The construction of affordable houses at Makasembo and Anderson estates in Kisumu have been pushed to September this year due to delayed funding, the county officials have revealed.
Kisumu County Government in collaboration with the national government and other stakeholders embarked on setting up 3000 housing units in the County back in December 2020.
Under the plan, the said housing units were to be completed by the end of this year, with 1700 and 1300 units to be constructed in Makasembo and Anderson estates respectively.
The County Director of Housing Fredericks Onyango has attributed the delays majorly to financial constraints thus hindering the progress of the noble project.
“The final budget for the project is not yet out, what we have is just a draft of the budget. The national government has not yet released the funds,” Onyango said, adding that the budget for the whole project had been initially estimated at Sh800 million.
Despite the backlogs, the ground breaking, which was set to happen this month is still going to take place as scheduled and the County is currently advertising for contractors though the construction of the units has been pushed to September.
Talks and consultations with experts on matters of construction are also underway in a bid to reach consensus on the model to be used for the housing project.
Models like Design Build and Transfer (DBT) and Built Operate Transfer (BOT) are some of the models under consideration.
“We are looking at Nairobi, Mombasa and Kitui counties which have rolled out their programmes to see what they are doing so that we can emulate them,” affirmed the Director.
As a way to curb the delays caused by lack of funding, the county is working with potential developers to aid in getting the project done.
In addition, a housing conference involving various stakeholders inclusive of the developers is scheduled for next month where a road map detailing how the operations of the project is going to be run will be discussed.
With many residents of the two areas having been relocated at the start of the project, with compensation of Sh96, 000 per household, equal to two years rent, the project will see to it that these former inhabitants will be given first priority in accessing the houses after the completion of the project.
“We followed a very rigorous process that included public participation and we agreed on how our former tenants will be resettled here after the construction period,” Onyango alluded.
The construction is set to happen in phases and the first phase of construction shall target one – bedroom apartments for the previous settlers.
During the launch of the project late last year, area Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o advised that the use of urban space should include respect to the green spaces of the city sighting restructuring and rebuilding of the eight parks in Kisumu town as proof of the county’s efforts to protect the green spaces.
By Juliet Akoth and Robert Ojwang’