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Kiambu receives Sh5.7 billion for Thika industrial city facelift

The take-off to elevate Thika town in Kiambu County into a smart industrial city has begun; with area Governor Kimani Wamatangi revealing that he has received Sh5.7 billion into the county’s account.

Wamatangi said the funds will be invested in boosting water supply to Thika and the surrounding Sub Counties of Juja, Ruiru and Githunguri from the Kariminu megadam.

Speaking in Thika during a cleanup exercise Monday, the governor said water supply will be increased by 20 million cubic metres to meet the demand of the expected increased population.

“We shall begin with water connectivity from Kariminu2 dam. Already, we have funds for the project. Then, we shall get to other infrastructural projects,” he said.

The governor said it will cost Sh15 billion to turn the town into a city, a project he said would take close to three years to be fully actualised.

Funding of the project, he said, would be provided jointly by the national and county governments, development partners and the private sector.

He noted that a further Sh200 million will be used for reticulation and Sh4 billion will be invested in industries and reforming the construction sector. Another Sh5 billion will go towards building an airstrip, a light rail transit system, an improved road network and the establishment of tuk tuk, boda boda and bicycle bays.

The Governor added that funds will also be used to dual a section of the Thika Garissa Highway and several other roads in and around the town.

He said once the town has been granted a city status, more infrastructural projects such as roads, markets, sewerage system, modern stalls, street lighting, parking and walkways will come up.

He said the proposed city will have 10,000 market stalls installed with free internet expressly reserved for the youth in strategic areas.

Wamatangi added that should Thika become a city, it will be getting an allocation of not less than Sh1 billion annually for infrastructural development in areas of roads in and around the town, sewerage system, street lights and water connectivity.

Already as a municipality, it has been attracting Sh480 million annual allocation from the World Bank.

“As a city, the town will now bank on equitable funds to cities, and more funding from national government and international grants to improve infrastructure to align with the needs of a city,” he said.

He said the journey might need three years to fully actualize the dream and make the town the fifth city in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru. He said the city status will enhance wealth creation opportunities.

A section of residents has since expressed concern that elevating Thika town into city will be disadvantageous as they will have to be displaced cheaply to pave way for infrastructural development.

By Muoki Charles

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