In Kapchorwa District, locals and government leaders have worked together to collect UGX 100 million for purchasing a three-acre piece of land required to construct a modern market. The need for such a market became evident after a recent incident where a speeding vehicle narrowly hit traders selling foodstuff at Kaserem Trading Centre along the Mbale-Kapchorwa highway.
Kaserem Trading Centre, located about 20 kilometers from Kapchorwa Town, is a bustling hub for activities every Wednesday, primarily comprising local women selling goods by the roadside due to the absence of an official market.
Mr. Issa Yusuf Chemonges, the chairperson of Kaserem Cooperative Marketing Enterprise, expressed the risks they face while operating on the road, stating that they have no choice but to do so until a safer and more permanent location is secured. He said, “We risk selling goods on the roadside, but there is nothing we can do for now until we get a permanent safe place.”
In collaboration with their area Member of Parliament, Mr. Twalla Fadil (Tingey County), the locals initiated a fundraising campaign to raise Shs100 million to acquire the necessary three-acre land for constructing a modern market. The fundraising event, held at Kaserem Primary School on September 16, successfully collected Shs104 million in cash.
Mr. Twalla Fadil intends to engage with the Ministry of Local Government to oversee the construction of the market. He explained, “The market will enhance trade and improve livelihoods, especially with the ongoing implementation of PDM and Emyooga programs.”
Ms. Joan Chemutai, a matooke trader, emphasized the willingness of traders to contribute to the land purchase, as it would help safeguard them from accidents. She stated, “On market day, there are more than 800 traders operating on the road.” The fundraising drive was overseen by the Third Deputy Prime Minister, Ms. Rukia Nakadama, who represented Prime Minister Ms. Robinah Nabbanja. The Prime Minister herself contributed Shs10 million.
Sebei MPs, led by the regional chief whip, Mr. William Chemonges (Kween County), along with other dignitaries present at the event, made contributions ranging from Shs1 million to Shs10 million. Sebei Sub-region, which includes Kapchorwa, Bukwo, and Kween Districts, serves as a vital food source for neighboring countries such as Kenya and South Sudan.