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Women rep urges government to spread Housing Agenda to rural areas

The government has been urged to extend the concept of affordable housing to rural areas in the 47 counties to encourage grassroots participation in the implementation of the Big4 Agenda.

Ms. RaheliDephisha (second right) with three goats donated by the Women Rep.

Taita-Taveta County Women Representative Lydia Haika said the Big4 Agenda was being viewed as an elitist urban-based development initiative which sidelined most rural areas which were set to benefit from the implementation of the projects.

The MP noted that challenges of poor housing did not only affect urban areas but also rural areas that she added suffered high levels of poverty.

Ms. Haika was speaking at Bughuta village on Saturday during the opening of a 3-roomed house she constructed for a mother of six who had been living in a crumbling shack for over seven years.

“We need to bring the Big4 Agenda especially on housing to the rural areas where housing is a real challenge,” she said.

In the Agenda 4 blueprint, the government plans to build one million homes comprising of 800,000 affordable units and an extra 200,000 social units. Treasury will inject 10 per cent of the budget into the project with private funding and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) contributing 60 percent and 30 percent respectively.

Ms. Dephisa with the Women Rep outside the 3-roomed house constructed by the latter for her.

Ms. Haika noted that thousands of poor people in rural areas were living in deplorable conditions and also needed to be included in the program.

The beneficiary of the house, Ms. RaheliDephisha, said she was overwhelmed by the gesture and disclosed she has been living in the rundown shack with her six children for years.

Three of her last children were born in the shack. Her father, Nguyo Dephisha aged 80, has also been living in a tiny hovel made of twigs but the philanthropic MP is also funding the construction of his house as well.

“It’s very cold when it rains because the roof leaks. It’s also very risky when elephants stray into the farm,” said MzeeNguyo.

Raheli said she would now focus on becoming a better mother to her children.

“I am overwhelmed by this gift. I never knew a leader could use her resources to support a person like me,” said the teary woman.

Officials of SautiyaWanawake and other women groups hailed the move and said they would support the housing agenda as a means of giving poor Kenyans a roof over their heads.

Ms. Haika also donated three goats and several bags of foodstuff to the family.

By Wagema Mwangi

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