was to be a respondent
   of the study and dismissed for more interviews with other respondents.

4. Focus Group Discussion with Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders Committee

   DATE:  30/04/03
   TIME:  14h
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale and Retail Market

   Nyeri Municipal Council Social Welfare Officer Mr. G. Kiguta led us to Soko Mjinga
   Market a few minutes before 14h. Mr. Kiguta took us round the market before taking us to
   the office of the Stakeholders. We found five Committee members waiting for us but two
   more members came in before we introduced ourselves. Mr. Kiguta took the burden of

introducing all of us after which we informed the Committee members the purpose of our
visit and study. Mr. Kiguta then left for his normal duties in his office soon after the
introductions. One official offered all of us a cup of tea (signifying hospitality) as we

The discussion was held in the office of the Stakeholders found in the Administration Block
located near Gate „A‟ of Soko Mjinga Wholesale and Retail Market. The office had one
medium size table and seven table chairs. Five more chairs were brought in (by one official)
from the office of the market master and Revenue collector in anticipation for twelve
discussants (that is, nine Committees and three visitors). However, the Committees who
attended the session were Ms. Catherine Nyambura (Vice Chairlady), Ms. Serah Wangai
(Vice Secretary), Mr. Onesmus Kamau (Treasurer), Ms. Elizabeth Njeri (Member), Ms.
Mary Mwihaki (Member), Mr. Patrick Mwangi (Member) and Mr. Stephen Githinji
(Member). There was no apology from the chairlady Ms. Hellen Muthoni and the Secretary
Mr. Patrick Ngugi despite their awareness that we were visiting them. Before the session
began, the Committees indicated that they were going to speak on behalf of all 205
Stakeholders because they were their official representatives in all market matters and also
the co-managers of the market.

Today‟s Soko Mjinga wholesale and Retail Market started in the 1980s as a muddy market
under the same name near Kamukunji Sports Grounds. It was called Soko Mjinga (that is,
Market for a fool) because those who visited or operated in it were thought to be fools since
they dealt in very unhygienic conditions associated with primitivity and foolishness. The
prices of commodities especially potatoes in the market were said to be unreasonably low
such that those who sold them were said to be fools who never wanted to become rich.
Attempts to change the name to Kamukunji Market however failed because people had
become used to Soko Mjinga. A Committee to manage the market also existed made up of a
few members of those who operated in the market which was then operating in open air and
very muddy and unhygienic conditions especially during rainy seasons. The market was then
operating unofficially and was therefore not recognized by the Nyeri Municipal Council

The open market‟s activity increased and the NMC was forced to formalize it and collect
revenue from the sellers. It was then fenced by the NMC. The market‟s conditions
deteriorated further and the market was temporarily closed down by the Department of
Public health. The sellers demonstrated in the streets thus forcing the NMC to construct few
temporary shelters in the mid 1990s. The population of crop commodity business people was
surging as a result of the high agricultural potential in the area thus forcing the NMC to open
more markets for the local produce.

In 1997, the Government of Kenya through the NMC introduced cost sharing to improve
projects in the Municipality. The local community was to contribute 10% while the
government was to give at least 90% of the total cost of a project. People were asked to
select a project of the highest priority for the partial funding. Out of 23 projects that were
listed by the community the upgrading of Soko Mjinga into an enclosed market was the
priority number one when it was compared with other proposed projects such as open air
market, water projects electricity supply and dispensaries. The selected project would offer
more advantages than the others because it was to serve more people. The market was

needed in order to help in the marketing of the local crop produce, cut the costs of
transporting crop commodities to distant markets such as Karatina, accommodate the
expanding population of crop commodity business people and create jobs and generate
income above providing easy access of food to the Nyeri town dwellers.

The market project construction was therefore to be mainly coordinated by the NMC as a
partner but with the assistance of Gath Consulting Engineers from Nairobi. The Consultant
would work out the budget for the project together with the NMC and Stakeholders to the
project. The NMC mobilized the local community and especially sellers in the Open Soko
Mjinga Market and 205 Stakeholders formed the Soko Mjinga wholesale market Self Help
Group, which was a non-political group registered with the NMC and Ministry of culture and
Social services in late 1997. The group formulated its Constitution to guide its activities. A
Committee of 9 people was also elected democratically led by chairlady Hellen Muthoni to
become the Stakeholder working Groups (SWG) in the proposed project.

A Memorandum of Understanding to guide the responsibilities of each partner was then
signed and the Stakeholders were required to contribute at least one million shillings. Each
Stakeholder contributed KSH. 4250, the government gave Six (6) million shillings from
World Bank funds and the Council contributed KSH. 3,648,000 in kind and KSH.200,000 in
cash. The NMC then offered 0.245 hectares of land out of the total area covered by the
Open-air market to be used for the proposed enclosed market. Out of a list of three designs
which were developed by the Stakeholders for the proposed market, the Consultant helped
them to selected one which was thought cost effective, adaptable to local environmental
conditions, building trends and easy to maintain. The project‟s design borrowed heavily
from Karatina and Mudavadi markets in Nyeri and was to absorb about 10 million Shillings.

The NMC contributed in kind in 1998 by undertaking the initial groundworks such as site
clearance and excavations as a subcontractor to the project. A Main Contractor (MC) was
then identified in 1999 through Government procurement procedures of bidding and
tendering and took over the site in late 1999. The Contractor M/s P.T. Ndegwa and sons was
local because he resided in Naromoru. He employed local labourers who had skills in
Masonry, plumbing, carpentry and welding among others. The materials he used such as
sand and stones were obtained locally. Cement, steel bars and galvanized iron sheets were
also obtained from the local hardwares thus cutting down on his transportation costs.
However, before the construction by the contractors began, the users of the open air market
were relocated to temporary Soko Huru Market and the then Minister for Local government
Prof. Sam Ongeri conducted the ground breaking ceremony. The Stakeholders participated
in welcoming the Minister and receiving the launch certificate (which was received by then
secretary David Kuria).

The Stakeholders inspected the construction works on a daily basis and signed the daily
works progress report prepared by NMC works officer. Mr. Mark Nderitu. The Main
Contractor completed the project in September 2000 after about 6 months delay. He handed
over the project officially to NMC and the Stakeholders on 27th April 2001. The
Stakeholders relocated back from Soko Huru on 4th May 2001 but the market was officially
opened by the then Minister for Local Government Uhuru Kenyatta on 24th may 2002.

The market deals with only raw foodstuffs. Health regulations prohibited the sale of cooked
foods in the market for fear of food poisoning and disease outbreaks. Foodstuffs on sale
include potatoes, cabbages, cereals and horticultural crops such as fruits. The foodstuffs are
arranged in order and different numbers of the total 205 stalls are allocated for the different
kinds of foodstuffs. There is no concrete arrangement of foodstuffs in the open space of the
market. The 205 stalls are only for those who contributed financially on time during the
initiation stage and those who passed stall allocation interviews conducted by the Committee
and NMC officials. About 300 sellers operate in the open space. All the sellers pay twelve
shillings for every bag entering the market for sale. All stall owners pay a daily fee of twelve
shillings for each stall. A toilet fee of one shilling used to be charged on the toilet users
before the Minister for Local Government Karissa Maitha banned it countrywide in February

The Stakeholders are happy with the project because it is a product of their initiative. One of
them speaking on behalf of the others said “ This market is ours because we contributed
in all the requirements of putting it up from drawing (design) to allocation. If we
stopped operating in it would collapse to our disadvantage and that of other locals.”
They contributed financially and participated throughout the implementation process. The
project has increased a sense of oneness and identity in the community. Furthermore, it has
brought other advantages to the community. For example, the Stakeholders have managed to
form Self Help Groups and other income groups such as Mwihoko Self Help Group,
Meramanu Nyakeyo Self Help Group, Group, Merry-go-rounds, and traditional forms of
lending and borrowing such as “Gobo” and shy locking. The small income‟ finance groups
of 20, 30 or more members contribute KSH. 50 or 100 monthly and the money is used to
expand businesses. It is also used to educate children. Private finance groups such as banks,
Kenya Women Finance Trust and Small and Medium Enterprises Programme (SMEP)
advance loans to the Stakeholders. The NMC also uses the market as a meetings venue.
These advantages have helped to better the lives of community members.

The success of the project is attributed to some key individuals organizations and some
contextual factors making it a good case for replication in other areas. The NMC Town
Clerk Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi and the Stakeholders Chairlady Hellen Muthoni are thought to
have played a crucial role throughout the process of installing the project by offering
effective and efficient leadership and coordination. Key organizations are the NMC, Soko
Mjinga wholesale Market Self Help Group and the Central Government/Ministry of Local
Government. The cultural values (among the community members of unity and hard work in
entrepreneurship makes the project sustainable as the Stakeholders support each other in the
market business. The agricultural potential enabled Stakeholders to get finances for the
project and avails goods for the market. Political factors such as multipartism helped in the
installation of the project as the then ruling party KANU struggled to get support for the 1997
General elections from Nyeri‟s opposition zone.

There were several key enabling elements throughout the process of establishing the project.
The Government‟s commitment exhibited through the sourcing of donor funding for the
project was crucial during initiation. The initiation of the project was also made possible
because of the cooperation (spirit of partnership) between NMC and the local community.
Clear rules and guidelines stipulated in the Stakeholders constitution, Memoranda of
Understanding and World Banks funding guidelines helped the project to take off

successfully and technical advice from NMC‟s and Consultant‟s officials led to development
of sound conceptual designs and valuation of the project. The Community‟s positive attitude
towards the project led to its acceptance at the initiation stage. Enabling elements during the
production stage included the availability of finances; availability of land; availability of
skills locally; availability of materials locally and quality supervision and management of
construction works by the Government‟s Programme Coordinator, and Project Manager and
the Council‟s and Consultant‟s Engineers and Architects. During the operation stage,
enabling elements include an appropriate market design which contributed to cleanliness and
hygiene; availability of market resources/goods and availability of business credit from
Merry-go-rounds, shylocking, Kenya Women Finance Trust, Faulu Kenya, Juhudi-K-Rep,
SMEP and banks.

