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Ceded Delmonte land a boost in attaining smart city

Kiambu County government is in the process of acquiring title deed for the 672 acres ceded by the multinational fruit processor Delmonte Kenya Limited, as plans to put up new structures are in top gear.

Del Monte pineapple farm. Photo by  Muoki Charles

Governor Kimani Wamatangi said various projects that will propel Thika into a smart city, including the national government’s 50,000 affordable housing have been lined up to be put up in the land.

Wamatangi who was accompanied by Delmonte’s   Director for Agriculture Gorge Miranda said they expect structures to start coming up in the land in a few months’ time, after they get the legal documents of the ceded land.

“The journey to make Thika an industrial Smart city has just started and it’s a matter of time you start seeing things happening on the ground. After we get the legal documents of the ceded land, don’t be surprised to see storey buildings cropping up in the next months,” he said.

He however said developments will be based on proposals from public participation forums from various stakeholders as well the surrounding communities.

“One of the major proposals will be the affordable housing project and as a county, our target is to construct 50,000 units. We will also plan to set up land for other amenities like schools, hospitals and sporting facilities,” Wamatangi said.

He hinted at relocating some facilities including the Thika prison, Thika stadium and cemetery among others that are at the town’s CBD to part of the ceded land to give space for commercial development.

“We have to be realistic and candid enough for the growth of the town, these special amenities need not be in the CBD in the first place, “said Wamatangi.

Delmonte Company limited owns over 22,000 acres of land in Kiambu and Muranga Counties with 7,000 acres lying idle.

This has attracted the interests of the two counties who had opposed the renewal of the company’s lease agreement after it expired last year.

This forced the company to surrender the 672 acres of land in Thika East for them to get renewal of the lease.

By Muoki Charles

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