Residents in Nanyuki town have raised concern over contractors for the government affordable housing project in Nanyuki town Laikipia County for not considering them for job opportunities.
Speaking during the stakeholders on affordable housing public participation in Nanyuki, locals alleged that Firm Bridge limited contractors had not offered them jobs despite government commitment in creating job opportunities through such projects, they further complained of soil dumping in their plots by the contractors.
The residents decried the contractor failure to consult them on soil dumping after the ground excavation to create space for the 200 housing units.
They urged the contractor to give them a timeline on how long it would take to address the soil dumping problem.
Peter Mwangi, a resident, said that their trucks for supplying sand and construction blocks were lying idle which he appealed for consideration aimed at ensuring locals benefited from the housing project.
“On the issue of transport, our trucks are lying idle, since this is our project, give us a chance for supplying construction materials to be able to service loans we bought the trucks with,” urged Mwangi.
He urged the contractor to involve the local administrators including chiefs to identify those who were eligible for job opportunities, a move to ensure no resident missed out.
Paul Gituthu, a resident applauded the project noting it would create jobs for youth, however called for the chiefs’ involvement in the project.
“We support this project 100 percent for being direct beneficiaries of this affordable housing initiative. Our appeal is for contractors to employ our youth and at the same time involve chiefs in identifying them,” urged Gituthu.
Laikipia County Director Housing John Maina said that affordable housing was Kenya Kwanza government flagship project that aimed to ensure residents had dignified lives.
He said that they targeted to construct 200 housing units in the 290 constituencies in the country and at the same time revealed that there would be about 2,000 to 5,000 housing units in each county.
“The plan is to construct 200 units per every constituency in Kenya and in Laikipia; we will have about 5,000 units since we have enough land, for instance in Rumuruti, the county has offered 26 acres,” said Maina.
Laikipia East Deputy Commissioner Patrick Muli said that to address employment challenges in the on-going affordable housing project, all workers would be subjected to vetting to ensure only locals benefited from the project.
“We ensure all your concerns have been addressed, including dumping and employment. Everyone shall be subjected to vetting by the employer to ensure only residents benefit,” said Muli.
The administrator called on residents to apply for the houses noting only those who will have shown interest by contributing through a boma account shall benefit.
Muli said that, with the project, cash flow is set to increase aimed at spurring the county economy.
He further cautioned youth against drunkenness while working since their jobs would be terminated and at the same time urged them to use the proceeds from the job in improving their livelihoods.
By Muturi Mwangi