There were constraining elements in the Project. Stakeholders struggled for leadership
positions in the Soko Mjinga Wholesale Market Self Help Group and later in the
Stakeholders Working Group. Some community members also wanted the NMC to construct
the market for them (that is, culture of dependence) as the Council‟s reciprocal role to tax
payers in Nyeri. During to production stage, there was political interference with some
Councilors scheming the grab the market plot when they were denied control over the
project. A Councilor called John Hendiki advocated against the grabbing attempt. Lack of
land ownership by the Stakeholders led to the production of a small market unable to meet
the high demand. Only a small area was offered from the total area covered by the open air
Soko Mjinga market. The rest was corruptly sold out to private developers.

Several constraining elements bedeviled the operation stage. There is lack of a critical mass
(that is, customers) in Soko Mjinga market. The market is located outside the Central
Business District and potential customers therefore prefer the Nyeri Open Air Market and the
Mudavadi Market to Soko Mjinga. The bag/gate fees and stalls fee charged at Soko Mjinga
are higher than in the other markets which charge between seven and ten shillings. While
Soko Mjinga market offers only raw foodstuffs, the other markets offer a variety of products
including boutiques and housewares. These factors drive customers away and the sellers
have lower profit margins. The NMC has patronized the management of the market and
Stakeholders have little say. All the Stakeholder-employed workers are now answerable to
NMC, no Bank account for the market collections has ever been opened and the Council
keeps all money. Some gutters and floor of the market have been damaged and water and
electricity bills have not been paid for months because there appears to be a lack of a
maintenance plan. Transparency is lacking because KSH.110,000 belonging to Stakeholders
was transferred in 2001 from their Account to that of the Council by the chairlady and the
then Treasurer without the consent of the Stakeholders and the money has never been
returned. Some politicians also interfered with the allocation of stalls by promising their
supporters stalls in the market. This attempt failed and violence erupted leading to two
deaths on 31st January 2002.

The project has however met its objectives of marketing the local produce and creating jobs
and generating income. It has a potential for improvement because its foundation was laid to
accommodate a storey building should Stakeholders want to expand the market. There are
plans to hold fresh elections in order to elect a new chairperson because the current chairlady
is accused of corruption, illiteracy and ignorance and advance age of 70 that make her
inactive in the market‟s matters. Realizing that they were becoming nervous and

   uncomfortable with the lengthy discussion that ate on their business time, we thanked and
   informed them that we would meet them individually for more interviews. They consented
   for a photo but the photographer had left without notice during the discussion.

5. Mr. Stephen Githinji, Member of Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders Committee

   DATE:  1/05/2003
   TIME:  10:00hrs
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

   The session with Mr. Githinji was conducted inside the office of the Soko Mjinga Market
   Stakeholders Committee. It began with the exchanging of morning greetings. Mr. Githinji
   informed us that he was living in the neighbouring community and that he owned a market
   stall in which he sold potatoes. He said potatoes and cabbages were the main foodstuffs in
   the market and that some people were able to sell upto 100 bags of potatoes in a week thus
   making good incomes. However, the capacity of one‟s business depended on his/her ability
   to secure loan(s) from private lenders such as Juhudi-K-Rep, SMEP, Faulu Kenya and banks
   all of which advanced loans to Stakeholders and other traders depending on one‟s security for
   the loan applied for.

   Mr. Githinji attributed the success of the market project to several factors. The first and most
   crucial factor was that the project was people-driven in all its processes thus making the
   people responsible and concerned about the project. It was the local community, which
   selected the project out of a list of many other proposed projects. The community also
   selected the market‟s design and was involved in the daily inspection and participated in the
   certification of the construction works to ensure that it was constructed as per the Contract
   Agreement and design. The community also contributed financially to the total cost of the

   The community‟s partnership with the NMC ensured that sufficient funds were obtained for
   the project through the Governments‟ contribution of 6 million shillings and the NMC‟s
   contribution in kind of about 4 million shillings and cash of KSH. 200,000 to top up with the
   Stakeholders‟ contribution of one million shillings. The partnership also helped in ensuring
   that the NMC‟s professionals and those from Gath Consultants supervised the works

   Crucial to the sustainability of the project was the availability of market goods locally and
   the local community‟s cultural value of unity and hard work and entrepreneurship. Most
   commodities are grown in the district. The Kikuyu community loves money and therefore
   has little time for sports and leisure. This factor drives them to be ever in business and to
   want to invest more in business. To ensure that the community survives in
   business/entrepreneurship, members of the community learn business skills from the skilled
   ones through apprenticeship. Mr. Githinji pointed out that new traders are shown how to
   display their goods and how to talk to potential customers nicely. This has helped in the
   transfer of skills from one generation to another. The project is also sustainable because it
   used simple technology, local labour and materials making it easy to maintain with modest
   finances. For instance, the project utilized sand and stones that were collected from around.
   The cement steel bars and galvanized iron sheets were purchased from the local hardwares.

   The contractor and all his labourers skilled in masonry, plumbing, carpentry and welding
   were all from the locality.

   Mr. Githinji argues that the market has achieved the main objective of improving the
   community‟s livelihood by the creation of employment to more than 500 sellers, generation
   of income, marketing of the locally produced food commodities and strengthening social
   bonds. However, the market‟s size is small and needs to be expanded to accommodate more
   traders and products instead of the only foodstuffs. Since the projects foundation was laid for
   a Storey building, it has the potential for improvement. The market also faces stiff
   competition offered by hawkers selling food products near it and the Open Air and Mudavadi
   markets which charge less fees for stalls and gate. The fees at Soko Mjinga should be
   lowered to march those of other markets and hawkers should be displaced from the market‟s
   surrounding. The Open space of Soko Mjinga Market should also be roofed and have stalls
   because the users suffer during adverse weather conditions. This will also help to increase
   revenue to the NMC through the stalls‟ fees.

   A major problem experienced during the life of the project is that of political interference.
   Some politicians especially the Councilors wanted to control the project‟s initiation,
   production and operation. Some Councilors from the then official opposition party
   (Democratic Party of Kenya) opposed the project‟s initiation arguing that it was the then
   ruling party‟s (KANU) project to garner support. They wanted the opposition party to be in
   charge of the project and therefore opposed the ground breaking and official opening
   ceremonies conducted by KANU‟s Ministers. The Councilors also schemed to grab the plot
   after they were denied control over the project. During the allocation of stalls, they
   defrauded their supporters of money by promising them stalls in the market. When this
   attempt failed, they incited people to violence leading to deaths of two innocent people.

   From the project, Mr. Githinji has learnt that politics in community projects are dangerous
   and could help to disintegrate the same projects. He has however learnt that unity is power
   and that the community is the number one resource. He commends the Town Clerk Mr.
   Gikuhi and the former and current Stakeholders Committee for their crucial role in the
   implementation and sustainability of the project and prays that the current in fighting in the
   current Committee ends peacefully. We thanked Mr. Githinji for giving us important
   information and gave him our contact details should he wish to add some information. We
   dismissed and he returned to his stall to continue with business.

6. Review of Literature available in Soko Mjinga Market file

   DATE:  1/05/2003
   TIME:  14hrs
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

   The review of the literature was done in the office of the Stakeholders Committee. The
   literature was contained in an unreferenced file titled “Soko Mjinga Market” and it appeared
   to be the official records file for the Committee. The Committee‟s Vice Chairlady Ms.
   Catherine Nyambura who then left for her stall accessed the file to us. We only managed to

   observe and capture a small fraction of the bulky information in the file. We also made some
   photocopies of some of the information.

   We saw minutes of meetings held by the Stakeholders. In all the meetings, Ms. Hellen
   Muthoni (chairlady) chaired thus pointing to her commitment to the project. We also saw
   minutes of meetings on the market convened by the NMC and in all the meetings; Mr.
   Richard K. Gikuhi (Town Clerk) chaired thus suggesting that he was a key individual in the
   project. The meetings were held at various dates from 1997 to early 2002. There were no
   minutes of meetings held in 2003 thus suggesting that review meetings were rare.

   There was a certificate of registration (registration No. NYI/REG/CD/A/7483) with the
   Nyeri‟s Department of Social Services in the Ministry of Home Affairs, National Heritage,
   Culture and Social Services under the name Soko Mjinga Wholesale Market Self Help
   Group. We made a photocopy of the Self Help Group‟s Constitution which showed that
   among other objects for which the group was established, was to instill a sense of
   responsibility in the operation and maintenance of Soko Mjinga Market by the members.

   The file also contained interviews regret letters to applicants of stalls at the market and letters
   of appointment of the post of Askari, market cleaner, sanitary attendant, watchman and
   market attendant. For example Mr. Raphael Kanene Ndumia was appointed/employed by the
   Stakeholders on 22nd January 2001 as an Askari in the consolidated salary of 2220 Kenya
   pounds per annum. A market attendant was to be paid 2424 Kenya pounds per annum. We
   also made a photocopy of a Secondary Memorandum of Understanding signed on 12th
   January 1998 between the NMC and the Stakeholders group. Among other things, the
   SMOU indicated that the Stakeholders group and the Council would have shared
   responsibilities involved from implementation to operation and maintenance of the market
   project as well as joint operation of a dedicated Account based on the agreed sharing of the
   twelve shillings gate collection (bag gate fee).

