Kiambu County government intends to lobby for an airport to be constructed in Thika town as they kick start efforts to have it elevated into a city status in the coming years.
This will be part of the many infrastructural development projects being done in collaboration with the national government and development partners set to change the face of the town.
Governor James Nyoro said the airport will be constructed on part of the 635 acres of land that multinational pineapple juice manufacturer Demonte industries has ceded to the County government.
He said the title deed for the piece of land is almost ready and that the land will be instrumental in their push to improve the town’s infrastructural development.
“One of the proposals is to dedicate some land for an airport because we know it is an opportunity to not only ease the burden on Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi given their close proximity but also help in our quest to have Thika elevated into a city,” said Nyoro.
He said they are also working to have an airstrip in place at Mangú High School in Juja constituency after the school was given an airplane by Kenya Airways.
“As we talk, before mid-next month, Thika will have an airstrip. We are working with Mangu’ High School to construct a hangar and a runway for the plane that KQ gave them. It will ease landing of planes in the county,” he said.
Nyoro said such infrastructural development, coupled with improvement of road networks will help the town as they seek to have it elevated to a city.
Already, all major roads in the town have been recarpeted at a cost of Sh700 Million. They include General Kago, Haile Selassie, Harry Thuku, Kenyatta Highway, Kwame Nkrumah, Magoko, Bull and Mama Ngina. Others are Stadium, Temple, Thika Girls, Uhuru Street, Upper Hill and Workshop.
He said they have recruited a consultant firm to help in planning on how the town expects to be like and what is required of it in the next 15 years.
He said the firm will give recommendations on what is needed each year, in efforts to completely change the town’s face and address the needs of residents.
Areas to look at, he said include erecting street lighting, putting up traffic lights and have in place road diversions to create order and ease traffic congestion. Others are increasing water distribution and reach, renovation of roads in the CBD and estates.
“After such a plan, and having all that infrastructural development, we shall then ask that Thika town be elevated into a City, maybe after four years,” he said.
By Maureen Kyalo and Muoki Charles