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Kisumu city set for Sh300 million upgrade in World Bank-funded program

Kisumu city set for Sh300 million upgrade in World Bank-funded program

Kisumu,

Friday, May 3, 2024

KNA by Chris Mahandara

Kisumu city is set for a major facelift following the release of Sh300 million Urban Development Grant (UDG) by the World Bank to improve infrastructure and strengthen service delivery.

The grant through the Kenya Urban Support Project II (KUSP II) will also see the recently launched Ahero Municipality receive Sh16.8 million to roll out similar projects.

This comes after a successful implementation of KUSP I where the city received Sh1.7 billion which was used to construct a modern fire station, Rotary Youth Innovation Center, Non-motorised transport facility, Upgrading of Jomo Kenyatta Sports Grounds, Upgrading of Jamhuri Gardens and botanical garden, Construction of Nyamasaria bus park, Construction of Kibuye Market and Kaloleni Community Centre.

State Department for Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary (PS) Charles Hinga said the program has transformed Kisumu greatly by putting in place infrastructure and structures that have created a modern and resilient city.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Administration Secretary in the department, Hiram Kahiro in Kisumu during the launch of the Kisumu Local Physical and Land Use Development Plan and Sustainable Mobility Plan, the PS said KUSP II which targets a number of counties will build up on the foundation laid during the first phase of the project.

“The second phase of KUSP is now on course following its execution on the 14th March 2024 and Kisumu county stands poised to reap further benefits,” he said.

He asked the implementing agencies in the county to build on the successes achieved while proactively addressing any shortcomings highlighted during the first phase.

Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o lauded the World Bank-funded program, saying it was behind the transformative urban development being experienced in Kisumu city.

In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Governor Dr. Mathews Owili, Nyong’o said the plan to restore the lakeside city was marked with ups and downs.

“When I came into office in 2017, part of my work was to restore order in Kisumu. I found a city in a mess, with traders and hawkers selling their wares all over the streets. The pedestrians had nowhere to walk. Even the traders themselves worked in distress,” he said.

“Today the traders are happy in the new markets we built. Now they have shelter over their heads and a cleaner work environment,” he added.

The county government, he said, was in the final stages of implementing the Geospatial Information System (GIS) to aid in planning the city.

The Kisumu Local Physical and Land Use Development Plan and Sustainable Mobility Plan which is a four zoned plan to guide the growth of the city for the period between 2020-2040, he said was a comprehensive document that would assist in the mitigation of disasters such as floods, reduce pollution, promote safe routes for transportation, promote ecologically balanced environment, minimize hazards, preserve open space and maintain physical health of the community.

The plan, he said, covers the entire city comprising the urban core including the lakefront, urban renewal and regeneration areas which include the slum belt, Eastern extension and the Northern extension.

He added that the plan further provides a roadmap for long-term infrastructural development and comes with zoning regulations, development control mechanisms and a clear environmental management plan.

This, he said, will transform Kisumu city into a vibrant, resilient and smart lake metropolis through polycentric spatial development.

The Sustainable Mobility Plan, he said, seeks to recalibrate transport investments in the area so as to benefit all road users.

“This will avert mobility challenges characterized by increasing vehicular traffic, inefficient public transport, inadequate walking and cycling facilities and poor parking management,” he said.

Bondo Member of Parliament (MP) Gideon Ochanda who represented the National Assembly Committee on Housing, Lands and Urban Development lauded the move by Kisumu saying the two plans were set to spur urban renewal and development in the city.

“It may sound ambitious but this is the way to go. The western countries took the same route and are ahead of us. It must be done,” he said.

Courtesy; KNA

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