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Agency seeks Sh. 42.5 billion to roll out development projects

Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) has unveiled a Sh 42.5 billion five-year strategic plan to roll out development projects in its area of operation.

LBDA Managing Director (MD) Wycliffe Ochiaga said the Parastatal which serves 18 counties in the larger Western Kenya and Rift Valley regions, has outlined a series of projects it plans to undertake to spur economic growth in the two regions.

Speaking on Monday during a virtual public participation meeting on the strategic plan, Ochiaga said the strategic plan, whose theme is ‘positioning LBDA as a pillar for social economic development in Kenya’ is hinged on the national government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

Mr Ochiaga said the projects identified by the agency were set to unlock development at the grassroots.  “The key areas we are focusing on are agricultural transformation, Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) growth, housing and settlement and digital superhighway to support the creative industry,” he said.

Ochiaga said the proposed projects include construction of the multi-billion Magwangwa multi-purpose dam on River Sondu in Nyamira County and Nandi Forest dam in Nandi County.

The two projects aim to enhance food security in the region with the agency set to establish a fruits and vegetable project and a modern honey refinery plant.

Other projects are the continuation of regional demonstration and technology development centres, river bank and water catchment rehabilitation projects, implementation of climate change mitigation, resilience, and adaptation programmes.

Ochiaga said LBDA hopes to foster integrated socio-economic development through the projects and at the same time enhance sustainable utilization and management of natural resources using appropriate technologies for improved livelihoods of communities living within the Lake Victoria basin.

Speaking during the same meeting, LBDA Board Chairman James Diang’a said the strategic plan was consistent with the agency’s aspirations to develop robust socio-economic and structural transformation in the region.

Mr Diang’a said various policies and strategies have been put in place to ensure that the key pillars of the strategic plan are attained within the five-year period.

“The LBDA strategic plan provides the authority the necessary framework for executing its core mandate in tracking the performance of commitments against set targets towards an envisioned socio-economic transformation in the Lake Victoria catchment area,” he said.

Should it secure the bulk of the funding from the Government, the agency plans to meet the deficit through resource mobilization from development agencies and internally generated revenue from ventures such as the Lake Basin Mall.

By Vera Okumu and Feliciah Wanyonyi

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