   Records also indicated that the chairlady Hellen Muthoni and the then Treasurer Margaret
   Wanjiru transferred KSH. 110,000 on 10th August 2001 from Soko Mjinga Self Help Group
   Account No.212771276 to the NMC‟s Account No.112430474. There was also an unpaid
   water bill of KSH.. 91,024.10 dated November 2002. Records also showed that stall 1-24
   were for potatoes, 25-51 for cereals, 52-71 for cabbages, 72-94 for cereals, 95-115 for
   horticulture, 116-145 for cereals, and 146-205 for potatoes. The market has a perimeter wall,
   three gates (A,B, and C) a 2-room administration office, a refuse chamber, a toilet block, 2
   plastic water tanks of 4,600 litres each electrical works, 205 roofed but open market stalls
   and open space. Daily collections from the gate fee were also recorded in a counter book
   and kept inside the file. There was no more information to review and we asked the vice
   chairlady to return the file in the drawer. We thanked her for the information and dismissed
   for the day.

7. Mr. G. Kiguta, Social Welfare Officer at Nyeri Municipal Council

   DATE:  2/05/2003
   TIME:  09:00hrs
   VENUE: Nyeri Municipal Council Offices (Social Welfare Office)

We exchanged greetings and discussed briefly how the interviews were progressing. Mr.
Kiguta commented that we would get a lot of information before the end of the study. Mr.
Kiguta comes from Nyeri district and had arrived from his rural home that morning. He had
gone to attend to a brief family matter. He however resides in Nyeri town together with his
young wife and child. Due to his hard work at the Council, the Council‟s training Committee
has approved his further training in the degree of masters in social science in any Kenyan
University from late 2003. He is interested in Sociology but will not mind studying
Anthropology or Planning.

Mr. Kiguta has been involved in the mobilization of Stakeholders for the Soko Mjinga
Market affairs meetings. The Town Clerk prefers using him to other officers. Mr. Kiguta
also takes minutes of many market meetings. He says that he is ever busy and with heavy
workload due to understaffing in the Council. He however manages all the internal and
external assignments.

He feels that the Town Clerk Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi has played the most key role in the
establishment of the Soko Mjinga Market project by offering guidance and coordination
service. The Clerk‟s efforts have been complimented by those of the Stakeholders
Committee Chairlady Hellen Muthoni. He however laments that the chairlady is now under
sharp criticism from other Committee officials and members and is currently not
satisfactorily cooperative with the Council‟s officials. He feels that her advanced age has
made her inactive in the market‟s matters.

The market project belongs to the local community, “it is seen as the community’s project
because it has invested a lot in terms of time, financial, physical and human resources.”
The Local Community represented by 205 Stakeholders participated in partnership with the
Council in all the processes involved in the project. He however says that the contribution of
the Central Government, the World Bank, Gath Consultants, P.T. Ndegwa and Sons
Contractors and the private finance groups currently advancing loans to the traders have
played a crucial role in the establishment and maintenance of the project. He wishes to see
the project replicated in another area since it has advantages such as transfer of skills‟
creation of jobs, generation of income, provision of easy access to food and marketing of the
local crop produce. The most important lesson he has learnt through the project is that local
Councils alone cannot be able to establish and maintain community projects without the
input of the community itself. This is because financial and human resources in most
Councils are overstretched and limited. Some Councils are unable to pay their staff salaries
and have no funds for repair or maintenance of projects they initiated themselves. Mr.
Kiguta has also learnt that community development programmes must always enlist the
contributions of socio-cultural experts who have been avoided in many infrastructure projects
in preference for only infrastructure/building experts and professionals. He observed that,
“the Soko Mjinga market is a project worth replicating in other areas because of its
advantages in passing skills, creating jobs and generating incomes for people.”

There was no need for another photography since we had taken one with the Town Clerk.
We thanked him for his time and contribution. He then gave us the relevant files on the
project kept by the Council for our perusal and photocopy of necessary literature. We agreed
to meet later when returning the files.

8. Review of Literature in File No. NMC/CON/70 and NMC/KMRP/111/642 Kept at the
   Nyeri Municipal Council Offices

   A perusal of the files showed that they were dominated with daily and monthly progress
   reports of Soko Mjinga Market Project, correspondences and minutes of meeting on the
   project. The meetings were all chaired by the Town Clerk Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi and
   attended by other NMC officials, Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders Committee
   representatives led by chairlady Hellen Muthoni, officials of the P.T. Ndegwa and Sons
   contractors and those from Kenya Local Government Reform Programme (KLGRP) and
   Gath consulting Engineers. The literature review session captured only the highlights
   contained in the files and the dates of the events that took place at least from 1997 to 2002.

   Concerning the daily progress reports on the works in the project, important sections of the
   reports were the activities of the day, site instructions given by the Engineer/ Architect in
   charge of the daily works; labour on site; weather condition, materials on site, visitors on site,
   construction plants on site and remarks. The reports were then signed by the Works Officer
   Mr. Mark Nderitu, Stakeholders representative (mainly Hellen Muthoni) and the Contractor.
   The reports were then copied to the Town Clerk, Gath Consulting Engineers, Municipal
   Treasurer Mr. George Maina, NMC Senior Assistant Engineer and Soko Mjinga
   Stakeholders. On 31st March, 2000, the activities on site were building the perimeter walling,
   creating formwork to ground floor slab and stone dressing. The labour on site was 1 No. site
   Agent, 1 No. site foreman, 6 No. Masons, 4 No. stone dressers, 4 No. Carpenters, 1 No.
   Welder and 10 No. labourers. The weather condition was sunny.

   In a report prepared by the works officer on 28th April, 2000 the Contract data of the project
   was as follows:

      Project title                  -       Kenya Local Government Reform

      Financier                      -       International Development Association
                                              (IDA) And Nyeri Soko Mjinga Stakeholders

      Employer                       -       Ministry of Local Government

      Consultant                     -       Gath consulting Engineers

      Project Description            -       Construction of Part A of Nyeri Soko
                                              Mjinga Market

      Contractor                     -       P.T. Ndegwa and Sons

      Contract Award Date            -       6th July 1999

      Date of Order to Commence -            25th November, 1999

   Date of Commencement           -     25th November, 1999

   Construction period            -     6 months (24 weeks)

   Intended Date of completion -        24th May, 2000

   Revised intended date of completion – Nil

   Period of time elapsed         -     Twenty (20) weeks

   Target Percentage              -     83%

   Percentage completed           -     70% complete based on value of work
                                         certified to date (excluding day works, VAT and
                                         10% for contingencies)

   Estimated delay                -     3 weeks

   Original corrected Bid Price -       KSH.7,677,551.60

   Revised bill Price             -     Nil

   Amount certified to date       -     KSH.3,294,340.61

   Amount certified this month -        KSH.1,183,794.30

   Date of this report            -     28th April, 2000

Details from a Certificate of Completion of Works signed by KUTIP‟s Project Manager
Engineer L.M. Ngare on 21st December, 2001 indicated the following:

   Contract Title                 -     The construction of Part A of Nyeri Soko
                                         Mjinga Market

   Contract Number                -     Contract No.KLGRP/001

   Contract Start Date            -     25th November, 1999

   Initial Contract Period        -     6 months (24 weeks)

   Initial contract completion date -   24th May, 2000

   Extension of time granted      -     16 weeks

   Revised contract completion date -   14th September, 2000

   Contract price                 -     KSH.7,677,551.60

   Contractor‟s details           -     P.T. Ndegwa
                                         P.O. Box 48

   The Employer Details           -     The Permanent Secretary
                                         Ministry of Local Government
                                         P.O. Box 30004

   The Project Manager‟s details -      The Project Manager
                                         P.O. Box 30004

   Construction supervision       -     Gath Consulting Engineers
    Consultants‟ Details                 P.O. Box 14279

   Completion of the contract     -     Inspection of the works

In accordance with Article 20 and 21 of the conditions of contract, the works were inspected
and certified as being complete and free from defects on 27/4/2001. The defects liability
period ended on 14/9/2001. One half of the retention money, pursuant to Article 26 of the
conditions of contract was to be paid to the contractor. The other half of retention money
pursuant to Article 26 of the conditions of contract was payable after the issuance of defects
liability certificate.

The Defects Liability Certificate signed by KUTIP‟s Project Manager indicated the

   Actual completion date         -     14th September, 2001

   Defects Liability start date   -     15th September, 2000

   Defects Liability Period       -     12 months

   End of Defects Liability period      14th September, 2001

   Original contract Price        -     KSH.7,677,551.60

   Final contract price           -     KSH.7,271,194

   Contractor‟s name and Address        P.T. Ndegwa and Sons
                                         Building and Civil Engineering Contractors

                                              P.O. Box 48, Naromoru.

      Employer‟s Name and Address            Ministry of Local Government (Represented
                                              by Permanent Secretary)
                                              P.O. Box 30004

      Overall supervision            -       Project Manager-KUTIP

   In accordance with Article 21 of the conditions of contract, the original works and the
   additional works were inspected and certified as being free of all contractual defects on
   27/4/2001. The defects liability period effectively ended on 14/9/2001. In accordance with
   Article 26 of the conditions of contract, the final half of the retention money was to be
   released immediately to the contractor upon request.

   The NMC files also showed the following financial profile of the project.

      Total Construction cost                -          KSH. 9,648,000
       (Excluding taxes and duties)

      World Bank
       (Government of Kenya Contribution) -              KSH. 6,000,000

      Nyeri Municipal Council
       Contribution in Kind                   -          KSH. 3,648,000

      Nyeri Municipal Council
       Contribution in cash                   -          KSH. 200,000

      Stakeholders
       Contribution in cash                   -          KSH. 1,000,000

      Original contract Price                -          KSH. 7,677,551.60

      Final Contract Price                   -          KSH. 7,661,104.60
                                                         (99.8% Of Original Contract Price)

Part B of the project, that is the construction of office block, refuse chamber and store costed
KSH. 367,359 as per the quotation dated 23/3/2000.

