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Multi-Million Market Turns Into Cassava Drying Area

Section of Rhinocamp market being used for drying Cassava

The multi-million Shillings Rhino Camp Market in Madi-Okollo district has now turned into a cassava drying area after lying idle for more than ten years. Residents are using the market stalls and the floor to dry cassava for sale and domestic consumption.

Some of the residents have rented the lockups for accommodation at Shillings 15,000 monthly. In 2009, vendors abandoned the market located in Ndiova cell in Rhino-Camp Town council in Madi Okollo district citing the high market dues and vehicle parking fees.

Nora Draru, a fish dealer says that the vendors started opting out of the market when the contractor she didn’t disclose hiked the dues from Shillings 500 to 1000 and vehicle parking fees from Shillings 1000 to Shillings 3000.

Janet Omviru,  a resident of Katanga cell wants the government to stop tendering the market to businessmen, saying they are only interested in maximizing profits. 

Godfrey Aluma, the chairperson of Rhino camp town council, says the emergence of other neighbouring markets has over the years complicated their efforts to revive Rhino Camp Market.

Rhino camp market used to attract traders from as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC, parts of Vurra, Koboko, Maracha, Arua, Terego and Yumbe districts. The traders would bring general merchandise to the market and buy items like goats, simsim and fish which they would take back and sell in their districts.

Nelson Pariyo, the town clerk of Rhino camp Town council told URN that they are in the process of revising the market dues as one of the ways to address the problems.

The Madi Okollo LC V Chairperson, Ismail Drabe says the district executive committee has resolved to reorganize the market.

According to the latest Auditor General report, the facility was constructed at an estimated cost of Shillings 700 million under the North West Small Holder Agricultural Program. 

Under the same program, the Ministry of Agriculture completed Ejupala market in Vurra County, Nyadri in Maracha district and Kubala Market in Terego district. Currently, only a handful of vendors mainly dealing in fish operate in the market.

-URN

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