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Housing project under threat

Traders  in Naivasha have opposed the planned construction of over 2,000 houses under the affordable housing plan by  Nakuru county government putting the whole project at jeopardy.

Although the county government has already entered into a partnership agreement with the World Bank over the housing project, traders have continued to oppose the decision, claiming that it will affect their livelihoods.

This  came even as meat traders in Naivasha protested at Naivasha slaughterhouse over the project saying it will cause more harm than good by paralysing meat business  in the busy area.

The  affordable housing project is set to be set up on 50 acres bordering Naivasha Maximum Prison where the slaughterhouse is located.

The  project  will see the slaughterhouse demolished and relocated to another area far from the lake side town to pave way for the construction.

However, the  Naivasha Slaughterhouse group Chairman, Peter Njogu, while speaking on behalf of the traders vowed to resist the move saying they were not consulted and  therefore not ready to move out of their present location.

Njogu  further said the county government was initiating projects without consulting the affected persons and also beneficiaries adding that this was unconstitutional as the law allowed for public participation before any public project was put in place.

He said there were other areas that the project could be put up and called on the County government to consider the opinion of the stakeholders and not impose the project on them.

The  traders  claimed that there have been attempts to grab the land for private use and added that they will not sit and  watch as their livelihoods were destroyed.

They said that an access road to the slaughterhouse had been closed by powerful individuals keen on grabbing the land whose value has skyrocketed in the last few years and vowed to strongly resist such a move.

“It  is difficult to access this area as some interested persons have already blocked the main road but we will stay put and  resist any attempts to move this abattoir  from here to another place,” a trader only identified as Ng’ang’a vowed.

Ng’ang’a  said more than 5000 families directly or indirectly depended on the slaughterhouse and called on Nakuru Governor, Lee Kinyanjui to rethink this latest decision.

Another  trader, Dr. Joseph Muita said the partnership by the county and World Bank should be used to value add products at the slaughterhouse rather than closing it.

Last  month, Nakuru Deputy Governor, Dr. Eric Korir led a high powered World Bank delegation to the site, saying the Cabinet and the State Department of Housing had approved the programme.

Korir  said the county government had identified the site where the houses will be constructed in the joint project with the  World Bank and that it was  targeting middle-income earners.

By  Esther  Mwangi/Hannah  Wangui

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