The following are some of the dates of important events in the project‟s life.


From March 1997 the NMC mobilizes and sensitizes the local community to identify
microprojects for co-funding by the World Bank through the Government of Kenya and the local
community itself. The identified Stakeholders with the NMC and Gath Consulting Engineers
held more meetings with a view to generating the markets‟ design. On 23/10/97, Soko Mjinga
Market Stakeholders presented a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the NMC on
the financing and responsibilities of parties to the proposed project after registering their Soko
Mjinga Wholesale Market Self Help Group. On 31/10/97, a meeting of all parties to the project
was held to discuss the MOU. On the same day, Soko Mjinga Wholesale Market and Thegu
Water Supply Projects Members held a meeting with NMC and Gath consultants at NMC‟s
offices to be briefed on how microprojects started and how the World Bank through KLGRP will
finance them. Stakeholders of the two projects were informed that the proposed microprojects
had to give immediate benefits to Stakeholders and that the initial amount allocated to each
proposed project was 6 Million Kenya Shillings.


On 12/1/1998, a Secondary Memorandum of Understanding (SMOU) was signed between the
NMC (represented by Town Clerk Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi and NMC Treasurer Mr. George N.
Maina) and the Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholder Working Group (SWG). On 15/6/98 an
Addendum to SMOU was signed between the same officials of the two parties thus specifying
additional responsibilities to the parties and rephrasing some sections of the SMOU. In July
1998, bid documents for the project‟s Contract were prepared using the World Bank and
Government of Kenya guidelines spelt out in the Grant Funds Operation Manual Model by
Gath consultants on behalf of the KUTIP‟s Project Manager and KLGRP Programme
Coordinator. The final bid documents were finalized and as required, approved by the World
Bank and the Government the same month. The first bids were invited from an approved short
list of ten qualified and registered contractors during the same month but due to a technical
problem at the Ministry of Finance, no bids were returned and the process was repeated.
However, the SWG and the NMC embarked on their portion of works (contribution in kind).

On 18/9/98, the Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders and other market users were temporarily
relocated to Soko Huru temporary market to pave way for construction works. On 26/9/98, a
meeting was held at the NMC‟s offices to advise genuine Stakeholders to at least contribute one
hundred shillings each for legal services for some court cases between some Stakeholders and
non-Stakeholders. KSH.15,000 was realized and the market master was asked to issue
suspension letters banning the non-Stakeholders (from the market) who resorted to police action
for simple market misunderstandings. (The market master was the legally responsible arbitrator
in the market misunderstandings). The second bids were invited on 21/10/98 and the then
Minister for Local Government Prof. Sam Ongeri conducted the official ground breaking
ceremony on 27/10/98. The NMC immediately took over the site to undertake initial ground
works. The second bids were opened on 18/11/98 and evaluated by the Consultant. On

21/11/98, the NMC completed its initial works and on 9/12/98 the Consultant‟s report on
recommendations for contract award was forwarded to the client.


The works by the NMC were certified as substantially complete in February 1999. On 6/7/99, a
main contractor (MC) P.T. Ndegwa and Sons Contractors were identified through a bidding and
tendering process and was awarded Contract No. KLG/RP/001. The MC took over the site on
2/8/99. On 3/9/99, the NMC, SWG and the Consultant conducted the first official site visit to
inspect the works that were going on. On 14/9/99, the NMC, SWG and KLGRP/Gath held a
meeting to review the works payment claim by the MC. On 1/10/99, the second site progress
visit and meeting was conducted and on 9/10/99, a site visit and meeting between the NMC,
SWG and LLGRP/Gath was held to take existing ground levels of Soko Mjinga Market site and
to discuss other matters relating to the execution of works by the NMC-SG as per the SMOU and
part B of the main Bid document.

On 2/11/99, the Contract Agreement with an initial bid price of KSH. 7,677,551.60 was signed
and on 5/11/99, site progress meeting No.3 was conducted (other site progress meetings and
visits followed monthly). On 25/11/99, the Ministry of Local Government issued a letter of
commencement to the MC stating that the official start date of the contract was 25/11/99. The
letter that was signed by engineer L.M. Ngare (P.M. KUTIP) on behalf of the Ministry‟s
Permanent Secretary specified the roles of the NMC, MC, KUTIP Employer and the Consultant.
On 8/12/99, the Consultant issued to the PM-KUTIP the Contractor‟s Interim Certificate No.1
for payment of KSH. 1,877,049.20 (that is, KSH. 1,468,955 to be paid from KUTIP Credit
Grants Funds and KSH. 408 054.20 to be paid from the NMC-SG (Stakeholder Group, Account).
In the Town Clerk‟s (Mr. Gikuhi) letter of 14/12/99, the NMC-SG figure was paid with Cheque


On 3/3/2000, Payment Certificate No.1 was honoured. On 17/3/2000, site meeting No.7 was
conducted and the quotation of KSH. 367,359 dated 23/3/2000 for the construction of office
block, refuse chamber and store (all under Part B) was accepted and authority granted to the MC
to commence the execution of the said works. On 30/3/2000, a meeting was held between the
NMC and SWG chaired by the Town Clerk to discuss issues of the market and mainly the works
under Part B. During the meeting, it was noted that the MC had added more labour on site and
that work progress was good. On 31/3/2000 the NMC‟s works officer Mr. Mark Nderitu
prepared a daily progress report of the works on the market. On 7/4/2000, Payment Certificate
No.2 was honoured and on 14/4/2000 site meeting No.8 was conducted. During the meeting, the
SWG requested that the MC constructs two additional stone courses to the Western wall of the
market since hawkers were about to overlook the wall. The NMC-SG and the Consultant also
approved the MC to provide and fix gauge 26 pre-painted galsheet flashing without corrugations
on the roof cladding. They also approved a deep brown colour to the steelworks but with a
crown paint catalogue.

24/5/2000 was the initial contract completion date and 14/9/2000 was the revised contract
competition date. 15/9/2000 became the Defects Liability State date.


On 21/2/2001, KEBUKA WACHIRA & CO. ADVOCATES OF P.O. Box 663, Tel/Fax 4472
NYERI threatened to sue the NMC‟s Town Clerk of P.O. Box 180 NYERI in what the advocate
termed unfair denial of a stall to the advocate‟s client Michael Maina Muthigani. The Town
Clerk however settled the problem on stall allocation. On 27/4/2001, the MC completed the
project and handed it over officially to the NMC and the Stakeholders who also participated in
the final inspection and handing over exercise. On 4/5/2001, the Stakeholders relocated back to
the handed over project from Soko Huru. However, some market traders refused to relocate
back leading to confrontations with the Stakeholders and the police. 14/9/2001 was the end of
Defects Liability period of the project. In the Peoples news daily of 17/10/2001 headlined
“NYERI Traders Protest” (article by Wilfred Muchire), several traders protested on the closure
of Soko Huru. The Kenya Times news daily of 16/11/2001 headlined “Traders issues one week
notice on Market Closure” (article by Kenya News Agency) reported that Soko Mjinga
Stakeholders wanted Soko Huru closed immediately because it was interfering with the smooth
operation of their market. The paper also reported that the then president Daniel Arap Moi had
allowed the Soko Huru traders to continue operating as solution to the problem was being sought
by Provincial Administration mechanism/system. Groups like AMANI KWA WOTE of P.O.
Box 13730 Nakuru also wrote to the Minister for Local government to settle the Soko Huru
problem. The Certificate of Completion of works in the project was signed by FM-KUTIP on


ON 31/1/2002, Confrontations resulting from allocation of stalls led to two deaths. This
prompted a group called FUTA MAGENDO ACTION NETWORK OF P.O. BOX 2082 NYERI
to write to the Minister for Local Government on 6/2/2002 for solution to the conflicts. On
24/5/2002, the then Minister for Local government Uhuru Kenyatta officially opened Soko
Mjinga wholesale and Retail Market. On 2/7/2002, the main contractor wrote to the Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of Local government asking for the release of the originals of the
Performance and Bid Bank Guarantees. The letter also indicated that the MC had successfully
completed and attended to defects on the works and had attached completion and defects liability
certificates for the P.S.‟s reference.

We cleared with the NMC‟s files and returned them to Mr. G. Kiguta at about 16h after
producing the necessary photocopies. We thanked him and dismissed for the weekend.

9. Focus Group Session with 12 Cart Pullers

   DATE:  3/05/2003
   TIME:  10h23
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market (Gate “C”)

We exchanged greetings with the Cart pullers and informed them the purpose of our study.
Most of them said that they were curious to meet us because they had seen us interviewing
other people in the market but had not known what the study was all about. The Cart pullers
are young men (no women/girls) and boys who appeared to be below 32 years. They all
come from the surrounding community. They station themselves on the three gates of the
market and different groups of cart pullers man different gates. In most cases, a cart puller
cannot shift from one gate to another. They earn their living through the pulling and pushing

Each cart puller has his regular customers and business is no longer formal (but informal).
The interaction with the customers who are actually the market traders has been personalized
in order to make their cart pulling business sustainable. The customers also know their cart
pullers by name and goods are sometimes ferried on credit if the traders happen to have a
poor business day. Goods can be ferried in the morning and payments effected in the
evening as the market closes. However, this credit facility is only available to the regular
customers and normally the stall owners who are ever in the market. Open space traders are
seasonal and cannot be trusted with credit. Carting business starts pretty early and normally
before six in the morning. The cart pullers have to be near the market gates before it opens at
six o‟clock in order to ferry the goods that arrived over the night from the supply regions in
the district.

