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Airstrip set for Sh200m facelift to boost economy

By - | Published Fri, April 26th 2013 at 00:00, Updated April 25th 2013 at 20:48 GMT +3

By James Omoro

KENYA: Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) will spend Sh200 million to expand Kabunde airstrip in Homa Bay County, Governor Cyprian Awiti has said.

The project, contracted to Glanack Investment Limited Company will boost business and tourism in the area.

The airstrip, situated between Homa Bay town and Rodi Kopany township, has been in a dilapidated state for many years.

Glanack’s Managing Director Edward Gathanga said the construction work would take nine months. “The major construction work will involve expansion of the airstrip from its current size of 1km to 1.2km. An apron, where aircrafts pack will also be constructed in addition to extending the runway,” he said.

Mr Gathanga said the work would kick off early next month to ensure people start enjoying fruits of the airstrip as soon as possible.

“We have put all modalities in place to ensure the construction work begins at any time from May 1 to enable commencement of air transport operations,” he said.

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Security enhanced

He noted the road from Rongo to Homa Bay would also be tarmacked to allow easy access to the airstrip. There will also be other operations including fencing to enhance security.

Speaking during a survey of the airstrip, Governor Awiti urged residents to co-operate with the engineers to enhance efficiency of the construction.

He expressed optimism that rehabilitation of the airstrip would enhance the county’s economy.

He said Homa Bay had many tourist attractions and agricultural activities whose fruits could not be realised due to poor means of transport.

“We have yearned for this kind of a project for many years. There is no doubt our income from tourism sector and agriculture will improve greatly,” Awiti added.

Land compensation

Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata assured residents whose pieces of land may be needed for the extension of adequate compensation.

“This programme needs all kinds of support. I call upon residents whose land may be needed to be confident in giving out their land because they will be compensated accordingly,” he said.

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