Kisumu will spend at least Sh500 million to procure road construction equipment as it seeks to open up the county to investment.
The county government plans to decentralise construction and maintenance of county roads, by giving all the seven sub-counties their own road construction and maintenance machinery.
Roads Executive Thomas Ondijo said Governor Anyang' Nyong’o had already approved the plan, and that it had been included in this year’s supplementary budget.
Mr Ondijo, who disclosed that they borrowed the idea from Uasin Gishu County, however, did not disclose how much money would be used to buy the equipment. Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago spent Sh500 million buy similar equipment for sub-counties.
According to the plan, each sub-county will get at least one bulldozer, a grader, an excavator and a roller.
“It is something we had already discussed. In fact, the MCAs had approved the allocation for the machinery in the supplementary budget and we are going to have road repair machinery decentralised to each sub-county,” he said.
With equipment in each sub-county, less funds will be used in repairs since maintenance will be regular.
“I have personally been fighting so hard for the decentralisation of roadworks and we are now on the homestretch. We are going to buy some of the equipment in the current financial year and the rest in the 2019-20 financial year,” said Ondijo.
He said the county has been busy repairing roads that were damaged by floods in May, especially in Nyando and Muhoroni, at the expense of opening new ones.
Sh170 million of the Sh450 million given to the county by Kenya Roads Board, for opening up the county, is being used to repair roads in Nyando and Muhoroni.
Last week, Prof Nyong’o commissioned Sh500 million roads projects, including the tarmacking of a link road to Dunga Beach.