The cart pullers are happy that lorries or vehicles are not allowed inside the market, a fact
which enables them to continue being on the cart pulling business self-employment. They
also argue that heavy trucks fasten the wearing of infrastructural facilities such as roads and
building floors thus reducing the life span of the facility. They want the market to continue
operating because Kenya has a problem of unemployment. According to the cart pullers,
Soko Mjinga Market Project was left uncompleted. They argue that the access in ways
(roads) were left unmurrumed leading to extremely muddy grounds during rainy seasons (see
photographs). The in ways are also very narrow and vehicles have problems bringing goods
near the market. Hawkers who display their waves along the inways surrounding the Market
have compounded the problem. They want the hawkers displaced to a convenient place or
Soko Mjinga expanded to accommodate them. The market is also uncompleted because the
open space in the market was left without a roof. Lack of roofing inconveniences the traders,
customers to market products and contributes to the faster perishing of goods displayed
during adverse weather conditions such as rainy and very sunny seasons/times.

Compared with other markets in the Municipality, Soko Mjinga is clean because of its good
design. However, the market is small and needs to diversify its services from the current
practice of selling only raw foodstuffs. Although the market is a bit far from the Central
Business District and bus stages, this factor adds advantage to their ferrying business. The
market is ideal for replication in the Open Air Market in Nyeri and in other towns in Kenya.
The market‟s design resembles that of Karatina Market.

Since the market operates from six in the morning to six in the evening everyday, the cart
pullers have little time for rest and leisure. However, they prefer working for long hours in
order to make money to having leisure time which worsens their current state of poverty.

  They thank the Government of Kenya and especially the KANU government for its gift to
  the Municipality dwellers in terms of the project before it quit leadership last year.

  They wish to see the current regime under National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) improve on
  the facility especially because the President, Mwai Kibaki, comes from Nyeri district. Since
  the ferrying of potatoes and cabbages is the mainstay of their business, they pray that the
  district‟s high agricultural potential in these products is maintained by good government
  policies. They also want to be recognized by the community as an important social and
  economic group because for along time, they have been looked down upon.

  Through their work, they have learnt some business skills by observation from the Market‟s
  traders. For example, they have learnt how they can display market goods and how to talk to
  customers should they venture into selling and buying business. We thanked them for their
  information and took their photograph.

10. Ms. Elizabeth Njeri, Committee Member of Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders

  DATE:  3/05/2002
  TIME:  15H10
  VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

  This session was conducted at Njeri‟s stall where she sells fruits and vegetables. She lives in
  the nearby rural community and was preparing to leave for home when we visited her. It was
  a weekend and she needed to be home early so as to prepare for the Sunday Service the
  following day by washing her family‟s clothes. She was also to open her business the
  following day after the Sunday Service. She is a committed Christian.

  Ms. Njeri told us that she had little to contribute to the discussion because she had mentioned
  most of the issues during the interview with their Committee. Ms. Njeri said that there was
  need for a maintenance subcommittee to be formed to oversee the maintenance and repair of
  the market‟s facilities. She pointed to a damaged market floor and some roof gutters that
  were falling away and remarked that the Council had decided to retain all maintenance funds
  and was doing nothing about the damaged and wearing facilities. She said “ Now that the
  chairlady of our committee is not active in the market’s matters and the market’s
  maintenance is lacking, I intend to constitute a maintenance subcommittee in order to
  save the project form collapsing.” Njeri argued that the market users and the Stakeholders
  in particular were better placed to detect areas requiring maintenance at the earliest
  opportune time because the project was theirs and were constantly in the market. She
  proposed that a meeting be held soon with the NMC to iron out the differences between the
  Council and the Stakeholders that had emerged as a result of the violation of the Secondary
  Memorandum of Understanding and the Minister‟s directive. This was because the
  Stakeholders were feeling powerless after their workers were absorbed by the Council thus
  depriving the market of effective maintenance of toilets and market cleanliness. The
  Stakeholders were also powerless because they no longer had control over the market‟s
  revenue. Ms. Njeri requested that a copy of the report of this study be availed to their
  Committee. We thanked her and wished her a lovely weekend.

11. Group Session with 17 Hawkers

   DATE:  4/05/2003
   TIME:  13h45
   VENUE: Outside Gate “A” Of Soko Mjinga Wholesale And
          Retail Market

   Our good physical presentation (we were in full suits and neck ties) worked to gather a group
   of hawkers. We began by approaching about six hawkers who were selling their wares near
   each other and greeted them. We held pens and notebooks in our hands. Other hawkers
   spotted us and drew near. We could hear some of them saying in low voices that they notice
   strangers very easily while others said that visitors were associated with bringing good things
   and ideas.

   Although we managed to gather 17 hawkers, most of them slipped away a few minutes after
   the interview session began. The problem was that the hawkers had high expectations about
   the study as they thought it was a Government program to register and help them (the
   hawkers had seen us with NMC officer Mr. G. Kiguta when we visited the market together
   while meeting the market‟s Committee). Others thought the study had been commissioned
   by the NMC they had come to hate because of constant harassment. The hawkers therefore
   did not wish to be interviewed or their personal details taken and therefore the session was
   very brief and did not collect enough information.

   The hawkers said the market was built by the local community but assisted by the World
   Bank. It was under the management of the Stakeholders Committee and the Nyeri Municipal
   Council. The market was useful only to those who were operating in it and unfriendly to
   non-Stakeholders. The Stakeholders Committee and the Council were unfriendly to the
   hawkers because hawkers selling near the perimeter walling were constantly harassed. The
   market‟s management wanted to establish flower gardens around the perimeter wall and this
   angered the hawkers. One hawker retorted, “Are the flowers of more importance than our
   businesses which support our families and children? Where do they want us to go yet
   they cannot allow us to have stalls or sell inside the market?”

   The hawkers were determined to continue operating their businesses with or without the
   harassment by the Council and Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders. They wanted Soko
   Mjinga expanded horizontally (in terms of occupying more ground space covered by
   Kamukunji grounds and United Sports Club) and vertically (in terms of a storey building) so
   that they can be accommodated in it. They argued that land belonging to the initial open air
   Soko Mjinga Market was corruptly sold to private developers such as the neighbouring
   United Sports Club Centre and Batian Grand Hotel on the eastern side. The hawkers‟
   presence near Soko Mjinga Market was strategic because they offered visitors to the market
   goods that were not in the market since it only dealt with raw foodstuffs. Items sold by the
   hawkers included raw and cooked food stuffs (such as boiled eggs, tea, porridge, snacks
   (mandazi), second hand and new clothes, house wares, farm equipment and essentials (such
   as hoes, pangas, storage bags, onion nets) and shop items (such as sweets, matchboxes etc).

  The hawkers wanted the present Government to address the problem of hawkers as a priority
  since hawking was a business that employed many town dwellers who had no formal

  We thanked them for their information and wished them that their plight would be addressed
  by the present Government authorities. One hawker consented to a photo in his business near
  Gate “B” while another consented to a photo of his business near Gate “A” without his face.

12. Ms. Catherine Nyambura, Vice Chairlady of Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders

  DATE:  5/05/2002
  TIME:  11h10
  VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

  The interview with Ms. Catherine Nyambura was conducted in her stall in which she sells
  fruits. She is a single mother and has a small baby she carries in the market because the older
  children are in school and she cannot afford to employ a maidservant due to her low monthly
  income from the market business. She does not have another source of income apart from
  her fruits‟ business.

  Ms. Nyambura says the market is important because it earns her income, which keeps her
  family going. However, the gate fees and stall fees are very high when they are compared
  with the daily sales. The profit margin is normally meager and is only enough for hand to
  mouth. At times she has nothing to repay loans/credits she took to run her business and she
  is forced to borrow more to service the older loans, a trend that keeps her in a debt trap. She
  is for the reduction of the market fees to march those in Mudavadi and Open Air markets in
  Nyeri town. She says the Committees Chairlady does not turn up for meetings and other
  market matters and that she (Nyambura) plays the role of two people. However, Nyambura
  feels that she is leading a toothless Committee because the Council has patronized the
  management of the market project. She wants shared responsibility between the Council and
  the Stakeholders as was agreed in the SMOU.

  The market project does not have a maintenance plan. She intends to form a subcommittee
  to oversee maintenance. However, the Stakeholder Working Group Operation and
  Maintenance Account agreed in the SMOU and which the Council has failed to open to date
  must be opened if the maintenance subcommittee is to be effective. The other Joint Accounts
  agreed in the SMOU must also be opened by the Council which retains the market
  collections in Accounts not known to the Stakeholders. Transparency is lacking on the part
  of the Council. The project will only be sustainable if the Council fosters the spirit of
  partnership and community involvement as it did during the initiation and production of the
  market project. Annual and other general meetings normally organized by the Council have
  become a rare phenomenon and Stakeholders are not briefed about the financial status of the
  project. Audit reports have never been availed to the new Stakeholders Committee which
  took office about two years ago. The reason why the Chairlady Hellen Muthoni was retained
  in the new Committee (Muthoni was the Chair in the immediate former Committee) was to

   enable the straightening of financial matters but this has not been achieved because “Ms.
   Muthoni appears to be corrupt and illiterate and does not cope with the Council
   officials and the new Committee Officials. She finds no time for the market and as a
   result maintenance has suffered”, Catherine said

   Ms. Catherine Nyambura does not want to see politics of confrontations in the project. She
   has heard of projects which collapsed as a result of interference from politicians who sought
   to build their support with community projects. She hopes that donor funds will be
   forthcoming to expand Soko Mjinga Market and replicate it in other areas of the
   Municipality. She is appealing to the public and private sector agencies to conduct training
   to Stakeholders in finance and business administration and management in order to improve
   the performance of the project.

