The market is being constructed under Market and Agriculture Trade Improvement Project (MATIP) with an estimated budget of over Shs23.4bn from both the government and African Development Bank (ADB).
The facility is provides among other things stalls, prayer rooms, restaurants, lock ups, day care facilities, police post, meetings rooms, health facility, kiosks, and banks.
The objective of the market is to improve trade between rural markets and urban markets.
Even before the market has been commissioned already there is excitement among the residents and vendors who say it is indeed improved on the beauty of the city.
According to the Construction Management Officer, Simon Ochen the radio station will be used to sensitize the vendors about the availability of the market, tax obligation, hygiene and sanitation, parenting, financial discipline among others. This market is expected to accommodate 2,000 vendors.
Soroti market is unique because it is going to have a radio station at the fourth floor given to vendors by the German government.
Ochen appealed to the vendors to be honest about the number of people who registered. He said those who did not register will not be accommodated in the market.
The two years project that was started in 14.2.2018, and is being undertaken by Techno 3 Uganda Ltd in joint venture with PS construction is expected to end on 14.2.2020, however due to COVID-19 the work was delayed till late August, 2020.
Ochen says the first floor is going to accommodate general merchandize including fresh food, hardware, two water tanks of 200,000 liters each, dry fish, chicken dealers, butchers, dairy products, cold rooms for meat, eating kiosk, industrial goods like clothes
“The second floor will be for produce, retailers, value addition and industrial goods like clothes. The third floor is for secretarial services, day care, banks, wholesale and tailors,” he said adding that,
“The fourth floor will accommodate a radio station, clinics, boardrooms, restaurants, leisure ‘garden’, tanks of 10,000 liters, and evening market”.
Ochen says the performance of the contractor is progressing well. However, he says the high turnover of the workers is what’s delaying the work. There are over 274 workers in that market.
Meanwhile the Mayor Soroti Municipality, Paul Omer says there are over 2,500 vendors who will be accommodated in the market. “Even those who did not register will get space there,” he said.
Moses Otimong, the Town Clerk Soroti Municipal Council said so far they are grateful with the work of the contractor. “I trust we shall receive that market in time,” he said.
“The market will give us maximum security for our items, because the previous one was open to the thieves,” says Dinah Acipa.
“I am happy for the market because there is going to be no more crowding, and it is going to bring development into Teso regions,” Beatrice Akello said.