Habaswein Milk Vendors Decry Harsh Market Environment and Lack of Support from Elected Leaders
Women milk vendors at Habaswein Market decry the dwindling milk market and waste due to lack of cooling machines and the harsh scorching sun under which they market their milk. The women who spoke to the media complained of the scorching sun and lack of shades to sale and market their milk. They are appealing to the government and other development partners for assistance so as to enhance their meager income and increase productivity. They use the milk sales to sustain their families and pay school fee and complain that the shrinking and harsh market environment is driving them out of business with no alternative income generating avenue. The over 200 milk vendors complained that elected leaders are unavailable and claim that funds intended to improve their market accessibility is been misappropriated. Funds such as the Constituency Development Fund managed by area MPs are intended to benefit this group of women and help uplift living standard. The CDF receives Kshs 80 to 100 Million annually. There is also a Ward Fund of about Ksh 25 million allocated to the development of the Ward and managed by area MCAs. The Women Rep gets an NGAAF budget of about kshs 50 to 75 Million annually. The milk vendors ask to be built shades, provided coolants for their milk and put in place measures to improve the general market environment which they say their livelihood depends on.
World Vision, an international NGO that works in the area provided Milk coolant machines to the vendors but the machines are lying idle and the vendors complain that the NGO has not trained them on how to use the machines. ”The machines have not helped us and have in fact decreased our productivity because we incur expenses to keep them functioning” said the vendors.