   We thanked her for her time and took her photo as we closed the session.

13. Ms Mary Mwihaki, Member of Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders Committee

   DATE:  5/05/2002
   TIME:  16hrs
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

   We interviewed Ms. Mwihaki in her stall. Mary Mwihaki informed us that she was not in the
   market during the morning hours because she had gone to get fresh supplies for her business
   from Kieni Division of Nyeri District. She sells potatoes in her stall.

   The original design of the market did not include administration offices, refuse chamber and
   electricity supply. However, as the construction continued, these facilities were thought
   important and the main contractor was authorized to undertake the works at a cost of about
   KSH.400,000. The most important feature of the market which makes it dynamic and have
   potential for improvement was the market‟s foundation which was laid to accommodate a
   storey building. The local community‟s population was growing and room had to be left for
   expansion of the market to cater for future needs. The materials used in the construction of
   the market were locally available and the technology used was simple making the project
   sustainable and easy to maintain with little funds.

   The Stakeholders feel that the Council has defrauded them because they do not benefit from
   the revenue collected from the market. The Council keeps all the money. It also takes a lot
   of time before the Council meets Stakeholders to review and discuss the project‟s progress.
   At one time, the Stakeholders boycotted the payment of stall and gate fees for about one year
   to force the Council to listen to their demands. The Council retaliated by surcharging and
   forcing the Stakeholders to pay inflated fees arrears. It also threatened to reposses the stalls
   and evict them from the market. The Council recently transferred all the 5 Stakeholders –
   employed workers to its payroll and doubled their salaries. This has caused a rift between
   the workers and the Stakeholders because the workers no longer take instructions from their
   rightful employers. Stakeholders want the idea of transferring the workers rescinded.

   The water storage tanks supplying the toilets are small and the toilets are not satisfactorily
   attended to due to water shortages. There is no money to buy bigger tanks due to the
   Council‟s patronage of the market‟s affairs. Other problems affecting the market are the
   non-payment of utility bills. The unpaid water bill is estimated at KSH. 150,000. It was
   about KSH. 90,000 in November 2002 and the average monthly water bill is KSH. 5,000.
   Electricity bills are also unpaid. The Council only negotiates for reconnection of these
   utilities when they are disconnected and does nothing to settle the bills. The market lacks
   fire-fighting equipment although a fire brigade is not very far from the market.

   She is however happy to be associated with Soko Mjinga Market because “it is the only
   community initiated project which has succeeded to improve the lives of the local
   community members by creation of employment and generation of income”, She
   observed. The locals no longer have the problem of marketing their farm produce. Instead,
   the project has contributed to the increased production of food crops. It has also boosted the
   spirit of togetherness among the members of the communities as they interact in the market
   and supply points in the district. We thanked her for her cooperation during the interview
   process and dismissed.

14. Ms Serah Wangui, Vice Secretary of Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders Committee

   DATE:  6/05/2003
   TIME:  09:00hrs
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

   We found Ms. Wangai recording the market‟s revenue for the previous day in their
   Committee‟s office. We exchanged greetings and requested her for a brief interview in the
   office which she consented. Ms. Wangui is normally in glasses and her spoken English
   shows that she is educated. She appears to be in her 40s. She begins by saying that
   leadership positions are challenging and that one needs to be committed, honesty and
   hardworking towards the responsibilities bestowed on him or her by the Community. She
   also adds that one has to pray for wisdom from God to be able to be a good and effective
   leader. Asked why she was recording the revenue, she says that records are useful today and
   in future. She will use the records to ask the Council to return all the funds it has retained
   contrary to the sharing formula agreed in the Secondary Memorandum of Understanding.
   She believes in transparency and accountability and her Christian principles do not allow her
   to be corrupt. Since the Committee Secretary is not very active in the market matters, she
   believes she is the custodian of the market‟s information and important records on finances.

   Unlike in the past when community matters were managed by people who had wisdom only,
   today‟s‟ community issues and projects must be managed by literate and rational people who
   have the right information on different issues. One must be an all-round person in economic,
   social and political matters (note that she is the only official with a cell phone normally
   associated with enlightened people). Ms. Wangai accuses the Committee‟s Chairlady Hellen
   Muthoni of illiteracy, ignorance, corruption and old age. For instance, the Chairlady insists
   that 211 Stakeholders contributed towards the project but cannot explain why records
   indicate that only 205 people are the only Stakeholders who contributed financially. The
   Chairlady and the former Treasurer Margaret Wanjiru cannot account for the money of the

  six people. Ms. Wangai says fresh elections must be called to elect another Chairlady
  younger than Hellen Muthoni who is 70 years old and not active. The new person must be
  averagely literate and honest to propel the market to higher heights of success.

  Soko Mjinga Market is a useful facility because apart from being a market for crop produce,
  it is used by the Council as a venue for public meetings (barazas). Other groups such as
  private financiers have invested in the market by accessing loans to the traders. The market
  has generated income and created jobs to the traders, suppliers, cart pullers and Nyeri town‟s
  food joints/hotels. The Council also earns revenue that is used for other developments and
  services to the taxpayers. The project has achieved its main objective of improving the lives
  of the local people. She observed, “The market is an example of a successful community
  initiative and effort which can be replicated to benefit other groups in Nyeri and Kenya
  in general”. Future community projects must have Memorandums of Understanding, which
  clearly specify the penalties for their violations by the parties involved. This is a lesson she
  has learnt with the Soko Mjinga project SMOU which has been violated by the Council with
  impunity She had nothing else to contribute and we thanked her for her time. The
  photographer was not near to take a photo.

15. Ms. Margaret Wanjiru, Former Treasurer of Soko Mjinga Market Stakeholders

  DATE:  6/05/2003
  TIME:  10h30
  VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market (Stakeholders Committee Office)

  Ms. Serah Wangai saw Ms. Wanjiru through the office‟s window as we were concluding the
  interview and asked us whether we wished to interview the Committee‟s former treasurer.
  We indicated to Ms. Wangai that Ms. Wanjiru was a useful respondent. Ms. Wangai brought
  her into the office and we introduced ourselves and the purpose of the study. She introduced
  herself in turn as Margaret Wanjiru and that she was the former treasurer of the market‟s

  Soko Mjinga market existed since the 1980s as an Open Air Market. Its unhygienic
  conditions during rainy seasons catalyzed the need for its upgrading to the present form. The
  environmental and weather climatic conditions played a part in the selection of the market‟s
  design. Shelter was needed during rainy and hot seasons. The community built the market
  with the assistance of World Bank‟s funds and coordination of the Nyeri Municipal Council
  and supervision of Gath Consulting Engineers. A group of 211 Stakeholders contributed
  financial and raised one million shillings. The Stakeholders selected the project from a list of
  many proposed projects. They also selected the design from three options. They based the
  selection on Karatina and Mudavadi Markets, which had admirable designs. The
  Stakeholders were involved in the daily inspection of works by the Council in its contribution
  in kind of about 4 million shillings and by the main contractor based in Naromoru in Nyeri
  District. Materials and labour were all sourced from around Nyeri making the project
  cheaper to install with about 10 million Shillings.

   The project employs the 211 Stakeholders, about 300 other traders operating in the Open
   space, cart pullers, the suppliers of market commodities and other groups who benefit
   indirectly. On estimation, about 800 customers visit the market daily. Gate fee is twelve
   (12) shillings for every bag of commodities entering the market for sale. Stall fee is twelve
   shillings daily. The fees are high compared to the fees in other markets. Profit margin at
   Soko Mjinga is low because of the competition from the other markets. The markets have
   more customers because they sell more than one variety of goods. Unlike Soko Mjinga
   which deals with only raw food commodities. The market is also small and needs to be
   expanded to accommodate more traders. The fees need to be reduced and the commodities
   for sale diversified.

   The Soko Mjinga traders have formed Self Help and Welfare Groups, which help their
   members with finances to expand their businesses. For example, the Soko Mjinga Wholesale
   Market Self Help Group advanced KSH. 110,000 to the Council from its Account in 2001.
   The Council has not refunded the money to date. Credit groups such as Kenya Women
   Finance Trust advance loans to the market‟s traders who the majority are women. Banks also
   do the same. The project‟s lifespan can be increased if the Council took the maintenance
   aspect seriously. The Council does neither release funds for nor undertake repairs of
   damaged facilities such as gutters and floor of the market. It only collects refuse at least once
   in a week and toilets are cleaned daily. She observed that, “The Council collects a lot of
   revenue from the market and Stakeholders do not benefit from the collections contrary
   to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two partners during
   initiation of the project”. The project has however united the Stakeholders, in their cry for
   shared rights and responsibilities in its management. “The Council needs to recognize the
   Stakeholders as equal partners in the operation and maintenance of the project”, She
   commented. The Social Welfare office of the Council also needs to intervene in the
   misunderstanding among the Stakeholders Committee members and officials. Ms. Wanjiru
   hoped that the findings of this study would not incriminate any respondent. We thanked her
   for her contribution and dismissed since she was not available for a photo (she was in a hurry
   to leave the market for an appointment).

16. Focus Group Discussion with 12 Business People Operating in the Open Space of Soko
    Mjinga Market

   DATE:  7/05/2003
   TIME:  09:00hrs
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

   The session with the business people was conducted in the office of the market‟s
   Stakeholders Committee. It was easy to gather the group because we had become familiar
   faces as we interviewed other people inside the market. We greeted them and informed them
   the purpose of the study. We also informed them that the session would be brief so as not to
   interrupt their business.

