The Jubilee Government has invested over Ksh 144 billion in water, health and road projects in Lower Eastern region.
Speaking at State House, Nairobi, during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s meeting with leaders and professionals from the Ukambani counties of Kitui, Machakos and Makueni, Cabinet Secretaries outlined the projects being implemented in the region.
On roads, Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said his Ministry has completed the procurement process for the dualling of the Machakos – Athi River Turn off road in Machakos County that will cost of Ksh 8 billion.
“We are just waiting for letter of no objection from the World Bank to make sure the actual construction of the project begins,” Mr. Macharia said.
The Cabinet Secretary said construction of the road will ease the vexing traffic jams experienced on that section of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
Other road projects in Machakos county include Machakos-Kenol-Ngoleni-Kaani-Mutituni-Kaseve road that will cost Ksh 1.2 billion, Mombasa road – Daystar/Lukenya at a cost of Ksh 600 million and Machakos–Lukenya-Kenani-Athi River road costing Ksh 600 million.
Mr Macharia disclosed that other ongoing road projects in Machakos include the Mathathani-Kathiani-Kavoleni road that will cost Ksh 1.3 billion, the Ksh 732 million Mumbuni-Kathiani-Thwake River road as well as the Mathathani-Kaseve and Kiangala-Riuni roads each costing Ksh 800 million.
In Makueni County, the CS said his Ministry has completed the procurement process for the Ksh 1.2 billion Sultan Hamud-Kasikeu-Wautu-Kiambeke-Kikoko road which is ready for launching in the first week of June.
He said the Ministry has also allocated Ksh 500 million for the construction of Makueni town roads, adding that the tendering for the Ksh 1 billion Kasikeu-Upete road, the Ksh 800 million Kautadini-Mavia-Kimakiu-Salama Bridge, the Ksh 800 million Tawa-Nguluni-Itangini and the Ksh 800 million Thwake Bridge will be advertised in the next one week.
In Kitui County, Mr Macharia said construction of the Kamuhogo Bridge at a cost of Ksh 500 million is being fast-tracked, warning that shoddy contractors will not be tolerated.
On his part, Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa disclosed that the Jubilee Government has invested Ksh 122 billion in water and dam projects in the Lower Eastern region.
Mr Wamalwa enumerated the various water projects undertaken in Ukambani to ease water shortage. Among the projects is Thwake Dam project – one of the Vision 2030 flagship projects – estimated to cost Ksh 60 billion. The dam will serve Makueni, Kitui and parts of Machakos counties including the Konza techno city.
The Cabinet Secretary said already the Government has set aside Ksh 600 million to kick off resettlement of the families affected by construction of Thwake dam. When complete, the project – which has a component for irrigation – will provide water to 1.3 million Kenyans and generate electricity.
Other projects highlighted by Mr Wamalwa include the Masinga-Kitui Water and Sanitation project that is estimated to cost Ksh 2.2 billion. The project will provide water to 180,000 residents of Kitui town and connect 60,000 people to the sewerage system.
On health, Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said the Government’s Medical Equipment Scheme programme is on course. The equipment includes theatre, kidney, X-ray and ICU machines. Dr Mailu said already six hospitals in three counties, including Machakos, have received the specialised medical equipment valued at Ksh 2.6 billion.
He added that the Government has also set aside Ksh 600 million in the next financial year to finance health programmes in Kitui County.
Dr Mailu pointed out that the national and county governments are also taking inventory of all the stalled Economic Stimulus Progamme projects under the Ministry of Health in the Lower Eastern region with a view of completing them.
The CS added that the two levels of government will work with other stakeholders to upgrade various hospitals, health centres and dispensaries in the counties of Kitui, Machakos and Makueni.
“Kitui and Mwingi general hospitals have been allocated sh 200 million each in the next financial year to facilitate their alleviation to level five status,” he said.
Responding to a request by Ukambani leaders, Dr Mailu said the national Government will collaborate with the county government of Machakos to upgrade Machakos hospital to the level of a teaching and referral hospital.
Other facilities allocated funds next financial year include the proposed Kanyangi Kenya Medical Training Centre (KMTC) which is 74 km from Kitui town and Mutomo KMTC which will receive Ksh 50 million each.
Kyuso and Tseikuru hospitals were each allocated Ksh 50 million while 16 dispensaries and health centres in Kitui County will also be opened, the Health CS said.
On his part, Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said the Jubilee Government has surpassed the 3 million title deeds issuance target set for 2017 by 1.2 more titles.
He said his Ministry will next week issue 33,247 title deeds in Makueni, 74,564 in Machakos, 26,729 in Mwingi and 40,735 title deeds in Kitui.
President Kenyatta said he will visit the counties of Machakos, Makueni and Kitui on May 19, 20 and 21 to inspected the progress of the development projects that the Cabinet Secretaries committed to undertake. The President said he will make a repeat visit to the region in the second week of June.