Business Daily (Nairobi)

10 October 2011

Kenya: Nakuru Airport Project Set to Start With Sh250 Million Allocation

Construction of an international airport in Nakuru town has returned to the radar with the allocation of Sh250 million for preparatory work in this year's Budget.

A 642-acre land near the Kenya Pipeline depot has been earmarked for the project which encountered delays after internally displaced persons settled in the area. The IDPS were recently moved to a 700-acre land in Subukia.

The airport is expected to provide a diversion for flights destined for Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, about 200 kilometers away.

"In case of flight diversions, planes can land here instead of Mombasa which is 500 kilometres away or Entebbe in Uganda (800km)," said Roads assistant minister Lee Kinyanjui.

The roads to the airport and adjoining areas, Mr Kinyanjui said, would be tarmacked and water and electricity supplied to promote the area's investment viability.

"We appreciate the investment attraction that Nakuru continues to receive and soon it will become a commercial city while Nairobi becomes the government's sit of power," said Mr Kinyanjui.

He commended the establishment of five star hotels in Nakuru such as Serena Group of Hotels which recently set up lodges at Soysambu conservancy to promote tourism.

Lake Nakuru National Park, Menengai Crater and Hyrax Hill among other wildlife destinations play a major role in sustaining Nakuru County's economy plus the agriculture sub sector.

Recently, an industrial investment financial institution declared their interest in funding various local business opportunities in Nakuru County.

Industrial Bank Capital said they would liaise with Nakuru Business Association to identify the region's potential. The bank's managing director, Mr James Karanja, revealed that Nakuru played a major role in sustaining the country's economy.

"We would explore available opportunities in manufacturing, agriculture, ICT, tourism and mining among others to tap the resources," said Mr Karanja while revealing the areas of discussion with Nakuru's business community lobby group chairman Mr Boniface Muhia.

The bank, founded in 1973 was initially engaged in funding industrial institutions but has diversified its operations to include other sectors of the economy like granting investment capital to health institutions.

"IDB Capital supported construction of 23-bed capacity Mediheal Group of Hospitals in Eldoret and now we are inaugurating Nakuru branch which has 110-bed capacity," said Mr Karanja.

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