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Odinga presides over groundbreaking at Makasembo estate in Kisumu

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga presided over the ground breaking ceremony at Makasembo estate where many families were evicted to pave way for low cost housing.

The project under rural urban migration should have been implemented earlier but the residents had to be relocated to pave way for modern apartments.

Odinga said the plots which are located next to Moi stadium Kisumu was used as a playing ground in the 1950s.

He said Shauri Moyo was one of the estates that sprung up as a result of rural urban migration but the populations grew faster way ahead of our physical planners.

In Nairobi we have Kawangware, Mathare and Kibera slums just like Kisumu with Manyatta, Nyalenda and Obunga that must be arrested before they become environmental disasters.

The project is being done to cater for the faster growing urban population.

Odinga said “we must also establish schools which will cater for education apart from health facilities to provide quality medical services to the residents”.

He observed that whenever centres were being put up, play grounds must be included saying this was government policy.

The former PM praised the government for coming up with a policy where those living in squalid conditions were made to move from slum areas into improved structures.

“Similar policies of providing adequate shelter and quality healthcare are captured in the Azimio La Umoja Manifesto just like the National Government which prioritized the same issues,” he noted.

Kisumu Governor Prof, Anyang Nyong’o said the notion of investors acquiring large tracks of land especially in urban areas and waiting for the prices to escalate before selling has greatly hindered provision of affordable housing.

Prof. Nyong’o said that his government was putting up the project to curb possible slum conditions developing and to encourage more investors to come and put their money in the housing sector.

He termed zoning as a legislative action for regulating the use of property such as land so that construction of buildings within the County is regulated.

He said that Kisumu City physical and land use development plan being an overarching special framework for the Lakeside city, has provision for zoning ordinances that are meant to prevent investors from setting up expensive houses in specific zones known for low income earners.

Prof. Nyong’o said in order to buttress the Presidential policy on affordable housing, Kisumu County has put a number of measures in place by focusing on creating an enabling environment for investors in the affordable housing sector.

“We are also keen with the quality of the houses being set up in such areas and termed as a very good and noble idea for President Uhuru Kenyatta to have made affordable housing one of the Big 4 Agenda,” he explained.

Prof. Nyong’o said the Big 4 Agenda is not just for the President’s legacy but is also meant to save the low income earners within Kisumu.

The Governor commended Local Authorities Trust Fund (LAPFUND) for their steadfastness in keeping the dream of affordable housing alive.

For Kisumu County residents, he said, unveiling of Makasembo estate under affordable housing is just the beginning of big things to come.

He stated that Article 43 of Chapter 4 of the Kenyan Constitution clearly states that every person has a right to accessible and adequate housing as well as reasonable standards of sanitation.

By Bernice Amuge and Queen Edel

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