The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Sh24 Billion Investment Plan for Turkana, Samburu, Pokot

A Sh24 Billion investment plan aimed at attracting investors to the North Rift region has been unveiled.

The initiative led by Kerio Valley Development Authority targets Pokot, Turkana, Baringo, Samburu and Elgeyo Marakwet counties. It was divulged at a regional investment strategy conference held last week in the North Rift region.

Speaking at his office yesterday where he was hosting Minister for Regional Development Fred Gumo, KVDA Managing Director David Kimosop said they will work with other stakeholders to implement the plan.

"We will focus on providing development initiatives aimed at improving the livelihoods of our people in the region," he said. Gumo said regional development authorities will not be faced out under the county governments.

He said regional authorities which include Kerio Valley Development Authority, Lake Basin Development Authority and Tana River Development Authority will remain intact to continue supporting development in the regions where they operate.

He said regional authorities are playing a key role in irrigation projects to help feed communities in arid regions. "Regional authorities will continue to mobilize resources for more development programmes within areas of their jurisdiction under the new dispensation," he said.

He said regional bodies had been mismanaged in the past leading to wastage of resources but the government has since restructured the management systems to improve performance.

"Due to poor management some donors had to withdraw funding to the regional authorities. Even the government withdrew funding but we have revived all of them and they are now performing really well.", he said.

Gumo said operations by regional authorities will cut across the counties within the regions where they have been mandated to initiate development projects.

KVDA he said was running the Wei Wei Irrigation project in Pokot which had helped to provide food to many families in the semi-arid region. He said KVDA needed to sustain such projects because they provided income for families in the region.

The authority also initiated the Turkwel Power Plant which contributes to the national power grid and Gumo said it has played a critical role in helping to spur economic development through provision of electricity. Kimosop said currently KVDA's focus was to expand existing irrigation projects with a long term view of initiating new ones.

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