A number of major towns within Murang’a county are set to get a facelift under a programme dubbed smart cities being implemented by the county administration.
The county government since February this year, commenced tarmacking roads and streets within the towns with the aim of boosting trading activities.
Roads in major towns including Maragua, Kangari, Murang’a, Kangema, Gatura and Kiriaini have already been tarmacked with traders lauding the move since it has relieved them from walking and doing their businesses along muddy and dusty roads.
On Saturday while launching the programme at Maragua town, governor Irungu Kang’ata said the upgraded roads and streets will ensure ease of access in every part of the town thus allowing customers to reach business premises even those away from main roads.
He noted that traders have been forced to sell their merchandise along tarmacked roads since customers avoid getting to interior parts of the towns due to muddy streets.
Kang’ata underscored tarmacking and improving the streets saying it spurs the growth and development of businesses in the majority of local major trading centres.
“The smart cities programme is aimed at ensuring the traders do their businesses without many challenges. Those who are far from main roads will be able to make sales since customers can now easily access their premises,” he stated.
In the 2023/2024 financial year budget, the devolved administration allocated Sh. 175 million to actualize the smart cities programme.
Already tarmacking of sections of roads within Murang’a, Maragua, Kiriaini and Kangema towns have been done.
Kang’ata further said the programme will also include installing street lights to enable traders to extend operating hours and boost security.
“All the trading centres will also get street lights which will boost security and enable business people to operate even at night,” he added saying tarmacking of the roads will also make it easy for physically challenged people to operate businesses.
He said “Drainage systems in the towns will be rehabilitated. Its unfortunate drainage lines within most trading centres are in a pathetic situation.”
A section of traders in Maragua town lauded the programme saying it will awaken the sleepy town which has witnessed increased security cases.
One of the traders Mwangi Wacogi observed Maragua have lagged behind due to poor infrastructure and insecurity incidents.
He lauded tarmacking of roads within the town saying motorists have avoided accessing the town since roads connecting the trading centre were in pathetic situations.
Another trader Nancy Mwangi requested the county government to hasten installing street lights so as to curb insecurity cases.
“We usually close our businesses before 6 pm due to fear of being attacked and robbed of our merchandise. In the past cases of theft have been rampant in this town and we hope the programme by the county government will improve the environment of conducting business in Maragua town,” she asserted.
By Bernard Munyao