Thika town will get major facelift after the Kiambu County government rolled out a Sh46 million beautification and transformation programme to enable the town achieve 24-hour operations status.
The World Bank funded programme that targets to improve lighting, drainage, roads and buildings is set to lift the status of the industrial town to match major cities.
Governor Ferdinand Waititu said the programme will restore the lost glory of the once cleanest town in the country which has since regressed to a shell of its former level,now characterized by dark streets, dilapidated roads and old buildings.
Speaking at Thika town during the launch of the programme on Tuesday, the Governor said the efforts will give the town a new look and re-energize business thereby propelling the municipal’s development that has so far stagnated.
Before the advent of devolution, the town was neat, with well-kept trees, flowers and manicured lawns along its well-lit streets.
“The roundabouts will be redesigned to ease traffic movement. Dilapidated roads will be repaired. Street lighting enhanced. We shall also talk with the business community to repaint their buildings to make the town look new,” he said.
The World Bank funded programme that will commence immediately will come as a major boost to motorists and businessmen who had tirelessly complained over insecurity, poor roads and huge traffic.
Grabbed land will also be repossessed to pave way for new designs, he said.
The town’s only public recreational facility, the Christina Wangari Garden will also be renovated; security beefed, more trees and grass planted, fenced round and its cleanliness maintained.
“It will become the town’s equivalent of the Jevanjee Garden or Uhuru Park. We want our people to have a place where they can rest. It will also be used to hold weddings and fundraisers,” he said.
Residents welcomed the programme saying enhanced security will boost business by facilitating long working hours.
“The programme has been long overdue. This is what we have been yearning for all those years. However, we hope the funds will be used prudently,” said James Kimani, a taxi operator in the town.
By Charles Muoki