   The traders sold horticultural crops, cereals, potatoes and cabbages in the open space. The
   space was congested because there were no restrictions as long as one paid the gate fees. On
   estimation, there were about 300 open space traders. Some traders operated in the market
   since the time of its open-air status. They were denied stalls because they were unable to

   raise KSH. 4250 which Stakeholders contributed. Their late contributions were not accepted
   and the contractor constructed only 205 stalls enough for 205 people/Stakeholders who
   contributed on time.

   The Local Community built the project with funds from the Stakeholders, the government of
   Kenya and the Nyeri Municipal Council. The 205 Stakeholders participated in the project‟s
   initiation and production and the Stakeholders Committee was involved in the operation and
   maintenance of the market. There was however little maintenance going on because the
   Council was not releasing funds for this purpose. Part of the market‟s floor and gutters had
   been damaged and had not been repaired.

   The market needed to be expanded and stalls installed in the open space as phase 2 of the
   project. Their business was negatively affected during rainy and very sunny seasons due to
   lack of shelter. To remedy the situation, they had put small umbrella sheds over their
   commodities. However, the temporary sheds could not withstand heavy rains and strong
   winds. The traders were better than the hawkers who were constantly harassed by the
   Council. The hawkers posed strong competition because hawkers‟ commodities were
   cheaper since they did not pay any fees. Hawkers operating near Soko Mjinga needed to be
   displaced by the Council and the Stakeholders Committees.

   The project has benefited them (traders) because they generate income from sales. The local
   community also buys food requirements from the market. The restaurants/ hotels in Nyeri
   town buy food requirements in wholesale and retail from Soko Mjinga market. The Open
   Air Market in Nyeri needs to be upgraded to take the form of Soko Mjinga market. This
   would reduce the problem of hawking in the town and help to reduce the population of
   would-be criminals who have nothing to occupy them. Soko Mjinga market needs to
   diversify its commodities for sale to include the non-raw foodstuffs and products in order to
   compete effectively with the other markets. The gate fees also need to be lowered as the first
   step towards attracting more traders into the market which has far less customers.

   The Soko Mjinga market project is an example of a community initiative supported by donor
   funding in the Governments‟ policy of costs sharing. It is an important project worth of
   replication and improvement in form and use. It is easy to maintain because it used simple
   and local materials and labour. The contractor was also locally based in the district. The
   agricultural potential of the district has boosted the market‟s sustainability because of the
   constant availability of market resources. The market has the potential for improvement
   because its foundation was meant for a storey building. The Kamukunji Sports Ground can
   also be hived off for expansion of the market.

   We thanked the traders and wished them well in their businesses. A photo was taken in their

17. Mr. Stephen Mwangi Ndegwa, Stakeholder at Soko Mjinga Market

   DATE:  7/05/2003
   TIME:  11h03
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

The session was conducted in the office of the Stakeholders Committee. The Committee‟s
vice chairlady Ms. Catherine Nyambura brought Mr. Ndegwa into the office, as we were
revisiting/reviewing the information given by the group of business people operating in the
open space. We exchanged greetings and introduced ourselves to Mr. Ndegwa. He also
introduced himself as Mr. Stephen Mwangi Ndegwa and that he was a born-again Christian.

The Vice Chairlady walked out of the office after the introduction. Mr. Ndegwa told us that
he had just arrived to the market from a three-day Christian crusade about 30 kilometres from
the Municipality and that the Vice Chairlady had intercepted him as he was walking away
home to take a rest. His brief visit to his stall was to know how the person he had left in the
business was fairing. The Vice Chairlady had requested him to contribute to a study that was
going on in the market and that was why he had accepted to meet us. For about five minutes,
Mr. Ndegwa testified to us how God had continued to help him in his daily activities and in
his business. He said God blessed his business and that he had managed to educate all his
children with proceeds from it.

Mr. Ndegwa said the market‟s design was generally good because it sheltered users and
commodities during rainy seasons and very sunny climates. The design of the building was
foreign although it had resemblance with that of Karatina market. The Stakeholders
Committee and not all the Stakeholders selected the design. Mr. Ndegwa did not like the
floor design of the stalls. He said they looked like counters in a shop and that it was difficult
for stall owners to climb the stalls when serving their customers (the trader‟s standing
position was lower than the customers standing position). The project‟s design was ideal for
replication but in an improved form of the stall‟s floor.

Although the Stakeholders own the building, the plot hosting the market belongs to Nyeri
Municipal Council. The Stakeholders therefore do not pay the market‟s land rates. The
major problem in the success of the Stakeholders businesses is the stiff competition from
Nyeri Open Air and Mudavadi Markets. While Soko Mjinga Market charges twelve shillings
for gate fees, it is ten shillings at Open Air Market and free at Mudavadi Market. Soko
Mjinga Market charges a daily fee of twelve shillings for every stall while in Mudavadi it is
KSH. 240 paid monthly and seven shillings at the Open Air Market. Hawkers who sell their
goods near Soko Mjinga Market also stiffen competition. The cost of transporting goods to
the market is high when compared to the profit earned. He says the daily minimum profit
from the market sales should be KSH. 300 in order to lead an average life. However, very
few traders make such profits. There are however a few traders who are able to sell 100 bags
of potatoes in a week thereby making substantial profits.

Politics played a role in the implementation of the project. Some Councilors wanted to grab
the plot during the project‟s production. Councilor John Hendiki of Town Ward advocated
against the grabbing attempt. Other Councilors defrauded people of their money promising
them with stalls in the market, a move which led to confrontations and two deaths later. The
Minister for Local Government also affected the market‟s revenue when he directed that
Council‟s stop charging toilet fees. Soko Mjinga charged one shilling for toilet use and the
money was spent in maintenance before the Minister‟s directive.

   Stephen went on to say, “The officials of Nyeri Municipal Council have patronized the
   management of the market because the Council retains all funds collected from the
   market. Other Council officials are not transparent”. They took KSH. 110,000 from
   Stakeholders and have not returned the money to date. Mr. Ndegwa wants the new
   Government to help them recover the money and stamp out hawking in the town. He prays
   that the Government advances soft loans to Soko Mjinga traders in order to expand their
   business. He also proposes training of the traders in business administration skills. New
   traders learn business skills through apprenticeship and by observation of other traders.
   Since Soko Mjinga project has contributed to the betterment of the local community‟s life, it
   should be expanded in quantity and quality by support from the private and public sector.
   The community should continue to be consulted for direction on projects affecting it. This
   consideration enabled the successful installation of Soko Mjinga market.

   Mr. Ndegwa did not have more contributions and we thanked him for his time and allowed
   him to proceed home. We asked the vice chairlady to lock the office, thanked her and left for
   lunch hour.

18. Focus Group Session with 6 Business People Operating at Nyeri Open Air Market

   DATE:  7/05/2003
   TIME:  15h
   VENUE: Nyeri Open Air Market

   Nyeri Open Air Market is located at the Central Business District of Nyeri Town. It is near
   the main minibus stage. The market is fenced with barbed and meshed wire but in some
   sections of the fence, the wire has been cut and unofficial routes are evident. Traders have
   built temporary shelters mainly of poles and roofed with polythene paper. Only a few have
   managed to roof with iron sheets which appear to be aged. The isles between the stalls are
   extremely muddy and stagnant water is all over since drainage system is poor. Some of the
   polythene paper roofs contain pools of water that has not poured to the ground hours after the
   rains have subsided.

   The business people/traders said they had operated in the market for years in the same
   unhygienic conditions. The market existed long before 1980 and the Council has never
   bothered to improve it. They do not know the criterion that was used to select Soko Mjinga
   Market for upgrading yet the two markets were equally in bad shape the same time. The
   traders are for the upgrading of the market to resemble Soko Mjinga Market which has a
   good design. They admire the hygienic conditions of Soko Mjinga Market but argue that its
   charges are a bit higher. At the Open Air Market, a stall is charged seven shilling a day
   while at Soko Mjinga Market it is twelve shillings. They pay ten shillings gate fee while in
   Soko Mjinga Market it is twelve. Although Soko Mjinga appears to be well maintained, its
   charges need to be lowered in order to attract more traders and customers. The economic
   times are hard and people have resorted more to quantity rather than to quality. They are
   interested in saving any penny they come across.

   The Open Air Market traders know that the local community and the Nyeri Municipal
   Council built Soko Mjinga. It is an example of the reciprocal role of local authorities to tax

   payers. It also signifies the important role played by local authorities in community
   development. Soko Mjinga employs about 500 traders and has about 200 stalls. The rest of
   the traders operate in its open space that also requires stalls. Soko Mjinga Market‟s access
   roads are not murramed and are therefore muddy during rainy seasons. The access roads are
   also narrow and need to be widened. The problem of hawkers affects all the markets and the
   Council needs to address the problem by expanding and upgrading the markets. Soko
   Mjinga market has the potential for improvement because the initial plans were to construct a
   storey building. The Kamukunji Sports Ground can also be used to expand the market (that
   is, Soko Mjinga)

   The Town Clerk Mr. Richard K. Gikuhi played a key role in the establishment of Soko
   Mjinga Market. He resisted attempts by some Councilors to grab the market‟s plot and
   helped to settle misunderstandings during the allocation of stalls. The Government played an
   important role by giving the largest financial contribution and hiring professionals to oversee
   the construction process. P.T. Ndegwa and Sons Contractors of Naromoru did a good job as
   a local contractor. The Contractor used local materials such as sand, stones and cement. He
   also employed members of the local community who were skilled to do the construction.
   The project has therefore worked to better the living standards of members of the
   community. It should be replicated in the Open-air market and in other places since the
   design is easy to install and maintain. We thanked the traders for their contribution and took
   photos of the market from the southern side with steel and meshed gate and from the markets

19. Focus Group Session with 6 Business People/Traders Operating at Mudavadi Market

   DATE:  8/05/2003
   TIME:  10:00 hrs
   VENUE: Mudavadi Market

   We managed to group 6 traders who had stalls near the main gate of the market. We
   introduced ourselves and requested them for a brief interview about their market and other
   markets in the Municipality. We therefore conducted the session near stalls on the left hand
   side of the main gate as one enters the market.

