Residents of Tharaka Nithi County have been asked to cooperate with University of Nairobi (UoN) students and the technical team that will be involved in a five day exercise of developing a spatial plan for the whole county.
The County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Lands Housing and Physical planning, Joe Njagi called on the people of Tharaka Nithi County to provide the information that will help make the document that will be used to make future County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) a success.
“The spatial plan is needed like yesterday because it helps the county government in developing realistic CIDPs because it discloses the areas suited for various economic and social activities after considering demographic dynamics and the acreage available besides the soils PH and minerals underneath,” said the county executive.
Njagi speaking on Sunday during the launch of the exercise at Chuka Girl’s High School said those who might have developed some areas contrary to what the spatial plan will recommend need not worry because the county government will negotiate for the best way to give them alternative resettlement.
He said the spatial plan is more or less related to public participation that is enshrined in the constitution 2010 because it seeks to find out what the people of Tharaka Nithi need and what they have in store for development.
Njagi further disclosed that the exercise was not starting now but was a culmination of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the University of Nairobi and Tharaka Nithi county government in Mid-March last year.
“The MoU was signed on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at the UoN Vice Chancellor’s boardroom when the governor Muthomi Njuki paid a courtesy call on the VC, Prof. Peter Mbithi,” the county executive reiterated.
During the signing of the MoU, the governor had said that he had received referrals from other county governments that have worked with the University and seen tremendous results. ‘I am happy to be associated with the best institution. Thank you for attempting to give Tharaka Nithi a chance. It is such a relief and a help that the county needs,” he said.
On the other hand, he promised to accord the University team all the help that they would need during the 3-year contract period.
Prof. Mbithi assured the governor and his team that the institution is up to task and will deliver. He affirmed to the county government of the University’s mandate and commitment, “We live in a time where everybody must be called to serve. Universities are there to serve society. The University is increasing its relevance by solving the challenges that Kenya is facing,” he said, noting that Tharaka Nithi would not be any different, as the University has worked with other counties to bring development.
Prof. Peter Ngau, Principal College of Architecture and Engineering said that the planning of the county had brought together Architecture, Engineering and Planning.
He disclosed that so many towns have come up without planning hence the mushrooming of slums. He assured the county government that indeed the team that had been formed to handle the task consisting of the best urban planners, surveyors and engineers that the country is bestowed with.
Present during the signing was Patrick Munene, Member of Parliament, Chuka Igambang’ombe Constituency, Prof. Robert Rukwaro, Dean School of built environment, members of staff from department of urban and regional planning among others.
Present during the launch was the chairman of the Tharaka Nithi County Assembly committee on Lands, Housing and Physical planning who is also the MCA for Magumoni ward, Justin Kithinji, the County Chief Officer for the same docket, Fridah Kalunda, Mugwe ward MCA, Dennis Mutwiri, a Representative from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Fatuma Murungi and Dr. Silas Muketha a lecturer at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the UoN.
By David Mutwiri