As part of my overseas fieldwork for my masters at University College London I undertook a research project that explored the recognition of urban markets and their traders in the Kenyan city of Kisumu. I met many interesting people with interesting stories to tell. The full gallery and story can be viewed in the gallery 'The Traders of Kisumu'.
As the third largest city of Kenya, Kisumu is recognised as a key metropolitan area for its contribution to the national economy. Markets have always been important for Kisumu due to its proximity to Lake Victoria giving it a strategic location in the East African region.
Kisumu is undergoing rapid development, with the formation of urban plans envisaging its transformation into a more efficient, productive and market-led global city through its modernisation, beautification and infrastructure improvement. Even though markets are central to the city, informality continues to be an issue in planning processes. Despite their value to the city economy, informal areas are seen as hindering the modernisation of Kisumu.