   Mudavadi Market is within the Central Business District of Nyeri town. It borders the Nyeri
   Open Air Market and the main minibus (matatu) and taxi stage. The market has its main gate
   on the Southern direction and its stalls are sheltered with galvanized iron sheets. From our
   direct observation also, the market looked clean and well maintained (there were litter
   baskets all over). The market had public telephone facilities and clean toilets. Goods of
   many kinds were on sale in the stalls. There were shops inside and canteens among other

   The traders reported that small stalls were charged KSH. 240 monthly and there was no gate
   fees collection. They considered the charges fair when compared with those of other markets
   in the Municipality. The market‟s good hygienic conditions and proximity to the bus termini
   attracted many customers. Its diversity in products on sale also helped to attract customers
   who wished to shop for many things under one roof.

The Nyeri Municipal Council constructed Mudavadi Market more than two decades ago.
The market has managed to employ many traders who come from the local community. Like
the Open Air and Soko Mjinga Markets, it serves multi-ethnic and multiracial groups directly
and indirectly. It serves the African race such as the Kikuyu, Meru, Kamba, Luo and Somali
who reside or work in the Municipality and Asians such as the Indians who run big
businesses in the Municipality.

Mudavadi Market traders know that Soko Mjinga Market was established in the late 1990s
but was completed in 2000. It was built with funds contributed by local community members
and the Government of Kenya. Professionals such as Engineers and Architects were
involved in the construction of the market. The contractor was local and used materials such
as sand, stones, cement, steel bars and galvanized iron sheets which were all sourced from
around Nyeri. He also employed labourers from the local community.

Soko Mjinga market‟s design is appropriate in terms of the local environmental conditions
and use. It is better than Open Air Market in terms of its hygiene because the stalls are open
and sheltered, the floor has a concrete slab, which eliminates the problem of mud, and it has a
refuse chamber and clean toilets. Its perimeter wall helps to secure the goods left by the
traders at night.

The Soko Mjinga market project succeeded because it involved the local community in all its
processes. The Community‟s partnership with the Council helped to raise funds for the
project and enables the smooth management of the markets‟ operation and maintenance
activities. The project has benefited the community by transfer of business skills, creation of
jobs, generation of income and provision of food requirements. The other markets benefit
from Soko Mjinga by buying goods in wholesale which are in turn sold in retain at the other
markets. It has therefore helped the other markets‟ traders by cutting down on the cost of
transporting foodstuffs from the suppliers in the surrounding farms. The project is worth
replication in Open Air Market and other towns. It needs to have stalls and a roof in the open
space. It has a potential for improvement because Kamukunji Sports Ground can be used to
expand the market‟s size, which is currently small when compared to the demand for market
business space. The in ways or access reads for Soko Mjinga are narrow and can not allow
trucks to offload goods near its gates. They are also very muddy during the rainy seasons.
The market is however environmental friendly because refuse is safely collected and
disposed at the right place and manner. The project is sustainable because of its use of
simple technology and local materials and labour during construction and the use of
crop/products sourced from around the district. It is also sustainable because it is managed
by Stakeholders who are ever in the market and the Nyeri Municipal Council which employs
the maintenance staff.

Mudavadi Market traders have learnt from Soko Mjinga Market project that the community
has the potential to help itself with its meager economic resources and abundant human
resources. The community knows its priorities and that is why it settled on the market
project and not any other project. The community should always be consulted if local
projects are to succeed. We thanked the respondents for their time and took a photo of
Mudavadi Market from the main gate.

20. Mr. Peter Miano, Photographer at Nyeri Municipality

   DATE:  8/05/2003
   TIME:  11h30
   VENUE: Outside The Main Gate Of Mudavadi Market

   After photographing Mudavadi Market we decided to have a brief session with the
   photographer. We had been in touch with the photographer since the beginning of the study.
   We learnt that Mr. Peter Miano was a reputed photographer and we had decided that he takes
   all the photos we required which he did honestly and diligently. He is a cheerful person.

   Mr. Miano is based in the Central Business District and has clients/customers in all parts of
   the town. He is acquainted with Soko Mjinga Market because he is its food products
   customer and has his photography business customers who operate in the market. He lives
   by the photography business and has many customers. Many people in the Municipality
   know him by his Miano name. He knew Soko Mjinga Market since the time it was an Open
   Air Market. The market was then muddy and unhygienic and at one time was temporarily
   closed down by Public Health Officers in Nyeri Town.

   The design of the present Soko Mjinga Market is good and adaptable to Nyeri‟s climatic
   conditions. It is also the only market in the town which has three good exit gates which help
   to reduce congestion of people and goods when entering and leaving the market. The
   perimeter wall of the market helps to improve the security of goods left in the market by
   traders at night. The roof and concrete slab of the ground floor protects goods and people
   from rain, excess sunlight and muddy grounds.

   The market is useful because it offers employment to more than 400 traders. It also benefits
   about 800 customers who visit the market daily and those who benefit indirectly such as
   workers of hotels which get food requirements from the market. His business also benefits
   indirectly when the market‟s traders take photos from money obtained from the market‟s
   sales. The traders in the market are able to cater for education needs of their children and
   relatives and other family needs and wants such as medical, shelter and clothing

   Mr. Miano says the project is an example of a donor-funded project which utilized the
   participation of the local community. The World Bank and local Stakeholders who were
   involved from initiation to operation of the project funded the project.

   Soko Mjinga Market needs to be expanded to accommodate more traders because it is
   currently small in size. Parcels of land meant for the market were corruptly sold out to
   private developers such as the neighbouring United Sports Club Centre and Batian Grand
   Hotel. It does not have wide in ways or access roads which can allow lorries to offload
   goods near the gates. The market appears to be far from the Central Business district and
   suffers from stiff competition from the Open Air and Mudavadi Markets which are near the
   Central Business District and the main bus termini. The market‟s open space needs to have
   stalls and a roof convenient during adverse weather conditions. Hawkers operating near the
   market should be relocated because they offer unnecessary competition. Soko Mjinga

   Market should either be a wholesale or a retail point but not both in order to benefit more
   from business.

   From the markets in the Municipality and especially from Soko Mjinga Market, Mr. Peter
   Miano has learnt that community projects are possible with the community‟s commitment,
   cooperation and transparency. He has also learnt that cost sharing increases identity
   commitment, cooperation and transparency. He has also learnt that cost sharing increases
   identity and responsibility in community projects. Many markets should be established far
   from each other in order to realize maximum profits. We thanked Mr. Miano and wished
   him well in his business and then dismissed.

21. Focus Group Session with 15 Consumers of Soko Mjinga Market goods and Services

   DATE:  8/05/2003
   TIME:  16hrs
   VENUE: Soko Mjinga Wholesale And Retail Market

   The session was conducted in the Office of the market‟s Stakeholders Committee. Four
   officials and members of the Committee managed to gather 15 of their regular customers for
   the session. We introduced ourselves and the purpose of the interview session after
   exchanging greetings.

   The customers began by thanking the Government of Kenya for establishing the project and
   wished that similar projects would be established elsewhere. They congratulated the
   cleanliness of the market and argued that the Council‟s Town Clerk had made the market
   what it was. The local community had united and contributed financially to make the project
   a success. The people who contributed financially should have a share in the finances
   collected from the market because they sacrificed more than other members of the
   community. The customers regretted that the Council retained all funds with little or no
   benefits to the Stakeholders.

   The Council needed to use the market‟s collections to install stalls in the Open space and
   expand the market in order to benefit more traders. After expansion, more commodities
   other than raw foodstuffs would be allowed for sale in the market. Part of Kamukunji
   Ground could be used to expand the market and hawkers operating outside the market
   allowed to operate inside as a way of reducing the hawkers‟ problem and generating more

   Soko Mjinga project was needed because the other two markets in the Municipality could not
   meet the demand for marketing the foodstuffs in the region. There was also a large
   population of floating traders who had no place to operate from yet hawking had been
   prohibited in the town. The need to upgrade Soko Mjinga Market from its Open Air Status
   was as a result of the unhygienic conditions during rainy seasons and the potential threat to
   public health as regards to disease outbreaks. The upgraded market has helped to improve
   the lives of members of the local community through the creation of self employment jobs,
   generation of income to traders, suppliers and cart pullers and providing a place to acquire
   food stuffs at both wholesale and retail prices.

The fees charged on stalls and goods entering the market for sale were high compared to the
other markets‟ charges. Traders in Soko Mjinga therefore had lower profit margins as a
result of the high fees and stiff competition from the hawkers and the other two markets. The
project‟s profitability could however be increased by lowering the fees, relocating hawkers
operating near the market and expanding the market and diversifying the products for sale.
Accessing loans to the market‟s traders would also help to improve and sustain the project
during the current economic hardships. A cold storage facility could be installed in the
market in order to save goods, which perished easily such as tomatoes. In order to improve
the management of the market, the morale of the Stakeholders Committee Members could be
boosted with monthly allowances or exemptions from some of the market fees.

The consumers also proposed that community gatekeepers and not politicians manage
community projects because the latter group tended to use the projects for their own selfish
motives. The consumers did not have more information and we therefore thanked them and


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