The earlier stalled Buxton low cost housing building project within Mvita Sub County in Mombasa is set to commence in October.
This comes after a three days’ public participation exercise conducted at Tononoka Hall in Mombasa on early this month.
Speaking Thursday during a press conference at Pride Inn hotel Mombasa, Kenya Trade Network Board Chairman Suleiman Shahbal said the project had received a green light from Mombasa county government under Governor Hassan Ali Joho.
During the brief, Shahbal said the project is in realization of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big four agenda for affordable housing where 1,900 ordinary citizens would be able to afford the low cost houses beginning January 2021.
He said come October 1st 2020, Buxton residents would receive their cheques for relocation in addition to a letter of assurance that they will get back the new apartments once completed.
The prominent Mombasa businessman said the construction would continue despite opposition from anti-development activism politicians drawn from the region who never presented their grievances during public participation conducted earlier regarding the project.
He added that over 1, 000 people have already applied for the houses way before they are built some of them being those opposed to the construction.
“We are talking about the future of Mombasa and its citizens and we will not allow politicians to lie to the people. Human dignity is a fundamental human right and it starts with decent employment where over 2, 000 people will be employed in the project,” said Shahbal
Shabal said the vast majority of Buxton residents have accepted and passed the project as beneficial to them adding the project is intended to modernize the old estate to an ultra-modern one.
The former gubernatorial aspirant said come end of October, all the youth in Buxton will undertake free training on carpentry, masonry, electrical, plumbing and security calling on the youth and women groups to prepare for the job opportunities that would be generated from the project.
Shahbal announced that the project’s official ground breaking would be commissioned by his President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga on January 2nd, 2021.
Out of the 545 residents of Buxton, 472 are for the project and ready while others are undecided yet until they see the relocation cheques calling on them not to be duped by politicians.
Shahbal said he was opposed to the project in 2016 because there was no public participation as required by the constitution.
He said the locals had not been paid relocation allowance for the affected residents nor was there a guarantee that first priority would be given to the current occupants thus the reason for going to court to oppose.
A feasibility study conducted by the county government of Mombasa in 2016 suggested that the old estates in Mombasa were outdated thus condemned and a new strategy for rebuilding was done.
Shahbal said one of the people opposed to the project now was the then Senator who did not oppose the rebuilding then.
He added that the new housing project would comprise 104 shops, 200 stalls, and 10 workshops employing a minimum of 100 people.
He said more than Sh50 billion would come to Mombasa from the construction sector along with Buxton Sh6 billion, Changamwe Sh17.6 billion, Likoni Sh4.5 billion not to mention the manufacturing, hotel industry and the blue economy sectors.
It is from these economic opportunities that Shahbal said he will be organizing an investment conference at the end of October to mobilize investors into Mombasa and transform the lives of residents.
By Joseph Kamolo