Kerugoya Kutus Municipality in Kirinyaga County has undergone major transformation through Sh 142 million programs being undertaken by the County Government.
The facelift program involves construction of car parks, maintenance of town streets and non-motorable ways as well as improving the drainage system in the municipality.
The improvement projects are being implemented under the Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) which is a collaboration between the County Government and the World Bank.
Governor Anne Waiguru has said that phase one of the programs is already complete while phase two will be completed in the next six months.
The first phase of the KUSP program involved sh. 71.2 million for construction of Kutus parking spaces, construction of Kerugoya Fresh Produce Market and building a daycare center and a storage unit at Kaitheri Apparel Factory in Kerugoya.
The fresh produce market has since brought great relief to about 1,200 traders who had been enduring harsh weather conditions such as rain and sun while undertaking their business.
After successful implementation of the first phase of the project, the county government earned accolades from the World Bank for prudent utilization of the funds hence qualifying for a second-round grant.
The second phase of the project involves construction of car parks adjacent to Kerugoya County and Referral Hospital, upgrading of selected streets and non-motorable ways to bitumen standards as well as improving the drainage system along the highway in Kerugoya town.
The project, to take another Sh. 71.2 million involves landscaping of both sides of the highway from Baricho Junction to Co-operative Bank and beautification of Kerugoya County Referral Hospital frontage by planting vegetation such as grass, flowers and trees. Market sheds will also be constructed to accommodate traders who have been selling along the streets.
Waiguru noted that the facelift will benefit the town residents and traders and also improve on revenue collection for the county. It will also create jobs for around 1,000 people through the public and private transport services and improved trading activities around the areas being improved.
She said the ongoing project has become a source of income to hundreds of youth who are employed, though on casual basis
Importantly, the facelift in Kerugoya town will also improve movement of both public and private vehicles adjacent to the hospital while pedestrians will have adequate walking space hence won’t be competing for space with motorists.
Kerugoya Open Air Market Chairman, Samuel Mwangi, thanked the County Government for the new fresh produce market saying that it has provided a conducive business environment for both traders and customers.
He said that good lighting system in the market also enables business transaction at night hence increasing business hours.
The market’s secretary, Janet Kibuchi, said that the market has helped women in a great way. “Some women come to the market with their children and whenever it rains, they would really get concerned about exposing their children to rains and cold. So, the market sheds are Godsent to our mothers,” said Janet. She added that the hygienic standards in the market have also been raised.
Besides the projects under KUSP, the municipality also boasts of a wide range of infrastructural development projects that have been implemented within the last three years. These include the street lighting project which has gone a long way in improving the business working hours and enhancing security.
The rehabilitation of Sagana-Samson Corner road which is set to be complete by the end of this year is also expected to spur more growth within the municipality while the county government dedicates itself to construction of storm water drainage to ensure free flow of water and prevent flooding in towns.
The county’s department of environment has also contributed to the improved municipality’s outlook through sustainable environmental management which includes proper waste management systems and landscaping and beautification projects.
Another feature that is poised to raise the standards and improve the vibrant business community in Kerugoya is the upcoming medical complex that will see the elevation of Kerugoya County and Referral Hospital to a fully-fledged Level Five facility with all the amenities of a high-end medical facility which include an Intensive Care Unit(ICU) and High Dependency Unit(HDU), modern surgical theatres among others.
The governor pointed out that development partnership is very important in achieving the development agenda of the county and that the county government was committed to continually improve the county’s infrastructure as an enabler to socio-economic development and improved livelihoods of all residents.
By Irungu Mwangi