23 April 2018

Kenya: County Secures Sh2 Billion to Build Cheap Homes

Kericho County Government has secured a Sh2 billion funding to kick-start an affordable housing programme.

This comes at a time when South Rift leaders have thrown their weight behind President Uhuru Kenyatta's development agenda.

The county government said it had finalised talks with an investor from the United Arab Emirates who will finance the project as the county provides land.

"We reasoned that the national government may not have ready funds to actualise its housing agenda.

"We are finalising talks with our investor, and Jamii Bora Bank will be the managing agent of the funds," Trade Chief Executive Officer Barnabas Ngeno said without identifying the investor.

SUPPORT

Mr Ngeno noted that once complete, tenants will pay in instalments for ownership of the houses instead of rent.

Affordable housing is part of President Kenyatta's 'Big Four' agenda. The other items are universal healthcare, food security and manufacturing.

Two weeks ago governors Paul Chepkwony (Kericho), Joyce Laboso (Bomet) and Samuel Tunai (Narok) publicly supported the national agenda.

They spoke at Tenwek High School in Bomet where the President and his deputy William Ruto opened a Sh300 million eye and dental clinic at Tenwek Hospital.

"We fully support the 'Big Four' agenda. We will be working closely with the national government to achieve them," Dr Laboso said.

FUNDS

Prof Chepkwony said: "We are behind you in implementing the four pillars, one being universal healthcare. We are ready to set aside funds so that the planned projects to improve the lives of Kenyans succeed."

Mr Tunai said Narok residents have confidence that the four pillars, especially food security, will transform their lives and the economy of the country.

"Narok has vast lands, fertile soil, sufficient rainfall and great produce; and we want to lead in contributing to food security in our country," the governor said, adding that South Rift counties are "friends" and will work together to ensure that Jubilee promises are delivered.

Members of Parliament have also backed the agenda.

They include Brighton Yegon (Konoin), Johana Ngeno (Emurua Dikirr) and Bomet Woman Representative Joyce Korir.

FOOD SECURITY

They said it will transform the counties and better the lives of citizens, especially the poor.

"I believe it will certainly bring transformation that the country longs for. Bomet County, for instance, has a housing problem that will be addressed once the plans are implemented," Mrs Korir said and urged county governments to be pro-active in identifying land for the housing units.

Mr Yegon, who is a member of the National Assembly's Agriculture Committee, said the agenda on food security reflects the recommendations of the committee like moving from rain fed farming to irrigation and mechanisation and subsidy of farm input to improve productivity.

"I support the idea of universal health care because contemporary disease are rampant and expensive to treat. We need to help poor people to access medical services," he said.

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