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Gulu City Seeks UGX 3BN to Equip Cold Room at Main Market

Catherine Lanyero, the Gulu City Commercial Officer says that the market’s cold room lies empty six years after commissioning the market. She says that this is frustrating the vendors whose businesses require the cold roo
Gulu Main Market in Larro Division visibly with very few people entering and coming out - Photo by Dominic Ochola

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Gulu City Council is seeking 3 Billion Shillings for equipping the cold room at Gulu Main Market.

Gulu Main Market is among five markets constructed in the first phase of the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program under the Ministry of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives. The market was commissioned in 2015 but with an empty cold room for fresh fish, meat and fruits mongers.

Catherine Lanyero, the Gulu City Commercial Officer says that the market’s cold room lies empty six years after commissioning the market. She says that this is frustrating the vendors whose businesses require the cold room.

According to Lanyero, they have proposed a budget of 3 billion shillings to equip the cold room with a compressor, air –cooler condenser, ceiling unit cooler, cold air wind curtain, electronic control box, cold storage door, among others so that it is usable for vendors.

She says part of the 3 billion shillings shall also be used for installing solar lights at the market to address the challenge of a constant power blackout at the market. She revealed that they are hoping to get funding from development partners.

Agnes Acora, the Chairperson of Gulu Main Market Fresh Fish Mongers Association says ever since they entered the market in 2015, they were only provided with sinks for water for cleaning the fish. She says that due to the lack of cold rooms, they are facing challenges to store fish. 

Jennifer Oroma, a fresh fish vendor at Gulu Market says the room allocated as the cold room is currently being used as a store for keeping plastics. She says that they are forced to use ice blocks from Lira City to help them preserve their fish in coolers.

// Cue in: “Watiyo ki block… Cue out …mogo wa Lira.” //

According to Aromo, fresh fish vendors spend over 100,000 shillings monthly to buy the ice blocks and pay electricity bills which help to preserve their fish. She appeals to Gulu City Council to speed up the process of equipping the cold room to rescue the situation.

Victoria Rusoke Busingye, the Minister of State for Local Government says the government through her ministry has prioritized the installation of solar lights and closed-circuit television cameras at Gulu Main Market.