First ever supermarket opens in Mandera town - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

First ever supermarket opens in Mandera town

El-Matt Supermarket in Mandera
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Residents of Mandera town are in a celebratory mood following the opening of the first ever supermarket in the region.
Previously, the residents had to travel for many kilometres to Wajir to access a supermarket for one-stop shopping.
But it is now a relief for them after the opening of El-Matt Supermarket on Tuesday.
“I am happy that at last we have a supermarket in Mandera. Previously, the nearest one has been in Wajir, about 400 kilometres away,” said Ms Halima Ahmed.
She said the supermarket will provide an opportunity for locals to access goods under one roof and at least bring some sense of civilisation to Mandera town.
El-Matt’s proprietor Hussein Ali Haji said he is targeting the rising population in Mandera.
“We are having a population increase in Mandera due to devolution and I thought it is a good idea to start up something that will provide all that is needed under one roof,” he said.
“I wanted to bring home what we did not have in Mandera and here is El- Matt Supermarket,” Mr Haji added.
The shop has 24-hour security provided by armed police reservists.
“The whole project starting from construction to stocking has consumed Sh70 million but I am optimistic it is a worthy venture,” he said.
Mr Haji blamed politics for delaying his dream that has been realised after seven years of toiling.
“I served as an MCA for Lagsure between 2013 and 2017 and this denied me the opportunity to complete this project in time but at last we have it,” he said.
The store has provided at least 21 job opportunities to locals and its planned expansion will see the absorption of more jobseekers.
“Besides making profit, I am interested in creation of job opportunities and I look forward to increasing my workforce in the future,” he said.
Apart from buying foodstuffs at El-Matt, customers will also enjoy laundry services. There is also a bakery, a cafeteria and free parking.
“We can accommodate at least 30 vehicles at a go which means our customers need not to worry about their vehicles whenever they are here for shopping,” Mr Haji said.
Local farmers will supply fresh farm produce including kales, mangoes, pawpaws, oranges, onions and lemons among others.
“I get my supplies from Nairobi and Mogadishu just to ensure every customer’s need is met,” the proprietor said.
Mr Hussein Ali Haji
Mr Hussein Ali Haji, the proprietor of El-Matt Supermarket on April 9, 2019. He said he is targeting the rising population in Mandera with the new mega store. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Local businesspeople have always complained of high expenses while getting supplies from Nairobi or any other town within Kenya as compared to sourcing them from Mogadishu.
“I am observing rules when getting my supplies from Mogadishu and the opening of the closed Kenya-Somalia border will ease everything,” said Mr Haji.
El-Matt will be opening at 7am and closing at 8pm, but during Ramadhan, the management said business will be closing at 10.30pm.
Residents who spoke to Nation said they were excited by the new development.
“I have never seen such a shop in my entire life but I am happy and excited because I just found all I needed inside there,” Mr Haji Hussien, 78.
According Mr Hussein, it has been tiresome for him to move from one shop to another for his shopping.
Mr Haji appealed to the Mandera County government to ensure there is an enabling environment to allow businesses to thrive.
In January, local businesspeople opposed levies proposed by the county administration, terming them exorbitant.

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